• Donald Davis

Scaling Decisions – Execution (Part 3)

In scaling up an organization there are 4 Decisions a leader must address: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash (Harnish, Verne)

If companies do not scale most often it is because one of these four factors was not managed well. Most often companies stall out or just run out of gas. You can run out of energy in any of the four categories but in this third post in the series, I am going to focus on “Execution”.


Execution is the act of simply making things happen. Businesses that execute well are successful because they can quickly respond to changes in the market and consumer needs. Businesses that do not execute well typically face consistent losses, low revenues, and fail to achieve their goals. Business owners know they need to be able to execute effectively in order for their business to succeed.

For example, when Facebook launched in February 2004 there were already similar social networking sites available including Friendster and Myspace. However, despite offering a service that was similar to its competitors, Facebook became one of the most popular social networking websites on the Internet today because it executed better than other competing websites did.

There are three key enablers of execution in any organization: Business Metrics, Project Management, and Accountability.

Business Metrics

Business Metrics: Business metrics drive execution by putting a plan into action and measuring progress towards that plan. Business metrics can include things like monthly sales or revenue of the company, number of active clients of the company; business owner ways to measure will be different for each type of business and one must keep in mind their capabilities and limitations with each metric type (e.g., some types of businesses need to be able to measure their inventory levels on a daily basis while others may only need to do this on a weekly basis).

Project Management

Project Management: Many people confuse project management as simply planning ahead for what needs to get done beforehand but true project management is actually setting deadlines for team members, letting them know when things are due and collaborating across teams to get a project completed.


Accountability: Business owners must hold their teams accountable to the goals of the company that were outlined. Business owners can do this by setting milestones with team members and checking in on a regular basis to see how work is progressing. Businesses owners must make sure they are holding their team members accountable for what they have been assigned to do as well as ensuring that projects are running smoothly from start to finish.

Next Steps:

  1. Does your organization and more specifically each individual have clear metrics to measure execution? If not work with your team to establish clear measurable metrics.

  2. When you set out to complete a project do you think about the big project completion or can you break a project into tasks, owners, dates, and completion percentages? When teams are challenged who bridges the gap and ensures that the work gets done? If needed are their titled Project Managers that are driving projects forward on a daily basis? Good project management skills will ensure that your projects get done. If you do not have clear deliverables, get started now.

  3. Do you have people that are accountable for the execution in your business? If not this starts with leadership and leaders need to hold people accountable. This can all start with scheduling regular check-ins with your team on their execution.


Execution in business becomes difficult if business leaders fail to establish Business Metrics, Project Management, and Accountability within their organization. These factors support execution and allow businesses to scale effectively without experiencing too many obstacles along the way. Businesses need strong leaders who understand what it takes to succeed when scaling up any organization.

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