Business Agile Strategy Execution Defined

Treat Your Business Strategy Like A Living Entity

by | Aug 1, 2014 | Article | 1 comment

Business Strategy
When it comes to the execution on the strategy you’ve laid out for your business, the old methods are sorely lacking in many ways. Much like the waterfall method of project management brought about the advent of agile project management, it’s time for a paradigm shift for business strategy execution, and it just so happens that “agile” is the new keyword here too.

First, let’s define the “Waterfall” and “Agile” models of project management. Now, I would love to entertain any discussion on the full and true deep meaning of either of the terms Waterfall or Agile as applied to project management, but for now I’m going to try to keep it very simple.


The waterfall model is historically a sequential design process dating back fifty years. Originating in the manufacturing and construction industry during a time when highly structured environments were not particularly forgiving of change requests, the waterfall model was the most logical choice. It received its name from the simple downward flow of the project life cycle: Conception > Initiation > Analysis > Design > Construction > Testing > Production > Implementation > Maintenance.
Waterfall Model of Project Management


When the concept of software development was born, there were no other feasible project models to adopt except the long-standing waterfall method. When applied to the dynamic software development process, the waterfall method was immediately revealed as too rigid and non-receptive to change. It would also be discovered as we approached the 20th century that the waterfall method did not lend itself well to collaboration.
Agile Model of Project Management

The Agile project life cycle is an adaptive cycle that is incremental and iterative. This means that it looks to release for use usable product or service more frequently and on a regular basis. You see it every day now in your cell phone, desktop, laptop, or just about anything that has software. As you’ve surely witnessed on your handheld device, a new version of software is available for download regularly which fixes this bug or adds that feature. Over time, you could very easily see an entirely new software product on your handheld device that is truly generations above where it was when you first bought that device.

Direct Comparison Of The Models

I want to make sure there is a stark contrast for these two methods as to their life cycles, so my example will be very simple.

Waterfall Project Life Cycle:  Suited for medium to large projects that can (and should be) clearly defined before production starts, and the end results are not likely to change significantly, e.g. a complete network migration of your business servers to new hardware. There are finite requirements for Time, Energy, and Money.

Agile Project Life Cycle:  Suited for medium to small projects and projects that cannot be completely defined before getting started, e.g. your dynamic business strategy for getting to the next level. There are many aspects of your business that need to be defined and built or continuously refined to remain competitive and relevant in your industry. There are unknown requirements for and availability of Time, Energy, and Money.

It should be made clear that I do not intend to propose that the project of getting your business to the next level is a small project, because it certainly is not. However, it can best be managed as a medium to short-term project using Agile methods because it is a very long-term project with dynamic resource availability. As one of my clients always says, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” And in small businesses, we don’t always have the Time, Energy, or Money to do as we wish at the speed we desire. So we break the work down into logical right-size pieces, and group them together into bundles we can handle and reasonably expect to get accomplished given the current resources. This way, we make incremental progress and create small successes to which we build upon. Rinse and repeat.

A final note on the comparisons I used - I must also say that if you need to do a network migration and you want to do it with zero downtime, you certainly could accomplish it using agile methods provided you have the resources. Shameless plug for The Network Migration Workbook inserted here.

Why Agile?

Agile project management is referred to as an iterative and incremental method of creating products and services where the design and build activities are highly flexible and interactive. Project requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration of everyone relevant to the ultimate end product or service and goals. It is an adaptive and evolutionary development that relies heavily on continuous incremental improvement and provides the lowest possible time to release of usable solutions.

Until now, agile has been most commonly associated with the software industry. It is now being leveraged effectively for non-software products, services, and project management. The agile methods have strong links to lean techniques, Kanban, and Six Sigma, all of which represent high efficiency and granular measurable progress.

For your business, you should always have a clearly defined roadmap and strategy for success. Whether you’ve performed your own internal analysis or consulted with an outside resource, you have a list of things to implement, upgrade, replace, or fix in each of the many functions of your business. These can be simple or significant but they are all important, and you need to not lose track of them.


Finance – We need critical billing processes documented so that the accountant can go on vacation without having payroll and project billing come to a halt.
Sales – We need to redesign the sales incentive program because we’ve been introduced to a new method we believe will make all the difference.
Finance – We need to build a budget plan that we can actually stick with for the long term and that actually makes sense and works.
Service Delivery -We need a proper, well-defined New Client Onboarding process.
Add the other 1,000 items here.

