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    Date submitted
  • 31-May-2016

Stratex Solutions

Abstract

As companies struggle with top line growth, and competition and cost challenges are around every corner, effective planning has become more important to allocate scarce resources in a way that delivers bottom line results. According to most studies, 50% - 90% of organizational strategic plans fail, primarily because employees and resources are not aligned with strategy.

Technology has disrupted how core business functions such as finance, accounting, marketing, and human resources are performed. For most organizations, strategic planning is conducted exactly the same way it was twenty years ago. Leaders gather into a room, generate vision and mission statements and core values that frequently don’t resonate with their workforce. They may have a consultant who facilitates the meeting and then produces a pretty binder that sits on the shelf until it is time to do the next plan. Organizations who have tried to evolve their processes depend on spreadsheets and shared drives. It is time to disrupt these outdated approaches.

Stratex solves the problem of planning efforts that fail to deliver constructive change. Most plans fail in the execution, not the strategy stage. Typically, less than 15% of employees can name one single strategic initiative their company is focused on.

Stratex Solutions provides technology-based solutions to poor organizational performance assessment and strategic planning efforts. It provides needed disruption to the last of the critical business functions to be transformed by technology. The software transforms outdated and ineffective approaches by providing a framework for organizations to execute their plans, driving collaboration across the organization and supporting transparency and streamlined organizational leadership review processes. Rather than a stale plan in a binder, Stratex systems engage the organization in the development, execution, and maintenance of a sustainable plan.

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

The Stratex products, which include the strategic planning software, consulting, and education are generally attractive to organizations with more than 100 employees. It serves the needs of all sectors. The software is disruptive, in that most of these organizations are not aware there are ways to conduct strategic planning that don't drain the organizational resources with exercises resulting in strategic plans that die a slow dusty death in a binder on a shelf. The software has changed the world for the organizations who have adopted it.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

To fix outdated, inefficient, and ineffective strategic planning processes through the strength of technology based solutions. Strategic planning is a difficult, complex task. That frequently means that strategic plans are developed and then never have an execution plan created that drives the development of a deployment, measurement, or governance plan. Our clients come to us frustrated by inefficient with ineffective planning processes. Organizations underestimate the resources required to execute the plan, and leadership review and governance is haphazard. The result is that the plan does not evolve with changing business needs. It isn’t actively managed and quickly becomes irrelevant in the press of day to day business. The system builds planning competency using the technology and provides the tools the organization needs to keep their plan execution on track. Stratex is cloud based, which means anyone working on the plan can access it and provide updates as work progresses. Leaders are more effective in removing barriers from progress and governance of the outcomes as they have immediate access to the status of project outcomes and measurement results. The software is disruptive. Most organizations don’t realize they have options beyond the typical process of using Excel spreadsheets and shared drives to store their documentation. Stratex is effective for all sectors. The current customer list includes representation from K-12, Higher Education, Healthcare (hospital), Healthcare (regulatory oversight), city government (KCMO) and non-profit. The effectiveness of the software is further enhanced through education and consulting support. To develop relevant strategic plans based on the organization’s most critical needs, aligning the development and execution of plans that matter to customers, stakeholders, and employees. The challenge is far beyond providing a tool to address the “how” of executing a plan. We learned early in our company development that solving the problem of how to execute a plan was only a part of the challenge. Once we resolved that problem we learned that organizations still didn’t know what to put in the plan. We learned that consulting support is a prerequisite for a successful engagement. The level of support varies drastically depending on the sophistication of the organization, but every one of our customers’ needs some level of ongoing support due to the complexity and ever-changing business dynamics every organization faces.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The Stratex Software changes the lives of the organizations using it. It takes strategic planning, which is difficult and complex, frequently resulting in a complete waste of time for everyone involved and makes a bottom line impact. The software is cloud based, accessible from anywhere an internet connection is available. It is sold with unlimited seats, which encourages a high degree of collaboration within the organization, making it the tool of choice for managing initiatives. There are two significant differentiators for the Stratex software and framework. The first is that Stratex provides full planning life cycle functionality with a workflow that guides the user organization through the process of developing their long term plan with all of the associated elements documented in the system. The user then develops the annual short term strategic initiatives and identifies the resources needed to complete the plan. The system is used for ongoing management of the plan throughout the year, providing project management, communication, leadership governance, and organizational results. The system is designed to be highly collaborative, with licenses sold by organizational size and offering unlimited seats. This increases the engagement of the organization as the work is managed and reported within the system. The second differentiator is that both the framework and software are based on best practice approaches as identified in the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria, which is a top ten leadership model. Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria While there are other competitors in the strategic planning software space, no other planning software is based on the Baldrige criteria. Studies have proven the effectiveness of Baldrige in improving organizational results. The use of the criteria as the foundational support for the strategic planning framework provides a strong competitive advantage and a customer based that is already established. Use of the system is not limited to Baldrige organizations. For those unfamiliar with Baldrige, the system is simply a best practice approach.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The core team is in place with a fully developed set of offerings including software, consulting, and education. The Beta process has been completed and we are in the midst of preparing to scale. Most customers are using spreadsheets to develop and maintain their plans. The majority of strategic planning efforts are failing. Robust strategic planning requires robust tools, far beyond what is offered by spreadsheet and shared-drive based processes. The opportunity to increase skill in strategic planning and decrease the time needed to develop and maintain their plan is very attractive. Testimonials from current customers prove that their administrative time has been decreased by as much as 75% since the Stratex software provides so much time saving functionality. The Stratex tools address the “What” of the strategic plan content as well as the “How” of execution. Importantly, the Stratex connection with Baldridge provides a built in, highly engaged audience that is giving us a foothold in a variety of industries focused on Baldrige, notably healthcare. For Baldrige users, there is no other strategic planning system based on the Baldrige criteria. The framework was written by a Baldrige subject matter expert (co-founder) and designed to ensure every Baldrige criteria element related to the strategic planning process is addressed.