Strategic plan: How to perform an evaluation in three steps

A new year has begun and it’s full of promise. While the past few months may not have been easy, you nevertheless have the impression that your strategic plan is leading you in the right direction. But while you are getting closer to your goals, you might also be wondering what the real impact of your strategic plan has been. Here are three steps for taking stock of your recent accomplishments.

 

Step #1

Review your dashboard to check on how your action plan is progressing

When you drew up your strategic plan, you established business objectives for the next five, 10 or 15 years. To accomplish this, you detached yourself from your daily reality in order to devise more ambitious long-term projects. Each target to be attained was clearly identified, then paired with a success indicator to enable accurate evaluation.

As a first step, carefully review the dashboard you created to track how your work towards achieving those goals has progressed. First analyze the totality of work you have accomplished by asking yourself how on the impacts of your strategic plan. Here are a few examples of questions that might help you in your analysis.

  • Were the strategic targets attained? Or are they in the works?
  • Will the unrealized goal continue to be pursued in the coming year?
  • What is the plan’s biggest success to date? What aspects of the plan have worked well?
  • Which team members have distinguished th emselves in pursuit of the plan’s goals?
  • Which challenges have been especially hard to overcome?

Step #2

Get feedback from your employees

Enhance your annual report by asking your employees to participate. No matter what level of the company they are in, invite them to give you their impressions. Integrate the information you have gathered into your analysis and form some conclusions to be included in the next revision of the strategic plan.

To accomplish this, some SMEs hold discussion groups while others distribute a short questionnaire. Here are a few ideas on what you can ask your workers in order to involve them in this annual review:

  • What could we do differently in order to achieve our future objectives?
  • What new approach would allow us to achieve better results?
  • What changes did you notice in your everyday experience following the launch of this initiative?
  • What are the main sources of friction? How can we minimize them in the future?
  • What kind of training program would allow us to make up for gaps in performance?

Step #3

Present your analysis as a report

Performing an annual analysis is a launch pad for next year’s work. Remember that your planning process needs to stay flexible in order to respond to evolutions in the market. You should therefore take care to redeploy your human and financial capital in response to your analysis. It’s better to prioritize one goal at a time than try to do everything at once. While there is no perfect model for guiding you through this exercise, be sure to cover each of the following sections:

  • Introduction: A brief description of your approach and recap of past years’ reports
  • Executive summary: A reminder of primary objectives identified in the strategic plan
  • Analysis of direction: A critical look on how your work towards your goals is progressing
  • Open forum: Presentation of employee comments
  • Conclusion: Revisit the main points and show your success rate

A well-prepared report will provide you with the tools you need to continue your work as a builder. But don’t forget to also take a few well-deserved days off!