Eliminating the Strategy Execution Gap with Business Process Management

Registration is free. Login or register to view/download this content.


Managing Director, Ephesus Consulting
David Hamme is the Managing Director of Ephesus Consulting, a boutique consulting firm based out of Charlotte, North Carolina that focuses on driving game-changing initiatives for its clients. David is the creator of a pioneering approach to innovation, which is presented in his book Customer Focused Process Innovation (McGraw Hill). For its contributions to the field of Operational Excellence, Customer Focused Process Innovation received the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. Prior to founding Ephesus, David worked stints as a management consultant for Ernst & Young and The North Highland Company. His consulting work spans numerous areas including Strategic Planning, Process Improvement, Change Management, and Enterprise Wide Cost Reduction. Over an 20 year career, David has completed projects for over 40 clients including such recognizable names such as GE Capital, Kellogg’s, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Family Dollar, Delhaize USA, Fifth Third Bank, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Time Warner, Sonic Automotive, and Duke Energy. In addition to his consulting career, David served as an executive in Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Installation Business Unit. As a leader of this $3B business, David oversaw the strategic planning, marketing, product management, pricing, new product development and sales functions. David received his M.B.A in Finance from Indiana University and his B.S. in Industrial Management and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. At Indiana University, David taught undergraduate students for the Decision & Information Sciences Department. He currently offers training programs to clients including Strategic Planning, Lean & Process Management, Facilitated Sessions, Business Development, and Enterprise Cost Reduction.

In today’s corporate circles, strategic planning and its execution are commonly identified as two separate endeavors – one is built in the boardroom, the other completed at the ground floor of the business. Leaders routinely express frustration about what is termed the strategic execution gap – how the strategy they created is rarely executed smoothly or as it was intended. At the ground level where the strategy is to be deployed, employees complain that the strategy is so vague as to be unactionable or else it is altogether misdirected. The result of such failures is strategic stagnation and lost opportunities to gain market share. While a host of theories have been proposed as to how to minimize the strategy execution gap, I believe the best approach is to eliminate it all together – to make strategic planning and execution a concretely connected endeavor using a Business Process Management toolset.

Every organization is comprised of a network of processes that operate in tandem to deliver saleable outputs. This process system is the actualization of the organization’s strategy – the unique way it attempts to deliver value for a customer while simultaneously generating financial returns for the organization. But rarely is the system optimized and functioning as intended. Significant parts of the organization may well be underperforming and in the worst cases – destroying value on a daily basis. Taming this turmoil and aligning it to the organization’s strategic plan is perhaps the greatest opportunity for the strategically impaired organization.

Historically, Business Process Management (BPM) aims to improve the functioning of an existing area of an enterprise by reducing costs, improving quality, expanding throughput or through the achievement of another operational goal. At its base level, every strategic undertaking can be decomposed into a collection of process adjustments. Any product or service can be fundamentally altered through the utilization of new inputs or by adjusting its manufacturing process. Additionally, the customer experience can be improved by developing new delivery options or by launching new shopping channels. Any one of these improvements can be defined as a set of process improvement activities. By completing these adjustments, the capabilities to execute the strategy are developed.

As an example, a large retailer wanted to launch a new banner to serve an upscale customer group. This strategy was defined by the process adjustments to bring the new banner to fruition. The decomposition was similar to the breakdown below. 

  • Strategic Planning – analyze customers and competitors and develop superior value proposition
  • Store Development – produce blueprints with store layout supporting new concept
  • Marketing – build brand, brand strategy, visual elements, and core messages
  • IT – develop website to promote concept
  • Merchandising – identify and purchase products to fill store
  • Supply Chain – analyze and develop inventory plan including distribution routes for new stores

A major benefit of using this approach is the ability to define strategic initiatives with an increased level of clarity and precision. As the strategy is created, the specific processes impacted by the initiative are identified – as well as the intended outputs of these processes. On occasion, a process might not exist to produce the desired outcome. This situation is remedied by noting the process to be created as well as the intended outputs of the new process. In this way, all the requisite processes to be adjusted to execute the strategy can be identified. As a consequence of this description of a strategy, we also simultaneously identify the departments or specific individuals to be engaged in an initiative’s execution.

