Considering Strategic Planning Software? Here's Everything You Need to Know to Make a Decision

Explore our guide to Strategic Planning Software for 2024. Perfect for businesses seeking efficient performance tracking & strategy development.
Considering Strategic Planning Software? Here's Everything You Need to Know to Make a Decision
Explore our guide to Strategic Planning Software for 2024. Perfect for businesses seeking efficient performance tracking & strategy development.

Effective strategic planning is key for any organization's success, yet only 67% of leaders feel confident that their organization excels at crafting strategy.

Strategic planning software like ClearPoint Strategy can enhance the strategy planning process by incorporating advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology and simplifying complex data into practical insights.

Strategic planning software solutions focus on performance metrics and strategic frameworks, like the Balanced Scorecard or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), and ensure that every decision is based on data, and every action is optimized for the most significant impact. 

Let's analyze how a strategic planning tool can help you better plan and implement your business strategy.

What is Strategic Planning Software?

Strategic planning software is a tool that streamlines the process of planning and executing organizational goals. It helps you formulate, execute, and track your strategic plans, and serves as a hub for aligning goals, data, and progress.

ClearPoint Strategy is a dedicated strategic planning software that offers a transparent view of performance metrics, demonstrating their impact on overarching goals. This clarity is so important for informed decision-making, agile strategy adaptation, and ensuring actions align with your organization's mission and vision, no matter the industry.

The Benefits of Utilizing Strategic Planning Tools in Your Organization

As previously mentioned, strategic planning software enhances the strategy planning and execution process for organizations. This is likely why 71% of fast-growing companies have strategic plans, business plans, or similar long-range planning tools in place. But what does this really mean? What tangible benefits can you experience from implementing strategic planning software? 

Let's explore some of the business benefits below:

1. Data-driven decision making

A major benefit of strategic planning software is its support for data-driven decision-making. In healthcare, for example, ClearPoint Strategy's software allows hospitals to effectively analyze patient outcomes, resource use, and operational efficiency. This results in more informed decisions that positively affect patient care quality.

2. Efficient reporting and accountability

Strategic planning software also streamlines reporting and accountability. Our software eases the creation of detailed reports, which support progress monitoring, pinpointing improvement areas, and upholding accountability to stakeholders. This efficiency saves and improves transparency and trust.

3. Enhanced strategic alignment and focus

Strategic planning software helps with alignment and focus. This means that you can align your immediate actions with your long-term objectives.

4. Adaptability and quick response

The ability to adapt and respond quickly is essential for success. Take our strategic planning solution, for example, Healthcare organizations can swiftly modify strategies and resources during a health crisis. Government agencies, too, can quickly adapt to new public needs or policy shifts, ensuring their strategies stay relevant and effective.

Strategic Planning Software in Different Industries

Strategic planning software, such as ClearPoint Strategy, are versatile tools that can easily adapt to the unique needs of various industries. 

Strategic Planning Software in Healthcare

Strategic planning software is vital for enhancing performance and patient care in healthcare. It allows providers to analyze trends, predict needs, and optimize resource allocation to improve patient outcomes and operational efficiency. Our software integrates diverse data sources that can help make informed decisions on patient services, staff deployment, and facility management.

Strategic Planning Software in Local Government Agencies

For local government entities, strategic planning software is a tool for transparency and accountability. It assists in tracking the progress of public projects, managing budgets, and ensuring compliance with regulations. ClearPoint Strategy facilitates clear communication of goals and objectives to stakeholders, promoting a transparent approach to governance and public service delivery.

Strategic Planning Software in Other Sectors

Businesses, regardless of their size or sector, benefit from strategic planning software. These tools help businesses set clear objectives, analyze market trends, and adapt strategies in real-time. This adaptability is crucial for staying competitive in ever-changing markets, allowing organizations to pivot quickly in response to new opportunities or challenges.

What to Look for in The Best Strategic Planning Software

In 2024, strategic planning software will be defined by a set of key features that drive efficiency, clarity, and success in organizational strategy execution.

To get the most value out of your investment, the strategic planning software you choose should have:

