DELTA FRAMEWORK™ — Phase I –Designing Your Ideal Future

In simplest terms the Delta Framework™ starts with an awareness of where you currently are, compared to your desired end result. The difference between the current situation and a desired result is the “Delta”. The DELTA FRAMEWORK™ is a toolkit to work backwards to span the gap in three essential questions:
1. Where do you want to go? (What do you want to do? What do you want to accomplish? What is “Victory”?)
2. Where are you now? (What is your starting point?)
3. What is the gap and plan? (What is path/plan to get you from where you are now to where you want to be?)

Every military operation starts with the outcome and works backwards. The vision of the end result lets planners apply their creativity in designing and employing big picture strategies. Once the strategies are in place, they determine the tactics and specific action steps necessary to achieve the goals.

Broken down, it looks like this:
1. Develop the overall plan and big picture first.
2. Figure out the highest-leverage strategies to get you to your goal in the most direct way.
3. Support your strategy with a tactical plan of action.

Seven Strategic Questions of DELTA FRAMEWORK™ Great answers flow from great questions. The better the question, the better the result. Below is the starting point of a Delta Framework™. The process outlined below can be applied to your life as well as to any organization you have a vested interest in. Think about these seven strategic questions. They looks simple, yet few people take the time to think these questions through. Know exactly what you desire your outcome to be, it is easy to get caught up in the trivial details of the day losing sight of the vital big picture.

1. Who are you at the core? (What are your values?)
2. Who do you want to become? (What is your vision?)
3. Why are you here? (Mission)
4. What is your current situation? (Situation analysis)
5. Where are you going? (Direction/goals)
6. How will you get there? (Strategies/action plans)
7. How will you know when you arrive? (Evaluation)

This process is iterative and circular. These questions are part of the beginning process as well as the end result.

DELTA FRAMEWORK™ Phase II – The Four Commandments

The heart of the DELTA FRAMEWORK™ is about being self-aware. With awareness, it is easier to apply and affect change. Self-awareness and self-knowledge as both an individual and an organization is the critical first step in the planning process. As you begin to look at this assignment, you will notice two aspects focused inward as well as two outward focused.
I. Thou Shalt Know Thyself/Team/Company – Internal Focus
II. Thou Shalt Know Thy Client/Customer/Vendors/Partners – Internal Focus
III. Thou Shalt Know Thy Industry/Marketplace/Economy – External Focus
IV. Thou Shalt Know Thy Competitors/External Factors – External Focus

While the measurement criteria change and adapt for each of these areas, the principles and methodology remain essentially the same.

DELTA FRAMEWORK™ Phase III – Action!

With Phases I and II in the works, you can begin to create an action plan. Look for the highest leverage and highest payoff activities as you move forward with action. Break your plans into one of two categories. They are either innovation or optimization ideas. These two are the yin and yang of business and personal development. Optimization is working inside to improve effectiveness. Innovation means new ideas that grow and expand your opportunities.
1. Optimization—Finding hidden efficiencies, expense reduction, better processes, more focus, etc. to receive a higher yield from your existing business.
2. Innovation—New revenue and profit centers leveraged from existing business and relationships.

DELTA FRAMEWORK™ Phase IV- Keep “S.U.R.F.”ing

The process of DELTA FRAMEWORK™ is not a ‘one and done’ process. It is ongoing and really never ending. Every activity in innovation and optimization generates changes which need to be measured. As you are moving in the direction of your major objectives, utilize the SURF Strategy as you “Survey & Understand” as a way to accept feedback and then “Respond & Focus” on what you are trying to achieve, as a way of correcting course. As you follow this process, you will be continuously reinventing yourself in the small adjustments to your big dreams and major accomplishments.