Battle Strategy for the Modern Business - SLiM DIGITAL | Slim Digital

Battle Strategy for the Modern Business

May 28, 2015


Over the past few years, I had the opportunity to think and write extensively on the similarities and differences between Business Planning and Military Planning. I have come to look at Business Planning through the lens of the Military Appreciation Process (MAP) and the tools developed by Michael Porter.


It should be no surprise that the planning processes in the two situations are similar. The situations are, in the abstract, very similar. There is an objective to be reached. There are limited resources (personnel, equipment, technology e.g.) available. And as much as we might wish it were otherwise, planning in both contexts must account for a certain degree of uncertainty.


Darian Macey wrote about mitigating this uncertainty in an article on wargamming your design and recent Deep Arora did the same with is post on Key Performance Indicators (KPI).


I want to build off the Deep Arora article because what struck me while reading it was the similarity of his KPI tool to a tool the Military use called the Centre of Gravity Construct (CGC). In fact, the only thing in the CGC that is not in the KPI is Critical Vulnerabilities (CV). Identifying your CVs is of extreme importance because if you don’t protect them, your competition will exploit them and your plan will fail.


Priorities, Goals & KPI's Business Planning
Arora used the following chart in his article:


I have taken the liberty of modifying the planning portions slightly to include a discussion of Critical Vulnerabilities.


Critical Vulnerabilities Planning


As you can see, there are more opportunities to ask “Why?” By simply identifying your vulnerabilities, you are forced to face them head on, and once you face them, you can’t help but take steps to mitigate them.


Using the KPI tool, it appears that the key strategy is to produce a lot of content quickly. Yes, it’s supposed to be “High Quality” content, but that’s just a couple of words that are easily assumed by the people who have just created the content. By adding the CVs, you’re turning those words from just words to words which—if they are ignored or assumed—could torpedo everything you are trying to accomplish.


The most important component of any planning sessions is not the tools that are used, but the level of thinking, the mental rigor, and the logic that is applied.


Any plan begins with these questions:


  • 1. What am I trying to do?
  • 2. Why am I trying to do this?
  • 3. How am I going to do this?
  • 4. When and Where am I going to do it?

But it’s the question, “So what does this mean?” that is the most vital, because the continued application of knowledge is the key to any good plan.


If you have any Business Planning questions that need answering, contact Aaron at SLiM Digital here.

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