  1. Robust security and data protection: Ensuring the protection of sensitive information is key. Does the software have strong security measures to protect sensitive information and ensure data integrity?
  2. Advanced data integration and analysis: Can the software integrate and analyze data from various sources to provide a comprehensive view of performance metrics and OKRs? This is crucial for making informed, holistic strategic decisions.
  3. Real-time reporting and analytics: Can the software generate real-time reports and analytics to help you monitor progress and adapt strategies as needed?
  4. Organizational alignment: Can you link goals, metrics, and projects at all levels? This is vital for cohesive and effective strategy execution.
  5. Project management capability: Can you link projects to strategy, and manage the various tasks, timelines, and budgets? This is crucial for operational success.
  6. Artificial intelligence: Does the software incorporate AI to enhance strategic planning efficiency, offering features like advanced calculations, collaboration tools, and customized strategy frameworks? AI should also support real-time progress tracking and generate AI-powered scorecards and reports.
  7. Intuitive user interface: Is the interface user-friendly, enabling easy access and interpretation of complex data and strategic plans? The software should allow quick decision-making without complex navigation.
  8. Customization and flexibility: Does the software offer customization to meet the specific needs of different industries? It should align with your organization's goals and operations.
  9. Advanced reporting customization options: Can you customize nearly all parts of the tool (fields, layouts, frameworks, dashboards, etc.) to make it your own?
  10. Automation: Can you schedule data update reminders, data uploads, and report generation? Can you automatically get alerts when things are off track or projects are due?
  11. Easy integrations: Can you integrate it with the tools you already use so you can easily import data?
  12. A variety of report types: Can you create and share progress reports in multiple ways? This is important for comprehensive communication and analysis.
  13. Quantitative & qualitative data: Can you input both types of data to provide context? This is important for a more nuanced and contextual understanding of strategic elements.
  14. Ease of use: Have you tried it out yourself and read user reviews? Demos are the best way to test a tool yourself. Get a ClearPoint Strategy demo here.

5 Things to Consider When Looking for Strategic Planning Software

If software shopping feels overwhelming, you can make the job more manageable by immediately discounting tools that aren't explicitly designed for strategic planning

Narrow down your options to tools truly equipped to foster meaningful strategic analysis and reporting, ensuring you invest in a solution that aligns with your overarching strategic goals. When considering strategic planning software, focus on these key aspects and ask the following questions:

1. It should support your strategy framework

Does the software accommodate various strategic planning models like Balanced Scorecard, OKRs, Baldrige, or goal-based planning without forcing you into a specific methodology? Is it flexible enough to adapt to your evolving strategy framework? Look for a solution that doesn’t force you to adopt a certain methodology. It should adapt to what you’re doing—not the other way around.

ClearPoint Strategy is flexible enough to be used with any strategy framework, so no matter which direction you’re planning to go, we can go with you! We even have scripts that allow you to switch from one framework to another with ease.

“ClearPoint Strategy is a ‘your size’ program, providing solutions and tools that fit your immediate needs, but can grow with you as you continue to grow your plan and metrics, with a price point that can fit practically any budget.”

—G2 reviewer

2. It should make it easy to align organizational goals and activities

Can the software easily link departmental objectives and activities with the broader organizational goals? Does it enable you to identify and address any misalignments within teams to ensure cohesive progress toward organizational objectives?

All too often organizations set ambitious, high-level goals yet fail to ensure that all departments are actually working to achieve them—it’s a common point of weakness in strategy planning. When business plans aren’t aligned with organizational strategy you wind up with disparate groups working on their own priorities. And while that might mean that a particular department makes strides, it does little to move the organization itself ahead.

ClearPoint is the only strategic planning software tool that lets you quickly and easily see which objectives, measures (KPIs), and initiatives (projects) are aligned and which ones are not, so you can address gaps.

3. It should help you generate insightful strategy reports

Is the software capable of producing comprehensive reports that offer a clear "big picture" of your strategy, integrating both quantitative and qualitative data? Does it provide various report types to cater to different informational needs and decision-making processes?

Strategy reports need context. An Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation made up of data copied and pasted from various sources isn’t likely to clarify anything for decision-makers. They need to know how all the strategic data points and elements fit together—in essence, what the “big picture” looks like.

Only strategic planning software can provide that point of view. Make sure the software you choose is capable of producing attractive reports that visualize department goals, measures, and initiatives, and allow you to view as much or as little detail about each aspect as you like. It should also offer a variety of report types—PDFs, online dashboards, briefing books, etc. Strategy planning software helps leaders get the most relevant information in the least amount of time, which helps them to analyze progress, make decisions, and execute on time.

ClearPoint allows you to visualize quantitative information in charts, and time-based activities in Gantt Charts. You can also add qualitative analysis to bring this information to life, and include color status indicators for a quick assessment of any strategic element. All these features give you the capability to create varied reports for different audiences, so leaders have everything they need for better strategic decision-making. (See how the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has used it to improve its strategic outcomes and save millions of dollars through increased efficiencies!)

“Clearpoint is very easy to use and understand. The analytics that are produced are great. The dashboards are easy to make. I can't say enough good things about this product and the ClearPoint team. Our finished product looked amazing.”

—Darcy B. (G2 reviewer)

4. It should make the reporting process easy

Does the software simplify the reporting process through automation, reducing the need for manual data collection and report generation? Can it streamline your strategic reporting, making it more efficient and less time-consuming?

