From Strategy to Execution



By Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow

Managing Partner
BUCERO PM Consulting

Madrid, Spain


Our business world is full of expensive, well-intended strategies that failed in the execution phase. Some of them make the front pages and the evening news. Many others disappear into desk drawers and forgotten PowerPoint presentations. All represent a significant drain on resources that could have been used more profitably elsewhere. The spectacular flameouts of Carli Fiorina at HP, John Akers at IBM, John Sculley at Apple are merely a few high-profile examples among thousands of CEOs whose strategies fail every year because of poor execution.

Corporations spend about $100 billion a year on management consulting and training, most of it aimed at creating brilliant strategy. Business schools unleash throngs of aspiring strategists and big-picture thinkers into the corporate world every year. Yet studies have found that less than 10 percent of effectively formulated strategies carry through to successful implementation. So something like 90 percent of companies consistently fail to execute strategies effectively.

However, senior executives regularly retreat to their corner offices, to their boardrooms, or to elegant Conference Centers where they plan the next big think, leaving the grunt work of execution to the lower echelons. That is precisely where strategy goes awry. When strategy makers neglect the critical connections between words and deeds-between ideas and action–they are almost guaranteed to fail.

Many executives understand this instinctively, but they lack a systematic approach for identifying and implementing the right array of actions to deliver on their promises. Worse, they ignore their own responsibilities toward the people at execution level of the company. Repeatedly, they make broad –and mistaken-assumptions about how well the strategy they have in mind converts into understandable work at all levels of the organization, and whether the organization is capable of making the changes needed to implement the latest strategic vision. When executives think of the people who will implement strategy as mere lines and boxes on an organization chart, they inevitably fail to tap the full power of the enterprise.

In the midst of last-changing technologies and increasingly competitive global markets, senior executives face extreme pressure from customers, competitors, market analysts, shareholders, boards of directors, and employees. All of these forces place a premium on the executives’ ability to articulate strategy clearly and provide adequate resources for middle managers and workers to implement it within the context of the corporate structure, culture, attitudes, goals, measurement and reward systems, and ongoing operations. Often this requires reshaping the organization, developing new systems, learning new behaviors, and creating new types of interactions.


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How to cite this report:  Bucero, A. (2018). From Strategy to Execution, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue X – October. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pmwj75-Oct2018-Bucero-from-strategy-to-execution-advisory.pdf


About the Author

Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain




Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting.  Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group).  He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

Mr. Bucero can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by Alfonso Bucero, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/