Tactics are actions that are taken to improve the Current Condition by addressing issues which may be problems, opportunities, or both. These issues can range from issues in the strategic plan, incorrect assessments about the Environment, and other Current Issues that may have arisen. In this section we are going to go over the 5 Tactical options and how they can be applied.
There are five basic Tactical options which can be utilized in the Luffy Framework. I call these C.L.E.A.R Tactics. They can be applied to any factor or dimension within the strategic plan.
Change: To change or replace a factor.
Example: If Becky was considered to possess a capability that she turned out not to have, then we could replace Becky with someone else that did have this Capability. This would be a change in the human Resources.
Limit: To limit a factor.
Example: Susan realized that the project could not accomplish all of the Objectives it set out to do due to rapidly declining Resources. Therefore she decided to limit the Objectives so as to make them achievable given the available Resources.
Enhance: To enhance a factor.
Example: Bob realized that the lower than expected productivity was a result of the older software that the employees were working with. He decided to enhance the computer Resource by having new software installed.
Add: To add a new factor.
Example: Brad’s team is not meeting their sales targets therefore he is going to hire a new salesperson. This would add a human Resource.
Reduce: To remove a factor.
Example: The recession is sharply reducing sales at Lisa’s firm and she is losing money rapidly. She decides to eliminate three positions to save money. This would be to remove human Resouces.
Using this C.L.E.A.R approach managers can make adjustments as necessary to improve the Current Situation. For example with Jack and Jill, we have less than expected sales and profits. We believe that this is being caused by the Current Issue of rain. If we were to come up with some C.L.E.A.R Tactics we might come up with these.
Change: We could change the Course of Action and have the lemonade stand at Jill’s house instead of Jacks.
Limit: We could limit our Objective to an amount less than $50 in profit.
Enhance: We could enhance our lemonade by making it with better quality ingredients in the hopes of drawing in more customers.
Add: We could add Resources such as a large umbrella or canopy so that people can remain dry while drinking the lemonade.
Reduce: We could remove Jill to ensure a higher individual profit for Jack.
Now each of these actions is going to require adjustments to the strategic plan. Objectives, Course of Action, Activities, Capabilities, and Resources may all change based on Tactics. In addition changes to the strategic plan also lead to changes in the organizational Environment. For example moving the lemonade stand to Jill’s house would result in operations in a different Environment which would have to be analyzed.
Let’s see how the C.L.E.A.R approach works with each of the examples from the previous section. These examples will focus on Tactics that are developed to address Current Issues only.
Example 1 OBJ: Bill will start and operate a wine bar in Toledo, Ohio. He will specialize in providing the largest selection of California varieties, which are underrepresented in the area. He will make at least $80,000 a year in profit from his wine bar.
Course of Action A: Bill will start and manage an independent wine bar under a brand he develops.
1. Develop relationships with suppliers
2. Scout out potential locations for the wine bar
3. Build a social media presence through website development and other platforms
Current Condition: Bill has developed relationships with 4 suppliers. He has found a couple locations for the wine bar. He has been unable to find a company to develop a social media presence as of yet.
Current Issues: A wine expert will be visiting the area soon.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could add the activity of meeting and collaborating with the wine expert.
Example 2 OBJ: Kevin will build a decorative two story shed in the backyard of his house. It will have at least 100 square feet of space upstairs for storage which will reduce the clutter in the house.
Course of Action B: Kevin will hire the services of a carpenter to work on the shed.
1. Seek out carpenters that are able to do the work.
2. Make decisions as far as design and layout go.
3. Agree on a price with the carpenter.
Current Condition: Kevin has identified 3 carpenters that are able to do the work. He is still deciding on the design and layout of the new shed. The price has not been agreed to as of yet.
Current Issues: No Current Issues have been identified
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: As there are no problems or opportunities that we are aware of, there are no C.L.E.A.R Tactics that need to be taken.
Example 3 OBJ: Abigail will organize a fundraising dinner for the Doe family. The dinner will be prepared by a local restaurateur and there will be fun and games for everyone. The fundraiser will raise at least $10,000 for the Doe family.
Course of Action A: Abigail will gather a small group which will undertake all preparations.
1. Recruit members for the planning and prep group.
2. Delegate responsibilities to members of the planning and prep group.
3. Monitor performance and make adjustments as needed.
Current Condition: Abigail has recruited 4 people to undertake planning and preparation. She organized a meeting where responsibilities were delegated to the members. Abigail is meeting with all the members at a weekly get together to discuss performance.