Organizations have a tendency to overlook the management aspect of strategic planning; most of the time, everyone simply goes back into their siloed corners and does their own thing. Continuous tracking and reporting is essential to reaching your goals. But unfortunately, the complex processes associated with reporting can overwhelm organizations to the point where they either can’t keep up (and abandon their efforts) or are forced into a permanent state of inefficiency, which threatens their competitiveness.

Strategy planning software should put an end to this problem. Solutions ClearPoint employ automation to make the reporting process easy. So there’s no longer any need for team members to chase down quarterly update data, generate reports, or even distribute reports. Much of your reporting process should run smoothly on its own, providing your decision-makers with exactly what they need, when they need it.

ClearPoint was designed from the ground up to solve the specific challenges associated with the strategy reporting process. For over 10 years, ClearPoint has worked with leading private and public sector organizations to transform their strategy reporting processes, making them more effective and efficient. One ClearPoint customer was able to reduce the cost of its monthly management board reporting by 70%, and another was able to reduce its reporting time by 90%!

5. The vendor should be dedicated to helping you succeed with your strategy, not just your software

Beyond initial training, does the vendor offer ongoing support and act as a partner in your strategic efforts? Are they committed to helping you succeed not just with the software but with your overall strategy implementation and adaptation as your organization grows?

Contact with your vendor shouldn’t end after your initial training. The best vendors are those who see themselves as partners in your strategy efforts, not simply as software providers. Ensure that the vendor you’re looking at not only meets customers’ expectations but goes above and beyond to make them happy.

The ClearPoint support team is the best in the business. We’ll do everything we can to not only help your team get up and running with the software, but also to continue to use it effectively as your organization grows. You’ll have your own account manager to help you get started with a custom implementation plan based on your team’s needs and goals. Our support team is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your software investment for as long as you use it!

ClearPoint has been awarded a “Best Support” badge by G2, and gets a 9.7 rating for quality of support by our customers. That’s because our team members have a passion for performance management and great technical skills—we solve problems quickly so you can focus on executing on your strategy, not fighting with a software tool while trying to create your reports.

“The ClearPoint Strategy Team is outstanding in supporting your business needs, assisting you with various reports, walking you through processes to implement your business's strategies, goals, initiatives, and outcomes…The customer service is outstanding and they continuously check in on their clients to ensure your success.”

—G2 reviewer

How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business Needs

Selecting the right strategic planning software isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. This software needs to align with your business's unique needs and goals. Our experience in this field means that we have gone ahead and highlighted several key factors that you should consider when making this choice:

  1. Assess your organization's specific requirements: Understanding your strategic goals, operational complexity, and unique challenges is crucial for selecting software that aligns with your needs. Why? Tailored software solutions are built to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Ask yourself: What are our strategic goals? How complex are our operations? What specific challenges do we need to address?
  2. Match software features with organizational needs: Identify software that offers features aligning with your organization's requirements, like performance metrics tracking and strategic frameworks. The right features ensure the software supports your strategic objectives and operational needs. Does the software track the performance metrics we care about? Can it support our strategic frameworks?
  3. Evaluate software vendors and user reviews: Investigate the vendor's reputation and look for user reviews. Focus on feedback from organizations similar to yours. A vendor's track record and user experiences offer valuable insights into the software's reliability and suitability for your context. What is the vendor's experience in our industry? What do user reviews say, especially from similar organizations?

How to Maximize ROI with Your Strategic Planning Software Tools

Maximizing your return on investment (ROI) with strategic planning software is crucial to success. By adopting a few key strategies, you can significantly improve your planning processes and achieve concrete results. Here, we'll guide you through the most effective ways to use strategic planning software to benefit your business and get that ROI.

Calculate your ROI with our free-to-use calculator

1. Set clear, measurable goals

To get the most out of strategic planning software, setting specific, measurable goals is crucial. Here at ClearPoint Strategy, our software can track progress toward these goals, so it's important to clearly define what you want to achieve, like better customer satisfaction or more efficient operations.

2. Integrate across departments

Make sure all your project managers and departments use your strategic planning software. This helps everyone see how the whole organization is doing and work together better. It becomes much more effective when all your departments use the software to share data.

3. Regularly review and adapt strategies

Keep using your strategic planning software to check and change your strategies. Business changes fast, so being able to adjust quickly is key. Regularly look at the data from the software to make smart changes to your strategies, keeping your organization flexible and up-to-date.

4. Train your team effectively

Getting the most ROI also means making sure your team knows how to use the strategic planning software well. Everyone should be comfortable with its features and know how to understand the data. This helps them make decisions based on solid information and use what the software offers.

5. Utilize advanced analytics and AI features

Use the more advanced parts of your strategic planning software, like analytics and AI. These can predict trends, analyze patterns, and help plan for different scenarios, which is useful for making business decisions.

