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How To Refresh Your Strategic Plan For The Next Fiscal Year
Show of hands: Who has witnessed their company undergo some kind of strategic shift over the last year? More specifically: Has your organization’s structure changed in a way you didn’t prepare for? Has your target market
Show of hands: Who has witnessed their company undergo some kind of strategic shift over the last year? More specifically:
- Has your organization’s structure changed in a way you didn’t prepare for?
- Has your target market shifted?
- Are you in the process of rebranding?
- Did your company fail to meet targets because of circumstances you couldn’t control?
- Did your company see a major (and unexpected) increase or decrease in revenue?
- Did your revenue skyrocket far past what you expected?
There are likely many hands in the air, because changes like the ones above are fairly common—and your year-end review of your organization’s strategic plan is the perfect time to ensure your strategy is reflective of these changes.
In our latest Management Reporting guide, we’ve tackled this refresh process head-on. Below are a couple of the steps that are touched on in the download:
1. Take the four steps necessary for a complete strategic plan review & refresh.
There are four primary components to this big-picture review and refresh:
- First, look at the big picture to get a “zoomed-out” perspective of your high-level goals, mission, and values. Are you still in the same business or have you drifted into other business areas? Are you planning for growth or anticipating steady revenue? Do you have the right structure and skills in place for the long term?
- Next, deep dive into the details of the plan itself, including your objectives, measures, and initiatives. Are your objectives still relevant? Are you tracking all your KPIs? (If not, what’s stopping you?) Are some of your projects delayed, off track, or cancelled? Completing this step will require cooperation from many people around the organization, but helps you consider specific areas of your plan you may need to adjust due to new developments.
- After the details of your plan are solidified, focus on improving your reports. On average, how long does it take you to create a report? Are the reports usually accurate? Does everyone always have access to the right versions of the reports? During this process, you’ll be able to determine if your reporting meetings are effective, and what you can do to shore up your reporting process in the future.
- Finally, communicate any changes to your strategic plan both internally and externally. Everyone needs to understand why changes were made and how those changes will affect them—otherwise, it’ll be nearly impossible to effectively execute your strategy. If you decide to stop doing something, you need to make sure everyone knows. If you decide to start doing something new, you need to decide who will lead it and how they will communicate responsibilities. Without clear and open communication, you will waste a lot of time and money executing on an outdated strategy.
Note: If you’re abandoning your strategic management process entirely, you may have to look at these four elements from a different angle. (Luckily, our Strategic Planning Review guide explains what you should do if this is the case for your organization!)
2. Determine how you’ll manage your current strategy in light of the changes made for the next fiscal year.
If you have a two-year strategic plan and are in the final months of that second year, you’ll need to decide how to manage data from your current year while still handling your future strategic planning. Management tools like ClearPoint offer a way to archive historical information, but if you’re using tools like Excel or PowerPoint, you’ll need to find a workaround for this.
Make sure your strategy is ready to go for your next fiscal year; download our new Strategic Planning Guide today.
If you follow the steps and checklists provided in this free guide, your strategic plan review process will be more effective, your reporting process will improve, and your employees will better understand the changes you roll out. Ultimately, these changes can help ensure that your organization achieves the strategic success it’s looking for with very few bumps along the way! Download it below, and get started.