So, you've completed your strategic planning session and crafted an impressive strategic plan for your organization. But what happens next? That's where the importance of tracking and monitoring your strategic plan comes into play. In this article, we'll explore the crucial steps to ensure your plan stays on track and leads you to success. We'll discuss the significance of establishing clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your strategic priorities. By consistently monitoring and adjusting your strategy, you'll have the power to drive your organization forward and achieve its goals.
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, tracking, and leadership development.
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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. Most likely, your executive leadership team members or potentially key departmental leaders participated in developing your plan.
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. Stakeholder engagement is key here, as it allows leaders to incorporate the perspectives of those who will be carrying out the operational tasks to achieve your organization's strategic objectives.
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.
Starting the Strategic Plan Implementation Cycle:
Prior to implementing your strategic 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. There are multiple ways to track progress toward your strategic goals, including spreadsheets, software, or an office whiteboard. They can be as simple or complex as you desire, but the important thing is that everyone is using the same method and frequency for tracking.
>> Watch below: How to use strategy dashboards for tracking & monitoring your plan:
If you decide to track your strategic planning progress with a software, we recommend using a dedicated strategic planning software, like Cascade Strategy, that has been specifically developed for this purpose. 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, it is important to continually develop your leadership team's skills in critical areas such as project management, values and behavior alignment, change management, and communication. Additionally quarterly strategy reviews are a great way to make adjustments to your strategy on an ongoing basis so that you can maximize what is working and address any areas of weakness throughout the year.
Within our three levels of strategy implementation programs, our strategic planning facilitators work with teams to strengthen their leadership skills and capacities so that they are better equipped to execute their strategic plans.