The Innovation

My innovation to the practice of business strategy advancement is to use the agile model for cultivating and executing on that business strategy. I call it Business Agile Strategy Execution™. To implement, you take your business analysis and break it out into simply-defined goals for each of 10 key aspects of your business, as in the example above.

Key Business Aspects
Communications & Collaboration
Finance and Accounting
Human Resources
Organization Infrastructure
Procurement & Logistics
Production Operations
Research & Development
Service Delivery

Now set priorities, timelines, deadlines, and resource requirements for each goal. Be sure that you are not crowding for time because you feel you need to. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you don’t want to over pressure yourself with over optimism of your ability to deliver. If something is a high priority and is time critical, then by all means set it accordingly.

Next, write out what I call the ten steps to success in checklist format for each goal. It may be less than ten steps or it may be more, but the idea is to have the goal broken down into bite-size pieces and in a checklist you can tick off. Now, if necessary and possible, set priorities, timelines, deadlines, and resource requirements for each of these new checklist items.

The only thing left from here is to group together the checklist items into logical bundles that are related or symbiotic and can be managed in a reasonable amount of time with a measurable result. That is to say, you need to create what’s called the next iteration of this “thing” you’re working on. I’ll give an example and we’ll even treat the iterations as software-like release levels. Everything we build will start with version 1.0 to keep it standard and simple.

Let’s say your focus is on the Service Delivery aspect of your business, and the New Client Onboarding process in particular. For the Service Delivery aspect of your business, if you can build out the complete process, you will be taking your Service Delivery from version 1.0 to Service Delivery version 1.1. To do this, you need to complete the checklist tasks in the bundle you put together by the reasonable deadline you’ve set of the upcoming business quarter. When you complete the New Client Onboarding package, you will have successfully brought your Service Delivery from version 1.0 to version 1.1.


Now, look at all the other goals on your list and treat them as individual increments in the version releases for each of the aspects of your business. You can work on them in parallel as time and resources allow, and each will advance in its own way, continuously and incrementally to the next level. This is applying the Agile project process to business strategy and executing on it for the long-term, best interest of the company.

Remember that we’re trying to attain smaller, short bursts of progress on the monthly or quarterly level, not a giant big catharsis-type birthing of a jump. For most small and medium businesses, this large jump isn’t usually realistic or practical. Now we’ve built a system that lends itself to continuous incremental progress in getting each of the defined aspects of our business to the next level following a well-managed and measurable process.

Notice that because we have small iterations planned for short term successes, we can make additions to the checklists, add goals, add issues, change specifics, change priorities, and change deadlines or timelines, all without toppling the dominoes. And by doing so, we can be much more dynamic in how we execute on our business strategy. We have Business Agile Strategy Execution™!

I sincerely hope you find this useful and inspirational, and if you have any questions or would like more details on any part of this article, please feel free to reach out to me via email or social media. I am very passionate about this process, and I’d love to help you and your business get to the next level.

About Manuel Palachuk

I am the coach that will take you to the gym! Not just send you there.

I provide coaching and consulting to individuals, teams, or organizations with only one goal in mind: to take you and your business to the next level. And I have the blueprint to do it!

1 Comment

  1. Robert Flooring

    Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and in depth information you
    present. It’s awesome to come across a blog
    every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Wonderful read!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to
    my Google account.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="27260250"]

Subscribe To My Newsletter & Blog Update


What my clients are saying…

Rayanne Buchianico, Owner, ABC Solutions, LLC

Rayanne Buchianico

“Manuel is so much more than a coach. If you own or manage an MSP, you need to talk with him. His extensive experience and unique system takes your business and draws a picture. The picture starts with what your business looks like today, and… Read more “Rayanne Buchianico, Owner, ABC Solutions, LLC”

Rayanne Buchianico, Owner
ABC Solutions, LLC

Philipp Baumann, President, BoomTech, Inc.

Philipp Baumann

“When I engaged with Manuel, my business was at a very bad point. We were not providing good service to our customers. Every tech did things differently, and we had a cowboy lead technician that was causing more harm than good and a system that… Read more “Philipp Baumann, President, BoomTech, Inc.”

