As part of my business administration degree, I did a project at an engineering firm, giving strategic advice to make the annual plan more feasible.
In the previous year the engineering firm, helped by a professional consultant, had produced a policy plan containing the mission, vision, strategies and objectives. Their own teams had translated that policy plan into strategic annual plans for their own departments, but implementation proved difficult and the underlying reason was unclear.
“If nothing changed, the organization’s goals would be jeopardized.”
It was a serious problem: if we didn’t change course, the annual plan could not be fully implemented, and their business-plan goals would be jeopardized. This company wanted to become a frontrunner in circularity and climate-adaptive services, so they needed to get the annual plans on track.
I investigated why the actions were not being carried out, helping the organization to change where required. I identified four bottlenecks:
- People did not see what the strategies and goals were contributing to.
- There was no project-based approach nor structural evaluation and adjustment;
- Responsibilities were not clearly assigned;
- Nobody had an overview of the whole strategic plan and there was an urgent need for simple and practical documentation.
“After some research, I decided that OGSM could be a suitable approach to solving these problems.”
During my studies, I had already learned about different methodologies that help with organizational issues. I compared a number of methods, and found OGSM to be a good candidate to help address the annual plans at the engineering firm.
Not only did OGSM offer solutions to the problems, but it was also closely aligned to the company culture. The engineering firm preferred simple, practical methods, that could be implemented and integrated in the workflow immediately. I found that my teachers were enthusiastic about OGSM methodology too. So I picked it up and decided to try it.
“OGSM is simple and above all a practical method. You quickly obtain a clear overview and insights that you can apply immediately.”
The engineering firm had goals and strategies at different organizational levels described across many documents. This was overly complex, so I simplified goals and strategies following OGSM format, which instantly created a clear overview. We made the goals SMART, chose owners for each strategy, and streamlined actions. We applied OGSM to the policy plan and the engineering firm adopted the method to draw up, implement and evaluate their annual plans. My first client was completely satisfied with my advice and support.”
“The engineering firm adopted OGSM to draw up, implement and evaluate their annual plans.”
When you have a graduation project dealing with the complexities of mission, vision, strategy, objectives and projects, I’d recommend using OGSM. It is both clear and manageable. The format forces you to think logically and formulate goals and strategies in an actionable way. OGSM is very easy to understand. Guiding the people for whom it was all new was not difficult. They quickly saw the benefits of OGSM, both to themselves to the successful implementation of company objectives.
The method is at its best when you work closely together with the employees of the organization. It takes a little time to thoroughly understand OGSM, its application and effective use over the longer term. During our own training we became acquainted with a software tool designed for OGSM, which was an invaluable addition to the project. I recommend that you only use OGSM if the organization is also willing to invest in mastering this method.