Strategy v Plans

Strategy can be simplified into two key components WHAT and HOW. By ensuring accurate measures, you can effectively measure your project’s progress towards its ultimate goal.


Consider aiming to participate in the triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in 2006. If this is your strategic focus, everything else takes a backseat. Your entire focus shifts to swim, run, bike – and all that supports your performance in these areas.

The main performance indicator here is the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games. To achieve this, you need to strategically improve your swimming, cycling, and running performances. This encapsulates the essence of strategy.


Example KPI:

KPI: Qualifying Time for the Commonwealth Games

Example OKRs:

Objective 1: Improve Swimming Performance

Key Result 1: Achieve a 100-meter swim time of under 1 minute.
Key Result 2: Decrease 400-meter swim time by 10 seconds.
Key Result 3: Increase endurance to swim continuously for 1,000 meters without a break.

Objective 2: Enhance Cycling Ability

Key Result 1: Maintain an average wattage of 300 watts during cycling training sessions.
Key Result 2: Complete a 40-kilometer cycling time trial in under 1 hour.
Key Result 3: Improve hill climbing capability by decreasing the time taken to ascend a 5-kilometer hill by 20%.

Objective 3: Boost Running Speed and Endurance

Key Result 1: Achieve a 5-kilometer run time of under 20 minutes.
Key Result 2: Complete a 10-kilometer run with negative splits (each subsequent 5 kilometers faster than the previous) in under 45 minutes.
Key Result 3: Increase weekly mileage by 10% each month to build endurance.

These KPIs and OKRs provide clear, measurable targets for each aspect of training required to qualify for the Commonwealth Games triathlon, ensuring focused efforts and progress tracking towards the overarching goal.


However, the implementation phase delves deeper into the details. This is where you break down all the subcomponents of your strategy: power, strength, flexibility, technique. You then identify metrics for each and determine how to enhance your abilities in swimming, cycling, and running. While the primary focus may be meeting the qualifying criteria, you’ll also need to track various subcriteria such as swim times, bike wattage, and run distances to gauge progress effectively.


Beneath the strategic and implementation layers lie the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks: your training regimen, dietary habits, sleep patterns, hydration levels, and training schedules. Structuring your 20 hours of weekly training into manageable blocks allows for improvement without risking burnout, especially when balancing other commitments like work and family.


In the business realm, complexity often reigns supreme. Unlike focusing solely on a single goal, businesses typically juggle multiple objectives. Yet, it’s essential to remember: you can excel at a few things or spread yourself too thin across many. While athletes commit wholeheartedly to one primary objective, businesses may need to prioritize five critical areas for sustained success.

This highlights the crucial difference between athletic pursuits and business endeavors. While a triathlete must master three sports, businesses must excel in various aspects like product quality, customer service, and operational efficiency. The key lies in identifying what matters most to your specific business and allocating resources accordingly. Just as a triathlete differs from a decathlete, each business has its unique strengths and focuses.

Tim HJ Rogers
Consult | CoCreate | Deliver

I support people and teams to grow, perform and succeed unlocking potential as a partner Consultant, Coach, Project and Change Manager. Together we can deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people we work with.

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