Philipp Baumann, President
BoomTech, Inc.

Eddie Joffe, Owner, NetZone Technologies

Eddie Joffe

“I love working with Manuel. He constantly gets me past my sticking points. When I feel stuck, I know Manuel will get me going again to reach my goals. Before working with Manuel, I actually wasn’t even using PSA. Manuel made sure I implemented a… Read more “Eddie Joffe, Owner, NetZone Technologies”

Eddie Joffe, Owner
NetZone Technologies

Jason R. Etheridge, President, Logic Speak

Jason Etheridge

“Working with Manuel has been business-changing and far exceeded my expectations. He isn’t lying when he says he takes you to the gym. My head muscle hurts (in a good way)! The MPI Getting to the Next Level program has completely changed our service delivery… Read more “Jason R. Etheridge, President, Logic Speak”

Jason R. Etheridge, President
Logic Speak

Jim Hunton, President, Onsite Technical Services LLC

Jim Hunton

“I find working with Manuel to be efficient and productive. He is very task orientated and holds everyone accountable. Manuel brings real knowledge and experience. He knows how to make you more profitable. Manuel is not there to lay out a plan and not see… Read more “Jim Hunton, President, Onsite Technical Services LLC”

Jim Hunton, President
Onsite Technical Services LLC

Josh Weiss, President & Founder, L.A. Creative Technologies

Josh Weiss

“I chose to coach with Manuel because I appreciate how he does business. Manuel is rigorous, process focused, and genuinely cares about his clients and individuals and their businesses as a whole. Manuel helped me think through the process of creating a rigorous process manual,… Read more “Josh Weiss, President & Founder, L.A. Creative Technologies”

Josh Weiss, President & Founder
L.A. Creative Technologies

Alan Helbush, President, Where To Start Inc.

Alan Helbush

“Manuel truly understands the business of being an MSP, how to deliver service efficiently, and what the impacts are on an organization when doing so. This comes from seeing the big picture as he does and then being able to focus it down to the… Read more “Alan Helbush, President, Where To Start Inc.”

Alan Helbush, President
Where To Start Inc.

Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner, S.H. Watkins and Associates


“It is most important to note that Manuel truly understands every aspect of our business and our product. There is no doubt that his experience in the service industry has helped us put together many of our best processes in much less time than if… Read more “Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner, S.H. Watkins and Associates”

Stephen H. Watkins, Sr., Owner
S.H. Watkins and Associates

Steve Bootes, Owner, Computing Dynamics Ltd.

Steve Bootes

“The most important benefit to Manuel’s coaching has been his encouragement and being told that we’re making improvements. When you’re in the thick of it every day, it can sometimes seem that you’re not making any progress and things are just the same that they’ve… Read more “Steve Bootes, Owner, Computing Dynamics Ltd.”

Steve Bootes, Owner
Computing Dynamics Ltd.

Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President, Golden Pacific Bank


“Manuel’s coaching has made a tremendous difference in my life as a whole. Before I met Manuel, I did not see myself as someone who was in control of my career. His coaching has not only allowed me to see how I am in control,… Read more “Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President, Golden Pacific Bank”

Robin Galley, Assistant Vice President
Golden Pacific Bank

Ben Ahlquist, President, ByteSmart Services LLC

Ben Ahlquist

“Manuel comes from a true foundation of success in our industry in his own right, combines it with top-notch operations consulting and business strategy, and has a coaching style that gives it to you straight while simultaneously being encouraging with no judgment or criticism. I… Read more “Ben Ahlquist, President, ByteSmart Services LLC”

Ben Ahlquist, President
ByteSmart Services LLC

Mike Ita, CEO & Founder, IT Corps

Mike Ita

“The difference Manuel has made to my personal life, team, and organization in the short time working with him has been immeasurable. I knew who he was before we started working together, but didn’t realize he was on a mission to help other people succeed… Read more “Mike Ita, CEO & Founder, IT Corps”

Mike Ita, CEO & Founder
IT Corps

William Lanier, CEO, Christian Computers, LLC

William Lanier

“What difference has Manuel’s coaching made? How do you say ‘EVERYTHING’? He understands the trials of an IT company owner. Not just the IT side, but the family side, the team side. He has all the areas covered. The reason his training is different is… Read more “William Lanier, CEO, Christian Computers, LLC”

William Lanier, CEO
Christian Computers, LLC

John Verbrugge, President, Nonlinear Tech Inc.


