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The 3 Critical Links between the 4 Organizational Capabilities

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

The organizational capabilities implemented throughout the strategic planning, planning, budgeting, and delivery excellence generates data-driven insights that fuel actionable learning and improved performance. Every quarter is an opportunity for teams to course-correct to ensure they drive towards meaningful progress that resonates with their mission statement. This quarterly cadence allows teams to develop their resilience and adaptability to anticipate issues before they arise and respond promptly when any disruption occurs.

Four Organizational Capabilities

Let's dive deeper into all organizations' capabilities just to run the business. All businesses are good or great at on some or all of these capabilities. After this short recap, we'll talk about how they are connected and why that's important.

Strategic Planning

To effectively maintain leadership alignment and focus on strategic business outcomes, it is vital to articulate the organization's overarching objectives at the beginning of each quarter. This process should involve setting measurable tactical Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligned with the organization's mission and vision.

Identify the organization's objectives and break teams into smaller groups to create deliverables and timelines for each goal. Articulated objectives will help ensure that all relevant stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities within the project. Finally, it is essential to review the progress of each objective Quarterly and adjust plans accordingly to ensure that the organization remains aligned with its strategic outcomes.

By setting measurable objectives, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, and continuously monitoring performance, organizations can maintain a laser focus on their strategic business goals while keeping leadership informed. This disciplined approach will help teams remain focused on the bigger picture, allowing them to be more adaptive while driving maximum value from their efforts.

Planning & Budgeting

An incremental roadmap and budget can deliver tremendous value toward business growth strategies. The process begins with identifying measurable OKRs and KPIs aligned with the organization's mission and vision, outlined during the strategic planning process. As teams create deliverables and timelines for each objective, they can begin to develop an incremental roadmap and budget that reflects the trajectory of both their short-term and long-term goals. These deliverables can also feed into budgeting initiatives, allocating resources to deliver maximum value from marketing campaigns, customer acquisition efforts, product development, etc.

By establishing an incremental roadmap and budget for each quarter, organizations maintain focus on their strategic objectives while ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are aware of their roles and responsibilities within the project. This disciplined approach to planning and budgeting will also help foster an environment of agility and adaptability, enabling teams to anticipate issues before they arise and respond promptly when any disruption does occur.

Ultimately, this strategy can help organizations quickly identify opportunities for improvement and take action to generate measurable value from their efforts. By implementing an incremental roadmap and budget, teams can develop a disciplined approach that guides them toward success as they strive to reach their strategic goals.

Delivery Excellence

To ensure that the organization's objectives are met on time and within budget, it is essential to prioritize delivery excellence. Delivery excellence involves:

  • Developing a culture of collaboration and accountability between teams and departments

  • Utilizing the most efficient processes for communication and coordination

  • Leveraging technology to accelerate the rate of execution

By consistently cultivating an environment of excellence in delivery, organizations can ensure that they can quickly respond when disruption occurs while also driving maximum value from their efforts. Teams should define clear performance indicators and metrics to track progress, such as delivery timeliness and cost savings, to measure the overall effectiveness of their operations. Finally, it is crucial for teams to continuously reassess their processes and make proactive adjustments when necessary to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Taking the time to prioritize delivery excellence will ensure that teams can deliver maximum value from their efforts and foster a culture of responsiveness and adaptability, enabling them to adjust quickly as necessary while staying true to their strategic objectives.

Data-Driven Learning

Use Quarterly tactical OKRs and KPIs to evaluate performance and progress on actual outcomes by quantitatively measuring progress against the organization's strategic objectives. By tracking individual teams' performance, organizations can identify areas for improvement that may be impacting overall performance. Additionally, leadership can use these metrics to compare the results achieved by different teams to identify areas of success and failure.

Organizations can also use data-driven learning to inform their tactical OKRs and KPIs. By analyzing historical performance data, organizations can determine what types of goals will be most effective in achieving desired outcomes. This analysis allows them to adjust their objectives accordingly, ensuring they focus their efforts on the most impactful activities.

Finally, organizations should use feedback from team members and stakeholders to refine their tactical OKRs and KPIs for each quarter. Assessing OKRs and KPIs for improvement helps ensure they set appropriate expectations, create achievable goals, and accurately measure results. By following these steps, organizations can optimize their performance evaluation process using quantitative metrics to track progress and data-driven learning to refine their objectives. This data enables them to adjust their approach according to the changing needs of their business.

