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Determine Targets for Measuring Strategic Planning Success

When measuring the effectiveness of your strategic plan, measures should be placed in context of a target to be reached in an identified time frame. The following are different ways to select your targets:

  • Internal benchmarking: Generally, organizations select targets based on a change leaders want to see from the previous year to the current year. Certainly, the underlying resources and actions need to be in place in order to affect the increase or decrease, which should be spelled out in your action plans.

  • Industry association benchmarking: Instead of looking internally, organizations can set performance targets based on industry standards. Before signing up for an industry performance standard, do your homework to make sure the standard is based on a set of organizations or companies similar enough to yours. If not, the target will be unrealistic or unfair to achieve.

  • Competitive benchmarking: Similar to industry benchmarking, competitive benchmarking is selecting one other company’s performance as a target. Depending on the goal and, therefore, associated target, you may not be able to acquire this information. But if you can, competitive benchmarks can be very powerful because they bring out a competitive spirit in employees who you rely on to drive the performance improvement.

  • Base lining: Sometimes you have no historical information and no reliable industry information. If that’s the case, go with your intuition to set the target and give yourself the grace to adjust along the way until you do have a reliable base line.

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