Once you’ve had your strategy meeting and have developed your organization’s strategic plan, you might be wondering what comes next.
The strategic planning process doesn’t end once a document is created. To successfully execute your strategy across the organization, careful attention needs to be paid to the next steps: communication, implementation, monitoring and tracking.
Communication to Develop Alignment:
If you’re working within a mid-sized or large organization, chances are that all employees could not be present at the planning meeting. Instead, leaders from different departments likely participated in the session, representing their area within the company.
Prior to the strategy meeting, leaders can survey their teams to get information on their team’s perspective on various organizational strengths and weaknesses, goals and directions, and other topics to be addressed in the strategy session. Following the planning session and document creation, it’s important for leaders to make sure their team understands the organization’s strategic priorities, goals, and tactics and the reasons behind them.
If staff are engaged and feel heard during the pre-planning process, they are more likely to buy into the organizational strategy and to take ownership of their departmental and individual action items. By fostering communication and buy-in, your team will be more aligned, accountable, and better equipped to make decisions that serve your organization.
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Starting the Implementation Cycle:
Prior to implementing your plan and moving forward with your action steps, it is critical that your strategic priority areas and goals support the vision. It is also critical that each department and individual understands which goals and tactics they are accountable to deliver on. Furthermore, it is important that they are aware of project expectations and understand what success looks like.
Monitoring & Tracking Your Plan:
To best understand where you’re succeeding and where you may be falling behind, strategic plans need to be continually monitored, and goals should be regularly tracked. While a spreadsheet may work, it can become cumbersome and overwhelming to track multiple goals associated with different strategic priority areas.
We recommend using a dedicated strategic planning software, like Cascade Strategy, that has been specifically developed to help organizations track their strategic plan progress. With various features such as task management, GANTT charts, and various metric functions, you can quickly see where you’re meeting or exceeding goals and where you might be falling short.
In addition to monitoring your plan regularly, quarterly strategy reviews (half-day or full-day sessions with the leadership team) are a great way to make adjustments to your strategy so that you can maximize what is working and address any areas of weakness throughout the year.
Are you developing your organization's strategic plan?