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How to Measure Your Strategic Plan’s Success

You’ve developed your strategy plan and have a clear road map designed to reach your vision. The next step is to put your plan into action and manage the process as well as the plan’s performance. Creating good, solid measures is the first step to developing your performance scorecard. Measures are quantifiable performance statements, and they must follow certain guidelines. Measures should be

  • Relevant to the goal and strategy

  • Placed in context of a target to be reached in an identified time frame

  • Capable of being tracked period after period

  • Owned by the person who’s responsible for the goal

The following are different types of measures:

  • Efficiency measures: These measures are productivity and cost effectiveness measured as ratio of outputs per inputs. Examples of efficiency measures include turnaround time per application processed and number of students graduating to number of students enrolled.

  • Outcomes measures: These measures are the end result of whether services meet proposed targets or standards and demonstrate impact and benefit of activities. Examples include the percent increase in internships and the application to enrolled yield rate.

  • Quality measures: These measures gauge effectiveness of expectations and generally show improvement in accuracy, reliability, courtesy, competence, responsiveness, and compliance. Examples of quality measures include number of audits with no findings or within a range of accuracy.

  • Project measures: These measures show progress against an initiative that has a terminus. The measure is usually stated as the percent complete.

Sometimes the measures are obvious, like number of new customers. Other times, they can be hard to come up with. If you’re stumped, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What causes this goal to occur?

  • What causes increased sales?

  • What causes operations to improve?

  • What causes an increase in market share?

  • What causes customer satisfaction?

  • What causes employee satisfaction?

See the figure for a helpful list of possible measures. For more key performance indicators, check out the KPI Library website.

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Determining measures can be tough work. Don’t agonize over finding the best measure. Start with the most obvious and easiest to collect. As you work with your plan over the next several years, you can refine your measures.

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