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“The strategy”, much like the term “quality” gets abused and should used very carefully. “The strategy” can be used unambiguously only when used with clear perspective.

What is "the strategy"?

What is “the strategy”?

Be careful to distinguish between the working definitions of “the strategy” compared with “a strategy” (or “the strategies”) and contrasted with “a strategic plan.” To a sharp-listening facilitator, sensitive to rhetorical precision, the examples offer discrete meanings. Many people sloppily use the terms as replacements for each other, or synonyms.

The organizational or divisional “strategy” is actually an initiative(s). Typically called either a program or a portfolio, the group of approved projects receiving investment funds helps to further define. The program “strategy” reflects the quantity and type of projects the portfolio contains. Project “strategies” capture tactics to complete and make the project successful. The team “strategy” reflects the tasks or operations required to complete the project implementation and on-going operation and improvement.

The meaning of the term strategy largely depends on the perspective it supports. To speak of “the strategy” without emphasizing its perspective tells only part of the story. Consider the organizational holarchy for more insight about the operational differences and how to facilitate alignment.

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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