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Before we go too deep into the weeds, let’s take a look at what causes the need for strategy and really, that’s all about constraints. Constraints exist wherever we do not have full resources at our disposal to go and achieve an objective.

Clearly, if I threw as much money as I wanted at something, get as many people and I had as much time as we could ever have, I can solve almost anything. It’s throwing enough bodies at the problem.

Using constraints to our advantage

Strategy, however, is about the fact that we do have constraints. We exist in a world where there isn’t optimal availability of resources and we have to apply what we’ve got, where it’s going to create the most leverage. Unfortunately, we live in the real world. Even when NASA put a man on the Moon, they were working in an operational environment that had constraints that they had to tackle before they could make a great strategy.

In our business environment, we’ve got to look at the constraints that exist today. Now that could be technological, but it could also be human capital. It could be resources, the number of people we’ve got, the amount of money that we’ve got at our disposal or the amount of time that we’re willing to apply to solve a problem. 

You’re taking this course partly because you felt that you had a constraint in a lack of knowledge about data strategy. You hope by taking this course, you’re going to break through that constraint and be able to do something better in the future.

Plan around your constraints

So understanding the constraints that we have is essential to being able to make a good plan, making sure that we’re executing against our objectives. Of course, there are other constraints that we have to face as well. There are rules in place, there are laws in place, there are ethical considerations for how that we use our data. If we don’t consider this and don’t have a 360-degree view of all of the constraints that are applied to us in our specific situation, we can’t create a great strategy. And for this reason, there is no one size fits all strategy that will work for you. We have to tailor-make it for every single firm that we talk to.