Why Use OKRs as Part of the QBR

OKRs are fundamental QBR components that many organizations can use. The leadership team creates and commits to shared OKRs aligned with the strategic company goals for the upcoming quarter. These Quarterly tactical OKRs are derived from the annual strategic OKRs and should be measurable, time-bound, and challenging. The results are visible to everyone in the company, and it helps with transparency and accountability.

The cornerstone of successful adaptive enterprises is the ability to measure progress against business goals instead of tracking the status of projects that you hope are successful. The QBR is a progress, decision, and action meeting between management and their teams to review objectives, results, strategy, and budget for the upcoming quarter. This data-driven quarterly process allows business leaders and employees to come together and discuss performance and new opportunities, risks, challenges, and opportunities that may arise in the upcoming quarter.

Through OKRs, organizations can make data-driven decisions, course correct, and ensure alignment between objectives and results. This quarterly cadence creates a culture of continuous improvement and empowerment for the organization by keeping teams focused on the long-term vision and short-term goals. It also allows members to reflect on their performance, identify areas of improvement, and plan for the future.

Leveraging OKRs and QBRs in an adaptive enterprise can help teams become more responsive and efficient. It's a powerful tool that allows organizations to stay ahead of their competition and better manage change. By implementing this quarterly operating cycle into their business strategy, organizations will be able to remain competitive and responsive to the ever-evolving business landscape.

Course-Correcting to Drive Meaningful Progress

To be a genuinely adaptive enterprise, an organization must embrace an ever-evolving 4-pronged approach anchored in strategic planning, planning and budgeting, delivery excellence, and data-driven learning.

Each of these organizational capabilities is essential for ensuring the company has the agility to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Strategic planning lays the groundwork that drives success beyond the horizon, while planning and budgeting enable them to manage resources responsibly. Delivering excellence gives teams the skills they need to achieve their objectives while allowing them to learn from their experiences thanks to data-driven insights. These four capabilities, combined, are a potent recipe for adaptability that keeps companies ahead of the competition.

The 3 Critical Links

Most companies are good at some or all of these capabilities individually but must improve at the critical touchpoints between them.

  • Link 1: Strategy informs planning and budgeting.

  • Link 2: Planning and budgeting support stable delivery.

  • Link 3: Delivery enables data-driven learning.

Link 1: Strategy Informs Planning and Budgeting

Organizational strategy is the foundation for all project planning and budgeting. It is essential that any strategic decision made by executives or management be based on data, as it will inform how the organization will allocate its resources. Therefore, it is essential to understand how best to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.

Building an expectation of measurement helps your teams understand the importance of these measures. You may find that applications need to be built to provide the data needed to measure success. This is okay and expected in some cases. The tactical OKR measures will help identify and prioritize non-functional requirements to "instrument the code" to measure business outcomes.

Link 2: Planning and Budgeting Supports Stable Delivery

After the organization has determined how to use its resources best, it must implement strategies promptly. That's when planning and budgeting become vital for setting objectives, timelines, and resource allocations. A thorough understanding of available resources, including budgets and deadlines, helps achieve delivery excellence. Once the budgets and resources exist, teams can create roadmaps to meet all targets within the designated time limit.

Planning and budgeting place business guardrails to delivery teams that derisk and encourage a focus on "work NOT done.” Aligning the expectations and constraints enables a business conversation on based on capacity and demand.

Link 3: Delivery Enables Data-Driven Learning

Data-driven learning allows organizations to accurately assess and measure their performance to ensure that all decisions match facts. The Quarterly Tactical OKRs help them identify areas of improvement, adjust strategies, and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the organization's success depends on its ability to leverage the data and insights gathered through delivery excellence and use it to inform strategic planning. By collecting data, analyzing it, and translating it into an actionable strategy, organizations can more effectively plan for the future and continuously learn from past experiences.


A quarterly operating cycle helps organizations become responsive and ensures they have the resources to respond to new opportunities as they present themselves.

An adaptive enterprise not only helps organizations stay competitive but also provides them with numerous benefits. By connecting their strategy, planning & budgeting, delivery excellence, and data-driven learning capabilities at critical touchpoints, companies can:

  • Gain clear insights into their performance and progress towards goals

  • Make more informed decisions based on reliable data

  • Respond quickly to changes in the market or customer demands

  • Increase efficiency by leveraging teams

In my next posts, I'll continue on this thread with the following topics, be sure to follow us at Scaled OKRs to get notified of these posts:

  1. ✅The 3 Critical Links between the 4 Organizational Capabilities

  2. The Steel Chain of the Adaptive Enterprise that builds in resilience and adaptability

  3. Anticipating Issues with Data-Driven Insights

  4. Adaptive Leadership

Contact us below if you'd like to align and drive your adaptive enterprise.

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