Introducing ClearPoint Strategy, a Modern Strategic Planning Software

As you can probably tell by now, ClearPoint Strategy is a leader in strategic planning software, providing a comprehensive and evolving solution for a range of organizations. With over 16 years of development, our platform uses advanced technologies like AI to make strategic planning and execution more efficient.

Why ClearPoint Strategy

Opting for ClearPoint Strategy as your strategic planning software partner means choosing a path toward enhanced organizational strategy and efficiency. Our strategic planning platform sets itself apart by offering unique benefits tailored to a variety of industries. These benefits include:

  • Experience and tailored solutions: With 16-plus years in the industry, we have a level of expertise that translates into a robust, highly customizable software solution.
  • Customer experience: We offer unmatched customer experience by building trust and being a dependable advisor. We strengthen our relationships with consistent and reliable guidance, making sure you feel confident and secure using our services.
  • Awards: We received several G2 awards this year in the Strategic Planning and Execution, and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) categories.
  • An end-to-end solution: Our powerful solution covers all aspects of the strategic planning process, using process automation and AI for better efficiency and accuracy. It also integrates data effectively, ensuring a consistent and unified approach.

Say Goodbye to Inefficiency: Discover Smarter Strategic Planning with ClearPoint Strategy

Embrace efficiency and strategic clarity with ClearPoint Strategy, a “must-have” solution in strategic planning software for 2024. Our platform is specifically designed to eliminate inefficiencies, transforming the way organizations approach their strategic planning and execution.

Understanding the varied requirements of different industries, ClearPoint Strategy provides highly customized strategy software solutions. Whether it's improving patient care in healthcare or enhancing resource management in government, our software is adapted to meet your specific needs, making your strategic planning more relevant and effective.

So, move away from inefficiency and towards clear, data-informed decision-making with ClearPoint Strategy. Interested in reshaping your organization's strategic planning? Get your free demo and start your journey towards a more strategic and successful future.


What are strategic planning skills?

Strategic planning skills refer to the abilities and competencies needed to develop, implement, and manage strategic initiatives within an organization. These skills typically include:

- Analytical Skills: Ability to analyze internal and external factors affecting the organization.
- Critical Thinking: Evaluating complex situations and making informed decisions.
- Communication: Effectively conveying strategic goals and plans to stakeholders.
- Leadership: Guiding teams and motivating them towards achieving strategic objectives.
- Adaptability: Being flexible and responsive to changes in the business environment.

What are strategic planning tools?

Strategic planning tools are software applications or frameworks used to facilitate the strategic planning process. These tools help organizations:

- SWOT Analysis: Assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- PESTEL Analysis: Evaluate political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors.
- Scenario Planning: Anticipate future scenarios and plan accordingly.
- Balanced Scorecard: Track performance against strategic goals using financial and non-financial measures.
- Strategy Maps: Visualize strategic objectives and their interrelationships.

What are strategic planning models?

Strategic planning models provide structured frameworks for developing and implementing strategic plans. Examples include:

- Goal-Based Planning: Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
- Issue-Based Strategic Planning: Addressing key issues or challenges facing the organization.
- Alignment Model: Ensuring alignment of business activities with strategic goals.
- Organic Growth Model: Focusing on incremental growth and continuous improvement.
- Portfolio Planning: Allocating resources among different strategic initiatives based on risk and return.

What are strategic planning techniques?

Strategic planning techniques are methodologies or approaches used to facilitate the strategic planning process. Techniques include:

- Brainstorming: Generating ideas and solutions collaboratively.
- Gap Analysis: Identifying discrepancies between current and desired states.
- Benchmarking: Comparing performance metrics with industry standards or competitors.
- SWOT Analysis: Assessing internal strengths and weaknesses, along with external opportunities and threats.
- Critical Success Factors (CSFs): Identifying key areas crucial for achieving strategic objectives.

What are strategic planning concepts?

Strategic planning concepts are fundamental principles or ideas that guide the strategic planning process. Concepts include:

- Vision and Mission: Defining the organization's purpose and aspirations.
- Core Values: Guiding principles that shape organizational culture and behavior.
- Competitive Advantage: Unique strengths that differentiate the organization from competitors.
- Risk Management: Assessing and mitigating risks that may impact strategic objectives.
- Change Management: Managing transitions and organizational change to achieve strategic goals.

8 Steps to Optimize Your Strategy with AI
8 Steps to Optimize Your Strategy with AI
Considering Strategic Planning Software? Here's Everything You Need to Know to Make a Decision

Andrew Middleton

Customer Success Manager & Cat Person

Andrew is part of the customer success team, helping partners to extract the deep value ClearPoint has to offer.

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