The foundation of good strategic planning lies in how flexible it is and how quickly it can adapt to even the most unexpected of changes.

A business strategy is not a static document, but rather a living mechanism that needs to be constantly monitored. In light of this, it can prove worthwhile to take into account Gartner's claim that using predictive performance metrics can boost a business's profitability by 20 per cent by 2017.

According to the technology research firm, organisations need to use predictive metrics to help their employees stay alert to and respond accordingly to "business moments". As defined by Gartner, a business moment is "a transient opportunity exploited dynamically that requires unprecedented business velocity and agility".

"Using historical measures to gauge business and process performance is a thing of the past," Gartner Research Analyst Samantha Searle said in a January 16 statement.

"To prevail in challenging market conditions, businesses need predictive metrics – also known as 'leading indicators' – rather than just historical metrics (aka 'lagging indicators')."

Results from a recent Gartner survey are of even more concern – although it reported that 71 per cent of business and IT leaders can identify the KPIs most critical to business strategy, less than half had access to metrics that help them understand how best to meet these strategic KPIs.

Moreover, less than a third (31 per cent) said they didn't use technology tools such as dashboards to maintain the visibility of these metrics.

Strategic management software such as StrategyBlocks is therefore the perfect answer for any business leader in this quandary. These strategy mapping tools provide the functionality to monitor your strategy's progress every step of the way, outlining the key metrics to drive it forward, while allowing transparent access across the organisation.