Tracking Strategy Success or Failure
Inherent in any effective strategic plan are provisions for tracking the success or failure of the plan. By definition, “strategic planning allows for marking success and failure. Performance measurement or tracking of strategic objectives and action plans are of significance.” To effectively track whether or not you are meeting the goals set forth in your strategic plan, it is imperative that you regularly check in with your employees and monitor their progress.
An online source highlighted the importance of multiple meetings during the fiscal year to determine whether the strategic plan is being followed. “Highly successful organizations do regular tracking of their progress…You’d think that would be a really simple thing to do, but not everyone does it…we now know the importance of having a tracking process in place…Many successful organizations reported having periodic management team and board meetings to report their progress on their plans — definitely more frequently than once a year.”
Forbes echoes this sentiment with its advice: “Review. Review. Review.” The purpose of planning strategically is to allow for changes in the future and it is fundamental to the success of the plan that it is always evolving. Forbes suggests meetings at least once every financial quarter: “To ensure the plan performs as designed, you must hold regularly scheduled formal reviews of the process and refine as necessary.”
Repeatedly reviewing your strategic plan will allow you to see if goals were initially or have become unrealistic. Unrealistic goals are referenced as particularly detrimental to a strategic plan. Realizing which goals are not working for you can help you redefine your expectations or refocus your energies.
Regularly scheduled review meetings also create accountability for everyone connected to the strategic plan. A lack of accountability or follow through will sink your strategic planning before it has even been implemented. Remember this when planning and when reviewing. “Be tough once the plan is developed and resources are committed…ensure there are consequences for not delivering on the strategy.”
In short, tracking your success can be as simple as reviewing your strategic plan with your employees, coworkers, or management. Look at your milestones laid out in strategic planning. Are they being met? Are people being held accountable for their contributions? What changes need to be made? Consider these questions and you will receive illuminating answers.