“Manuel is direct and clear. He stands by his advice and recommendations. There’s never any guessing as to what he means or what I should do. Manuel provided solid business advice in the IT service provider field. He had not only the business coaching, but… Read more “John Verbrugge, President, Nonlinear Tech Inc.”

John Verbrugge, President
Nonlinear Tech Inc.

Brian Glover, CEO, Technology Solutions Consulting

Brian Glover

“My business process was held together with duct tape when I met Manuel, which created a lot of chaos in my business. He told me I needed to automate my business so I did not have to work in my business and showed me a… Read more “Brian Glover, CEO, Technology Solutions Consulting”

Brian Glover, CEO
Technology Solutions Consulting

Schyler Jones, Owner, MiradorIT LLC

Schyler Jones

“I’ve been working with Manuel going on 4 years and I can say my experience has been nothing shy of phenomenal. Manuel has years of real-world experience both as an engineer and in IT, developing and following formalized processes that have enabled him to build… Read more “Schyler Jones, Owner, MiradorIT LLC”

Schyler Jones, Owner
MiradorIT LLC

Felipe Vidal, President, Vital Systems Support

Felipe Vidal

“I like a no B.S. way of communicating. Manuel communicates clearly and with a conviction that gets my attention even when I don’t agree with him. There’s no sales pitch in Manuel’s delivery. He really keeps it real. Manuel is focused on success in our… Read more “Felipe Vidal, President, Vital Systems Support”

Felipe Vidal, President
Vital Systems Support

Ken Dwight, President, The Virus Doctor

Ken Dwight

“I find value in working with Manuel in many ways – financially, organizationally, and new and enhanced professional relationships. He has been a breath of fresh air, helping me recognize areas of my business that are ripe for improvement, giving me ideas for growing my… Read more “Ken Dwight, President, The Virus Doctor”

Ken Dwight, President
The Virus Doctor

Robert Paradise, President, Attain Technology Inc.

Robert Paradise Attain

“Manuel Palachuk will take your MSP to a whole new level! Manuel was recommended to me by a friend, and my experience with him has been awesome. He is one coach that is determined to make progress no matter what. Many other coaches would have… Read more “Robert Paradise, President, Attain Technology Inc.”

Robert Paradise, President
Attain Technology Inc.

Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services, United Data Technologies

Jon Sastre

“Manuel is a black belt at building and sustaining a true proactive service delivery model. He works to build and change cultures within organizations. Other business coaches are generic; Manuel understands the MSP model and how to achieve excellence in service delivery. He understands our… Read more “Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services, United Data Technologies”

Jon Sastre, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services
United Data Technologies

Ahsun Saleem, President, Simplegrid Technology Inc.

Ahsun Saleem

“I wanted a coach who wouldn’t just tell me what I needed to do, but how I needed to do it. As a business owner, I understood the various areas I needed to work on, but wasn’t sure how I could go about improving those… Read more “Ahsun Saleem, President, Simplegrid Technology Inc.”

Ahsun Saleem, President
Simplegrid Technology Inc.

David Moadab, CEO, Solutions Squad Inc.

David Moadab

“I had joined a Microsoft networking event and after the first few meetings, I began to notice a pattern: The most successful members seemed to have a common denominator – Manuel. This is what made me choose Manuel for coaching. Before working with Manuel, we… Read more “David Moadab, CEO, Solutions Squad Inc.”

David Moadab, CEO
Solutions Squad Inc.

Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager, Complete Care IT

Patrick Eloi

“The CCIT staff has responded well to Manuel’s coaching because they can see the improvement in our day-to-day process. The training emphasizes the need for our technical staff to document and function as a team as opposed to each tech working as an individual. Manuel’s… Read more “Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager, Complete Care IT”

Patrick Eloi, Owner and General Manager
Complete Care IT

Sign Up for the
FREE MSP 90X Workout

Sign up for the FREE 6 week business workout guaranteed to lean out your business and build up your bottom line!

Sign Up for theFREE MSP 90X Workout

We've got you signed up! And hey, don't forget to check your clutter and spam folders for registration confirmation and updates. It happens. :)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This