~ 5 MIN READ
Strategy Software: Features & Solutions
Is your organization consistently struggling to achieve its strategic goals? Here’s how ClearPoint strategy software can help.
You can’t make good decisions without good data, but if you are spending all of your time collecting, organizing, and analyzing data, then you won’t even have time to make decisions. Don’t spend more time managing your scorecard than you do managing your strategy! If you are trying to use Excel and PowerPoint, you know exactly what I’m talking about—you probably dream about version control, broken links, and unanswered reminder emails. It's time to take control of your strategy, become more efficient, and create beautiful reports.
While some strategy software tools handle only portions of strategy management, ClearPoint has a full suite of features that cover both measures (KPIs) and project management. Our software also has two unique features that make it stand out from the competition:
- Automation features allow you to seamlessly execute many aspects of reporting, including pulling in data on a schedule, automatically emailing people to update information, and automatically generating reports and sending them out to a group. Automation is an incredible time-saver you won’t find with any other software.
- Advanced customization options allow you to add custom fields of any type to any reporting element, and filter those options even further in the space of just a few minutes.
If you’re looking for a way to get more accurate data around your strategy, consistent (awesome) reports, and time-saving tracking features, fill out the form to get a tour of our software. Want to be sure it will work for you? We do, too. As part of our tour you can send us a spreadsheet and we’ll mock it up and show you what your data looks like in ClearPoint. If you’d like to learn more about how strategy software can help—and about ClearPoint features specifically—keep reading.
Developing a good business strategy is crucial for the success of any company, but those carefully thought-out plans can be achieved only if they are well executed. Unfortunately, too many businesses devote little attention to strategy execution, which occurs on all levels, across all departments, daily. It’s those small operational pieces that can make or break the strategic vision, depending on whether they remain aligned with the larger goal.
Strategy software helps bridge the gap between strategy creation and execution. High-performing organizations that maintain a strong link between their strategy and execution activities do three things right:
- Organize their strategy into goals (what they want to achieve), measures (defining how to know if they’re making progress), and projects (what they will do to reach their goals).
- Meet regularly (usually monthly or quarterly) to discuss progress.
- Automate their reporting with software to allow them to efficiently and consistently track their strategy with ease.
Strategy software is a key component of strategy execution because it ensures you’re always making progress toward your goals. Some organizations attempt to track strategy using Excel or PowerPoint, but both of these tools fall short when it comes to strategy management. Excel was designed to track data, make tables, and run calculations, but it wasn’t designed to track progress over time, show qualitative analysis (comments), or link strategy elements together. PowerPoint, too, has its strengths: While it’s great for creating presentations, only one person can update content at a time, which leads to version control problems. These tools were not made for managing strategy, and if you’re using them, you’ve probably already wasted hundreds of hours per meeting trying to keep up.
The right strategy software takes all the effort out of the reporting process, helping you produce more informative reports in less time. But strategy software is about more than just number-gathering—it’s about keeping your entire organization on the same page so you never lose track of where you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re headed.
What features should you look for in strategy software?
To deliver real value, the software you choose should include certain features and functionality. These must-have features are organized below in relation to the key components of a strategy: goals, measures, and projects.
Goals are the glue of your entire strategy. Your strategy software should:
- Track goals using status indicators, and, if desired, automatically evaluate
- Organize goals in a strategy map to show a one-page picture of your strategy
- Align division, department, and team activities around the goals of the organization (known as “cascading” your strategy—a feature for which you shouldn’t have to pay extra)
Measures determine how you will track your progress toward goals; powerful software really starts to shine here. When it comes to measuring your results, strategy software should allow you to:
- Import data from multiple sources, on a schedule (or even live)
- Use robust calculations and evaluations so you can pull in data once and link it across your organization
- Display the data in any number of ways, including gauge charts, spider charts, or area charts
- Accommodate qualitative explanations and customizations to explain the information and how it impacts the goals
Unique from measures and goals, projects show action across a portfolio of activities. To support the success of your projects, your strategy software should:
- Display project timelines via Gantt charts
- Generate project status reports that include budget, percent complete, and more
- Perform automatic evaluations regarding progress
Strategy Management Bonus Feature: Automation
All the above features will enhance your ability to manage and track your strategy, but they won’t necessarily save you much time. The best strategy software comes with a “secret sauce” that dramatically simplifies the strategy management process: automation. So if you want to produce great results and save tons of time, your software should:
- Load your data automatically each month and provide a notification when it is up to date
- Send automatic reminders to project, measure, and goal owners with a list of what they should update, and gently nudge them a second time until they complete their work
- Send automatic notifications when things you own or watch turn red or off track (so you can stay one step ahead of your boss!)
- Run and deliver exception reports to your inbox so you can see what needs work before the meeting
- Automatically send the pre-read to meeting attendees so that everyone is on the same page
You should also be able to use the software to:
- Track your decisions and action items during the meeting, from any device
- Send meeting notes and follow up on action items before the next meeting
Does this type of strategy software really exist?
Yes, it does! ClearPoint was specifically designed for strategy execution, and has all the features—including the bonus automation feature—named above. Not only does it give you the insights you need to continuously improve the key strategic drivers of your business, but it also makes the activities around strategy execution easier and faster. Our software consistently earns rave reviews from business users, too, for everything from functionality to ease of use to customer support. If you’d like to check it out, we’d love to show you—just let us know!