One of the hallmarks of a great strategic planning project is whether it has the right key performance indicators in place to monitor progress.

There's no point in having crafted a brilliant strategy if it doesn't come with the metrics to determine its success or failure. And while different strategies will require unique KPIs according to the situation, there are some common characteristics every KPI should have.

Specific to the individual department/organisation

Although it can be tempting to follow the example of leading businesses in your organisation, your strategy should be a reflection of where the business currently stands and where it is headed to in the future. Make sure KPIs are challenging but attainable given the resources your business has.

You should also use business strategy software to break the strategy down across departments and provide each with individual KPIs to focus on.

Span all levels of the organisation

KPIs must be accessible and comprehensible at levels of the organisation hierarchy, from the boardroom through to each employee who will help bring the strategy to life.

Even if developed by the most senior executives, every KPI must be understandable by the people who will actually be carrying out the work to achieve it, in order to eliminate inconsistencies and miscommunication.

Long term view

Although monitoring the immediate, day-to-day objectives and outcomes of your strategy is important, every KPI should tie into the bigger picture and have a clear purpose in the strategy's future progress.

Based on solid data

Poor data management when developing a KPI can put the whole strategy in jeopardy.

When coming up with the metrics to track your strategic performance, make sure a consistent, reliable measuring system is used and the data to be measured will actually be available.