Mastering Strategy Execution - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Mastering Strategy Execution

Course Number 1312

Professor Robert Simons
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
28 Sessions

Associate Professor Tatiana Sandino
Spring; Q3Q4; 3 credits
24 Sessions

Career Focus

This course will be valuable to future general managers who are accountable for the performance of a business function, a business unit, or a non-profit organization. The course will also be useful to entrepreneurs and consultants who seek to design new structures and systems to support strategy execution and to investors and board members responsible for monitoring strategy execution by company management.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach you how to execute strategy and deliver results. Using readings, case studies, and exercises, you will learn to master the tools needed to formulate business goals and monitor their successful achievement.

Course Content

MSE is structured into four modules:

I. Foundations for Strategy Execution - This short module introduces the theoretical foundations for managing organizational tensions, building a successful strategy, using information for performance measurement and control, and organizing for performance.

II. Tools for Performance Measurement and Control - This module teaches the quantitative tools and analytic techniques to run a business effectively. Students will learn how to build a profit plan, evaluate strategic profit performance, design asset allocation systems, link performance to markets, build a balanced scorecard, and use the job design optimization tool to build effective organizations.

III. Introducing Performance Measurement and Controls in Growing Firms - Executives of young, growing firms often worry that introducing formal performance measurement and control tools will strangle their firms’ entrepreneurial spirit. This module provides insights on how to implement systems to effectively manage growth, while preserving adaptability and entrepreneurship.

IV. Achieving Profit Goals and Strategies - This final module focuses on applying the tools and techniques learned above to master seven imperatives of effective strategy execution:

  • Allocating resources to customers
  • Prioritizing core values
  • Tracking performance goals
  • Controlling strategic risk
  • Spurring innovation
  • Building commitment
  • Adapting to change

Concepts will be illustrated and tested using case studies in a variety of industries including consumer products, education, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, publishing, retail, robotics, software development, and space exploration. You will study the choices made by thriving and struggling companies, big and small organizations, and both early-stage and mature firms.

By the end of the course, students will have the knowledge and confidence to execute strategy, deliver results, and win in any competitive market.