How to track your strategic planning progress

Many businesses believe that once they’ve created and successfully executed their strategy, the hardest part is done and dusted.

However, the execution of your strategy is where the journey really begins, as you initiate the process of tracking and monitoring it to ensure it is delivering what it set out to achieve.

The quarterly review

You should check up on the progress of your strategy on a fairly regular and scheduled basis to see if it is still on track, and nudge it back in the right direction if it seems to be off.

In your quarterly review, check to see if the shorter-term objectives and tactics outlined by the strategy are being realised. Remember to get everyone responsible for enacting the strategy involved as well., using tools such as strategy planning software.

The quarterly analysis is also a good time to assess whether you’ve got the overall time frame right before it’s too late. Is the business seriously struggling to meet its goals – or even surpassing them far ahead of schedule?

The annual review

To complement assessments spread throughout the year, you should also conduct a larger-scale annual review to see how the strategy has performed over the 12 months.

In addition to meeting the short term goals of the strategy, has your business managed to keep it aligned with its wider vision? You should also set out now what it needs to do next year, given its performance, and what it has achieved this year.

Make sure you communicate the results of the review across the organisation to ensure everyone is kept on the same page.

Keep an eye out for opportunities

Although monthly and quarterly reviews should form the framework of your strategic monitoring, you should take an open, dynamic approach to account for any short-term modifications to your strategy that may be required.

Strategy mapping tools such as StrategyBlocks allow you to constantly receive progress updates and make room for new opportunities, embedding a short-term strategy within the wider plan.