Traditional strategic planning systems developed decades ago, have not improved to match today’s rapidly changing, results driven workplace. They are too complicated and do not reliably, if ever, produce the required outcomes leaders like you are accountable for.
In this articles, I’m going to share with you an easy to implement, three-step strategic planning system in only 5 minutes – you can use to quickly and reliably achieve the results you’re accountable for – regardless of your industry, or position within your organization.
Step 1 – Strategy Development
Step 1 – Strategy Development you will create a one page, strategy scorecard used to document in writing exactly what you and your team are accountable for achieving and a simple method to track your progress.
Across the top are 7 column headers. The first column is where you will document your strategic goals. And in the template, you can download,
I’ve filled in for you the foundational pillars all successful strategic plans include – a balanced set of four strategic goals – a finance, workforce, operations, and a customer strategic goal – to ensure you have a 360-degree view – to access the overall health of the areas you are responsible for leading.
Next begin filling in the second column – strategic objectives. Starting at the top with the customer strategic goal, identifying 2 to 4 strategic objectives – what must you increase or decrease relative to the customers you serve?
Your strategic objectives should be only 2- or 3-word statements, beginning with a verb – either increase or decrease, followed by a noun.
You are going to follow the same process for the operations, workforce and finance strategic goals by identifying 2 to 4 strategic objectives for each – What must you increase or decrease relative to each to make a positive impact to the strategic objectives above? 2- or 3-word statements, beginning with a verb – either increase or decrease, followed by a noun.
If you would like to learn more how to identify and order your strategic goals and objectives to create a “flywheel” effect, enabling you to improve the performance you’re accountable for faster and faster – then please watch the video “Strategic Goals & Objectives: Why They’re Critical To Your Success” where I walk you through step-by-step process and share industry specific examples. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO.
With your strategic goals and objectives identified, next is to identify 2 to 4 key performance measures for each strategic objective. The measures you select should be a balance of both leading and lagging measures. Lagging measures are the outcomes you desire for each strategic objective, and the leading measures should be predictive measures, what first must be done well, to achieve the lagging outcome performance measures.
The next columns are placeholders to document and track your monthly and YTD performance for the measures aligned to each strategic objective. Next is to document the required target levels you are accountable for achieving – such as required industry standards levels, levels required by your customers, or set internally by your leader or board members.
Next is to identify 2 or 3 KEY challenges you believe will make it difficult to achieve the performance measure target levels aligned to each of your strategic goals and objectives. And the final section is to identify 2 to 4 KEY strategic actions you believe are required to overcome each challenge, to achieve the performance measure target levels, and to demonstrate achievement of each strategic objective.
It’s important to remember the one-page strategy scorecard is not intended to be your public facing document you share with to your key external stakeholders. Instead, it’s a tool to organize the key outcomes you’re responsible for, and a simple method to track your progress at achieving them.
Step 2 – Strategy Execution
With the completion of your one-page strategy scorecard, next is Step 2 – Strategy Execution,where you will deploy your strategy scorecard by creating department levels scorecards, and to align your key workforce systems, such as your hiring, recognition, training and promotional processes to the achievement of the strategic goals and objectives you are accountable for.
If you are responsible for several large departments or services lines, then I’d suggest you require each leader who oversees them to create their own, department level strategy scorecard, by follow the exact same processes described in step 1 – strategy development.
It’s important to cascade down, the exact same strategic goals and objectives you have identified within your strategy scorecard by simply copying them onto each department scorecard template. But within each department level scorecard, they will have unique performance measures, challenges and actions specific to them.
But, if you lead a small team, I’d keep it simple and only create one strategy scorecard document – but add additional leading and lagging performance measures for each department or service line.
Step 3 – Strategy Improvement
And finally, Step 3 Strategy Improvement is where you will conduct monthly strategy scorecard review meetings with your team. These meetings should last no longer than 90 minutes and there are three primary objectives.
First is to review your performance outcomes within each of your strategic goals and objectives and determine if you are meeting the required monthly and YTD target levels.
Second is to celebrate your team’s successes at meeting your key outcomes. Ask your team who do you need to contact to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and achievements.
Third is to identify performance measures that are below required target levels and ask the leader responsible to report out why they are not meeting target level, key root causes and what process improvement efforts they have implemented to quickly close performance gaps back above required target levels.
Download Strategy Scorecard
There you go, our three step – Strategy Execution PRO system hundreds of leaders have used to quickly achieve the outcomes they’re accountable for. Using our system over 60 clients have been recognized as role model organizations winning local, state, national, and internal awards for performance excellence.
To download a copy of the strategy scorecard excel document you can easily modify of meet your unique needs based upon the number of strategic goals and objectives, please click the button below.
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David Harrawood, President Baldrige Group Consulting