Current Issues: Abigail has found out that her mother is ill. She may have to take some time away from the fundraising dinner to visit her.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could change the Objective and Course of Action so that someone else takes charge of the fundraising dinner while Abigail still helps out. We could also add a partner for Abigail, so as to split the responsibilities. We could remove Abigail all together from the fundraising dinner planning group. We could limit the objectives of the fundraising dinner to make it smaller so as to reduce the pressure on Abigail.
Example 4 OBJ: Susan will manage a project to improve productivity by at least 5% in the company. The project will focus on introducing soft improvements which require minimal resources to implement.
Course of Action A: The project will introduce new incentives to reward higher productivity.
1. Work with Human Resources and Executives to determine what Resources are available for this initiative.
2. Determine criteria for new incentives.
3. Develop implementation plans throughout the organization.
Current Condition: Susan has identified and received resources for incentives to be used in this project. Scott is developing criteria for the distribution of these new incentives. Susan has met with several organizational leaders to discuss implementation.
Current Issues: Susan has been informed that the project timeline will be reduced from 6 months to 4 months.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could limit the objectives of the project to make them more reasonable in light of the new deadline. We could add more resources to enable faster progress on the project. We could reduce the number of objectives by removing some of those that are less value added.
Example 5 OBJ: The average student test scores will improve by a total of 10%, from 76% to 86%, over the next three years.
Course of Action B: The course will be redesigned so that more time is spent on traditionally weak areas.
1. Examine the course and scout out weak points.
2. Do comparative analysis to determine how those weak points are addressed in more successful classes.
3. Redesign the course structure as needed based on Activities 1 and 2.
Current Condition: 2 weak points of the course have been identified so far. A forum has been set up to discuss best practices that have addressed these weak points in other schools. The class has not been redesigned yet.
Current Issues: A seminar on improving education in these types of classes has been announced in Boston.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could add the attendance of this seminar as an activity.
Example 6 OBJ: ACME will be the lowest cost provider of computer services in Dayton.
Course of Action B: ACME will focus on maintenance agreements and other long term relationships to keep prices low.
1. Determine which customers are candidates for the proposed maintenance agreement program.
2. Meet with customers and reach agreement with them.
3. Scale back and close out higher cost/lower margin customers.
Current Condition: ACME has identified 6 customers for it’s proposed maintenance agreement program. It has met with 4 of those customers and reached agreement with 1 of them. ACME has not scaled back it’s lower margin customers yet.
Current Issues: A new competitor recently opened up in Dayton, who specializes in low cost computer services.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could change our objectives to reflect the new competitor, who will most likely beat us on prices. We can add new activities and capabilities which make us more attractive to our target customers.
Example 7 OBJ: The Jaguars will win at least 8 games this year.
Course of Action B: The Jaguars will focus on improving their preseason training.
1. Discuss adjustments with school administration and teachers to ensure it does not disrupt other goals.
2. Increase the number of sessions in the summer from 2 per week to 3 per week.
3. Introduce new summer home training regimen for players.
Current Condition: School adminstration will not allow expanded preseason training as it interferes with summer classes and tutoring. The Jaguars are currently having two training sessions per week. A new summer home training regimen has been introduced to players.
Current Issues: The academic performance of the school has dropped considerably from last year. The quarterback and two other players are no longer academically eligible to play.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could limit our objective of winning at least 8 games by reducing it to 6 games. We could change our objective to minimizing the number of points given up in the season. We could enhance the new summer home training regimen so that it is more rigorous.
Example 8 OBJ: Scott will ensure that the team continues to produce 50 widgets per week and keep the quality scores above 95%.
Course of Action A: Scott will retain the previous methods and processes practiced by the team.
1. Have meetings with staff to ensure that management and culture align closely with that of the previous management.
2. Monitor performance to ensure production and quality remain consistent.
3. Make adjustments or changes as necessary to maintain previous production metrics.
Current Condition: Scott has met one on one with the staff as well as in a group environment to ensure he is managing according to the principles of the previous successful management team. Current production is 51 widgets per week and the current quality is 98%. No adjustments or changes are needed.
Current Issues: Two employees in the group will be retiring within the next year.
C.L.E.A.R Tactics: We could add new employees early in order to facilitate quicker on the job learning, while the veteran employees are still around.
Part of being a good manager is the ability to develop multiple Tactics and measure the various impacts of each. Creative thinking and intuition are vital to Tactic development. Since the Environment is constantly evolving and new Current Issues are always popping up, it is important to streamline Tactic development so that you can quickly address problems and opportunities. This is the essence of dynamic management.