Measure Strategic Plan Success with Performance Management Systems

After you have a strategic plan in place, a powerful tool to monitor your progress and communicate company direction is performance management software. Before you choose a system for managing performance, you want to make sure that you’ll get the most out of it. In order to make the most of your software, you need to avoid some common strategy pitfalls by putting in place some of the following time-honored business practices.

  • Executive sponsorship: Leadership teams must use and support your performance management software or it can become just another IT program.

  • Accountability: Expensive performance management software doesn’t ensure success; implementation of your plan depends on solid accountability.

  • Process first: The software just supports the strategic management process, so put a process in place and hold those monthly strategy review meetings.

  • Rollout training: Instead of buying a system and expecting it to work, a plan must be in place to encourage adoption and manage the system for success.

Performance management applications or systems come in many shapes and colors. Regardless of your final choice, note that you’ll need to select some type of system to manage your plan if you plan to drive toward continuous execution. Largely, organizations adopt the system that’s the best fit for the corporate culture and IT strategy.

With that in mind, use the following potential options as a guide to help determine what’s best for your organization right now.

  • Spreadsheets: For small plans, you can use spreadsheets or word documents. Consider creating one document that’s your strategic plan and a second document that highlights the progress of your strategic plan. A fatal flaw is producing too many documents.

  • Web-based applications: For medium- to larger-size plans with multiple teams and/or departments, use a web-based application for easy access to all planning components. Great systems include MyStrategicPlan.com, Rhythm, Active Strategy, and Executive Strategy Manager (ESM).

  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) modules: For organizations that have an ERP system in place, use the strategic management model that’s already built-in. Although the deployment can be lengthy and difficult to secure IT resources, the outcome will be stronger because of the direct link to the underlying data. Market-leading ERP systems with these models include SAP, MS Dynamics, and Oracle.

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