Metis Strategy’s Strategic Translation, Alignment, and Refreshment (STAR) Methodology is a strategic planning and project and portfolio management methodology that has been used by many global corporations for over ten years. It has been implemented across a variety of industries within companies of different sizes.

Step of : Next step
A key to the methodology is that the strategic framework and the project and portfolio analysis are separated. Too often strategic plans are created with projects in mind, and project language even makes its way into the plan. Through the STAR Methodology, the objectives and the ideas to pursue them are separated from potential solutions to address those ideas so that no project is deemed sacrosanct.
The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis provides a current snapshot of the organization. Strengths and Weaknesses are present state and internally focused, whereas Opportunities and Threats are future state and both internally and externally focused, providing a broad evaluation of a company and its environment. The SWOT analysis is the first step in devising an organization’s strategy.

Objective Identification

The purpose of the Objectives Identification step is to devise or validate an organization’s strategic Objectives. Existing Objectives are either validated, highlighted to be revisited, or potentially removed, based on whether or not the Objectives align with the themes emerging from the SWOT analysis. New or missing Objectives can be derived from SWOT analysis themes.


Strategic Framework Creation

The cascading Objectives, Goals, Tactics and Measures (OGTM) framework forms the backbone of the refreshable process under the STAR Methodology. Once all strategic Objectives are finalized, Goals, Tactics and Measures for each Objective are identified aligned to form a strategic framework. Goals are quantifiable metrics for each Objective, Tactics are a brainstormed list of actionable ideas aligned with each Objective and Goal and Measures are quantifiable metrics for each Tactic. Each Objective may have multiple Goals, which may be pursued through multiple Tactics, each of which will have unique Measures to gauge progress.


Project Analyses

Following the strategic OGTM framework creation, a comprehensive and more tactical analysis of an organization’s projects will be conducted. Individual initiatives at the corporate or business unit level are assessed against a universal set of criteria, such as strategic linkage (by linking projects to the OGTM), cost/benefit, risk and required change.


Portfolio Analysis

Following the project analyses, logical or desired groupings of projects (portfolios) are formed. While the project analyses focus on individual projects, the portfolio analysis assesses portfolios holistically and monitors progress at the portfolio level. In addition to the criteria used for the project analyses (strategic leakage (by linking projects to OGTM), cost/benefit, risk, required change), the portfolio analysis extends the assessment to include strategic importance, resource requirements, opportunity gaps and project interdependencies. By using the aforementioned criteria, a true 1-n prioritization of projects within and across division of the organization can be established.

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