Before we start any project here at Envisio, we always gather our team and set realistic goals that, ultimately, are aligned with our overall department and organizational strategies. By doing this, we ensure that the achievement of that project and its goals are always contributing back to the organization’s success.
Creating operational plans around your projects, collecting input on how to best execute on those plans, assigning duties to your staff, and setting timelines for the completion of your projects are all critical pieces of the strategy implementation puzzle.
But, how do you really know if you’ve succeeded in implementing the original strategy that you set out? Does your management team know how to measure the success of your strategic plan?
At Envisio, we always recommend that you first start your implementation process by establishing measurable and quantifiable objectives. Those who succeed in strategic planning generally measure the following 5 things:
1. Clear objectives
Clearly define your objectives for all parties involved in the planning process, so they have something to refer back to if they feel they may be getting off track. If your colleagues keep asking for clarity on what they need to accomplish, you may not have set a clear path to success or laid the groundwork for them to assess their own performance and ensure their actions are aligned with the strategy.
If you can positively answer the question of “Did we achieve what we originally set out to do?,” then your objective was clear.
Measuring productivity versus cost effectiveness, will help you answer whether or not you are applying company resources for maximum output. Ensuring funding is available for forecasted and unforeseen situations before you begin implementing your strategic plan will enable a savings in time, money and staff resources for your organization.
All businesses want to provide services without error. The following questions can help you gauge whether or not you’ve hit — or missed — the mark for the quality of your deliverables.
- How does your audience feel about your product or service? Has their overall experience been positive or negative?
- Have you encountered any complaints? How many? How quickly are they resolved? Does your audience feel reassured after the resolution?
- Does your product or service meet, exceed, or fall short of both internal and external expectations?
If you have met or surpassed your objectives, then you can be assured of the quality of your overall product.
Accuracy refers to the closeness of a measured value to a set standard, or known value. In other words, “Did you hit your target the way you originally intended?”
Several of Envisio’s customers measure the accuracy and quality of their deliverables by instituting regular reviews with their staff throughout the lifespan of a project. These check-in points with your frontline staff can help you:
- Stick to your targeted timelines
- Keep you laser-focused on your objectives
- Engage your staff at all points on the implementation process
- Help you and your team quickly adapt, shift and pivot in response to changes in your plan’s scope and objectives
5. Change management: Leaving behind the status quo
Most people are willing to stay the course rather than take a risk and initiate a transition that could potentially change the outcome of a project, and possibly, the future of the whole organization. Change can be daunting and transforming work cultures is certainly not for the faint of heart.
The number one fear of human beings is that of failure…and rejection. Change and fear of change effects both personal and professional decisions on a daily basis. And, when it comes to an organization’s strategic plan, your goal is to ensure your changes provide the kind of impact that positively transforms the way you work and creates the kind of workplace people thrive in.
How do your staff play a role in your long-term plans?
All of the above-mentioned measures share the common thread of the role your staff play in evaluating your overall success. Engaging your employees, aligning their actions with your departmental and organizational strategies, and placing value on their professional development demonstrates the value you place in them — now and in the long term.
To ensure your employees are aligned with your strategic priorities, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much training, and re-training does your team require?
- Do you have opportunities available for ongoing professional development? This helps empower your team and make them feel valued, which in turn can positively affect your workplace.
- How much staff turnover has your organization faced year over year?
The biggest reason for the deterioration of strategic plans
Strategic plan implementation issues normally arise before the plan is even off the ground. We’ve found that this mistake usually comes from decisions and actions made from a place where profitability is defined as the most important indicator of success.
Profitability is certainly one measurement of success but when it’s used by organization’s as the ONLY barometer of true success, you run the risk of failing to recognize the importance of employee loyalty, alignment and engagement in the workplace. We encourage you to expand your view and look beyond just your bottom line.
How do you know which metrics are right for you?
Selecting the right metrics to measure success for your organization is not a cookie cutter endeavor. Each company requires different qualitative and quantitative measurements depending on the types of aggregated reports your board or council need to gauge organizational performance. Envisio can help you avoid the trial-and-error trap by letting you set your own customizable key performance indicators (KPIs) across your teams and departments. From a single dashboard, you can manage your resources, keep your pulse on the status of your plan and generate robust reports with just a click of a button.
Choosing the right measurements of success for your organization can help build your brand, add to your bottom line, engage your staff, prove your worth to stakeholders and develop a loyal customer following.
How are you going to measure your organization’s success?