Tactical Evaluation Matrix
Tactics are another factor that can potentially consume huge sums of resources without yielding much in the way of results. Tactics are the tangible actions behind how we accomplish goals and objectives. They represent the specific items you put time and money into in order to carry out the general strategic approach to achieving the goals. Sales brochures, training binders, iPads, apps, and educational programs are examples of tactics. Some managers take the more-is-more approach to tactics, filling their plans with all available tactics so they can’t be faulted for not including a tactic if they didn’t meet their goals. While it may provide political protection internally, the laundry list approach to tactics does little to advance the effective and efficient use of one’s resources. Apple CEO Tim Cook says, “And we argue and debate like crazy about what we’re not going to do, because we know that we can only do a few things great. That means not doing a bunch of things that would be really good and really fun. That’s a part of our base principle, that we will only do a few things.”4
Even the soundest of strategies can be rendered powerless if the tactics employed to realize them are ineffective, undifferentiated, or overwhelming in number. As a senior leader, it’s important to convey to your managers that all tactics are not created equal. Just as managers must be discerning in how to articulate strategy for a product or service, they must also realize that each expenditure of resources on a tactic either brings value to customers or wastes the organization’s resources. While the day-to-day implementation of tactics may not be your job, it’s critical to educate the people whose job it is to ensure they’re using resources effectively to create only value-generating tactics—even if it means eliminating something.
The Tactical Evaluation Matrix is a tool used to assess the tactics of the business on two parameters: efficacy with customers, and differentiation from competitors. Efficacy with customers is determined by two factors:
- 1. The extent to which the tactic is embraced and utilized by internal customers (company personnel) to influence external customers in the selection and use of your offerings
- 2. The importance external customers place on the tactic when it’s received
The second criterion of the Tactical Evaluation Matrix is differentiation from the competition. In other words, do external customers
Figure 4.1 Tactical Evaluation Matrix
perceive a positive difference in value from this tactic relative to tactics the competition provide to them?
Figure 4.1 provides an example of the Tactical Evaluation Matrix. To use this tool, first create a list of all of the tactics that you are currently investing in. Then plot those tactics within the matrix based on their level of efficacy with customers (low to high) and differentiation from the competition (low to high). Each tactic will fall into one of the following quadrants:
Waste: Tactics ineffective and undifferentiated Antes: Tactics effective but similar Fool’s Gold: Tactics differentiated but ineffective Drivers: Tactics effective and differentiated