A second equally beneficial outcome is a forging of a link between the strategic intent and its execution. Assuming the strategy is set correctly, its success is predicated on fundamentally altering how employees perform work – that is the processes they execute on a daily basis. For once, strategy and execution are intertwined, as they should be.

Injecting BPM into the strategic planning arena in any organization requires some prework. Strategists still focus on the customer wants and needs as well as the competition’s actions, but now they frame strategic initiatives in process adjustment terms and this requires basic process management skills. This includes both an understanding of the process structure and its capabilities to produce specific products and services. This information is the background to plot strategic moves as process adjustments and reap the aforementioned benefits.

Many leadership teams are not prepared to operate at a process level today. But the potential benefits of doing so are immense. Once this approach is deployed, the organization gains power steering – the ability to strategically direct the organization with a precision and flexibility previously unknown. In a highly competitive world, such strategic nimbleness is often the determining factor as to which company gains market share and which loses.

Similar Resources

Featured Certificate: BPM Specialist

Everyone starts here.

You're looking for a way to improve your process improvement skills, but you're not sure where to start.

Earning your Business Process Management Specialist (BPMS) Certificate will give you the competitive advantage you need in today's world. Our courses help you deliver faster and makes projects easier.

Your skills will include building hierarchical process models, using tools to analyze and assess process performance, defining critical process metrics, using best practice principles to redesign processes, developing process improvement project plans, building a center of excellence, and establishing process governance.

The BPMS Certificate is the perfect way to show employers that you are serious about business process management. With in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management, you'll be able to take your business career to the next level.

Learn more about the BPM Specialist Certificate





  • Business Process Management Specialist
  • Earning your Business Process Management Specialist (BPMS) Certificate will provide you with a distinct competitive advantage in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. With in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management, you’ll be able to take your business career to the next level.
  • BPM Professional Certificate
    Business Process Management Professional
  • Earning your Business Process Management Professional (BPMP) Certificate will elevate your expertise and professional standing in the field of business process management. Our BPMP Certificate is a tangible symbol of your achievement, demonstrating your in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management.


BPM Certification

  • Make the most of your hard-earned skills. Earn the respect of your peers and superiors with Business Process Management Certification from the industry's top BPM educational organization.




  • Operational Excellence Specialist
  • Earning your Operational Excellence Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in driving organizational excellence and achieving sustainable improvements in performance.


OpEx Professional Certificate

  • Operational Excellence Professional
  • Earn your Operational Excellence Professional Certificate and gain a competitive edge in driving organizational excellence and achieving sustainable improvements in performance.



  • Agile BPM Specialist
  • Earn your Agile BPM Specialist Certificate and gain a competitive edge in driving business process management (BPM) with agile methodologies. You’ll gain a strong understanding of how to apply agile principles and concepts to business process management initiatives.  

Business Architecture



  • Business Architecture Specialist
  • The Business Architecture Specialist (BAIS) Certificate is proof that you’ve begun your business architecture journey by committing to the industry’s most meaningful and credible business architecture training program.

  • Business Architecture Professional
  • When you earn your Business Architecture Professional (BAIP) Certificate, you will be able to design and implement a governance structure for your organization, develop and optimize business processes, and manage business information effectively.

BA CertificationCertification

  • Make the most of your hard-earned skills. Earn the respect of your peers and superiors with Business Architecture Certification from the industry's top BPM educational organization.




  • Digital Transformation Specialist
  • Earning your Digital Transformation Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. 


  • Digital Transformation Professional
  • The Digital Transformation Professional Certificate is the first program in the industry to cover all the key pillars of Digital Transformation holistically with practical recommendations and exercises.



  • Agile Business Analysis Specialist
  • Earning your Agile Business Analysis Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in the world of agile software development.


  • DAS Certificate
  • Decision Automation Specialist
  • Earning your Decision Automation Certificate will empower you to excel in the dynamic field of automated decision-making, where data-driven insights are pivotal to driving business innovation and efficiency.