I regularly travel to a major city and stay at the same hotel. Across the road there are major building works at the office tower there. It has one of those classic cranes we see in every city in the world. The type of crane that miraculously grows higher and is the right height for the building as construction progresses.
It occured to me whilst watching this major construction site that strategy execution is a lot like a crane on a building site. The crane must be elevated to the right height to meet the needs of the builders as the tower block grows floor by floor. When the construction crew need the crane it must be ready. It is too late the raise the crane after the event. Productivity will fall and construction progress will slowed at best or be suspended at worst.
So those in charge of the project must decide what height they need and when and convey that to the crane crew. Everyone involved must work as a team to ensure smooth execution. And there has to be strong foundations!
Like a crane on a building site a plan execution has an end point, a logical flow, a focus The plan must be agreed.on results and a set of distinct steps. You can’t just jam all the activities and steps in at the last minute and hope you will achieve top results.
So when it comes to execution of a plan each step must be developed, agreed and done on time, at the right time otherwise meeting the milestones is an impossible task.
Farmers have a great saying, you must plant when the time is right, you can’t cram at the last minute and expect results.