Online strategy management at Bitrix24

The purpose of the article is to show examples of managing the implementation of a strategy using a corporate unified information platform on an accessible tool – Bitrix24. The article discusses in plain language the possibilities of strategy management using this information platform. To work out the examples, I took a free Bitrix24 tariff plan, made the necessary settings, entered test data. A deeper study of the topic requires more methodological study and more detailed technical and organizational implementation, and this is a topic for a separate larger project.

The coordination and organization of the efforts of all employees in their daily work in the Company should be “saturated” with the strategy, the priorities and requirements that are embedded in it. This is in an ideal situation. In practice, it happens, like Alice, who met the Cheshire cat.

Managing the implementation of the strategy on-line, on a daily basis, “interactively”, requires a certain eco-environment, an information platform, and Bitrix24 may well take on this task. I got the impression that initially the typical Bitrix24 functionality is more focused on the operational management of sales, communications, tasks, projects, and on performing clear tasks with a short time horizon. But if current affairs are divorced from strategic goals, then there is a risk of drifting into routine, vanity. Therefore, it is ideologically correct to fill the field of tasks with strategic goals and operational tasks, with their own time horizons.

Briefly about the strategy. Strategy can be understood in different ways (there are different schools of strategy). But no matter how we understand it, the bottom line should be identified priorities in the form of some understandable long-term goals, indicators (Fig. 2) and ways to achieve them, structured into plans and projects (Fig. 3). Then it is important to communicate the priorities to employees, to make them visible to employees. For this, the site in question may well be suitable.

I met a funny example on the Internet. For example, company A is implementing Bitrix24, but at the same time it cannot organize its strategic development process using Bitrix24, the entire result of strategic sessions is deposited in the MS Word file and is forgotten, does not affect the current processes. The natural question is – what prevents the results of the strategic session from being transferred to Bitrix24? The classic situation is “a shoemaker without boots.” It is worth noting one well-known approach, the triad: “people + processes + tool”, as the basis for the development and management of changes in the organization. The tool itself will not close all the questions, in the article I consider only the instrumental component of the triad, and I give illustrative examples of what and how can be configured in the system so as not to lose the connection between operational activities and strategic priorities.

To work with the strategy, you can create a separate project (see Fig. 1) with your own group of participants, and configure it so that it is convenient to conduct all activities related to the long-term development of the company (store documents, set tasks, accumulate useful material, discuss results, plan events, etc.).

Fig. 1.  Creation of a new project.
Fig. 1. Creation of a new project.

Bitrix24 has functionality for working with tasks, projects, processes, working groups, and this functionality can be easily adapted to control the implementation of the strategy. Through tags or custom fields, you can create different groups of goals and objectives – select a group of long-term, strategic goals, and a group of current, within a year, quarter, month – operational tasks, with different members in groups. It is important to think over and agree on a set of rules and requirements according to which the settings in the system will be made. The terminology of the product does not contain the concept of “goal”, you have to work with the entity “task”, on the basis of which you can create goals, indicators, and tasks.

Bitrix24 allows you to build relationships between tasks, both taking into account nesting (task hierarchy), and linking tasks horizontally, taking into account the logic of their implementation.

In the example, Fig. 2, strategic goals are designated by the tag “strategic goal”.

If the system does not adhere to certain rules, over time we will receive “olivier” from goals, objectives, indicators, projects, and after some time the flexibility of the system will lead to an information dump, it will take a lot of effort (time, money) to make everything that accumulated in the system to “rake”, to systematize to a state that is understandable, convenient for the perception of the user (manager, employee).

It is useful to link goals and objectives with projects; an example of a link is shown in Fig. 2.

Option 1, we associate strategic goals with projects, option 2, within the project there is its own structure of project tasks.

Fig. 2. Register of goals and objectives.
Fig. 3. Register of projects supporting the implementation of the strategy (example).

Let’s say conditionally that the company’s development strategy can consist of a counting and a descriptive part. We need the counting part to measure progress, how we move (for this we use various kinds of indicators, reporting, assess the dynamics). And we need the descriptive part of the strategy for employees to understand what we want employees to know about the strategy (which types of customers are key to the business and which are not, etc.). The conceptual apparatus that develops in each company is important, it can also be included in the thematic knowledge base of the company about the strategy. In the knowledge base about the strategy, you can tell in more detail about the strategy itself, about the market, trends, trends, new products / technologies, etc. (examples in Fig. 4-5) What and how to tell – there is no single recipe. It is important that the responsibility for a specific employee is assigned to update the information in the knowledge base, moderate the discussion, if moderation is necessary, timely replenish the database with new content, send information for familiarization to new employees, etc.

Knowledge base is an internal site on the Bitrix24 portal. This information platform provides great opportunities to accumulate knowledge in the company, to provide employees with a convenient search, access to the necessary information (taking into account the distribution of access rights).

Fig. 4. Knowledge base about development strategy, projects, processes.
Fig. 5. Development strategy knowledge base.

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