How to Evaluate Your Strategic Plan - dummies

By Erica Olsen

Now that your strategic plan is all together in one place, you should take a step back and evaluate. Did you create the strategy you intended to create? More than likely, you and your team have put a lot of time into the document you now have in front of you.

The first step after you’ve assembled your strategic plan is put it away for a week and don’t look at it. No peeking! After working on this document for months, you can easily get so close to the plan that you miss obvious flaws (called the not-seeing-the-forest-for-the-trees syndrome).

When you pick your plan back up, reread it and answer these questions:

  • Does your plan connect your mission to your vision? Make sure that all your goals and strategies align with your vision and support your mission. Modify or delete any outliers. You want all your energy focused on reaching your vision.

  • Is your plan realistic? Over planning is a common problem. Consider pushing some deadlines out farther than you originally anticipated.

  • Is your plan integrated? Make sure that all the elements of your plan support each other.

  • Is your plan balanced? Make sure that you have a good balance between financial, customer, internal business process, and employee and learning goals.

  • Is the plan complete? Identify any holes in your plan or potential activities that are unsupported.

  • Is the document clear? Writing down an action item or a goal that makes sense in the moment is easy, but making sure that the action makes sense in six months is crucial. Make sure that every statement is explicit so everyone knows what’s intended. Seek someone you trust outside of your organization to review your plan for clarity and consistency.