Once you have your strategic plan all together in one place, the next phase of the process is to step back and evaluate. Did you create the strategy you intended to create? More than likely, you and your team have put a lot of time into the document you now have in front of you. Put it away for a week and don’t look at it. No peeking! After working on this document for months, it’s easy to get so close to the plan that you miss obvious flaws (called the not-seeing-the-forest-for-the-trees syndrome).
When you pick your plan back up, reread it and answer these questions:
- Does your plan connect your mission to your vision? Make sure all of your goals and strategies align with your vision and supporting your mission. If there are outliers, modify or delete them. You want all of your energy focused on reaching your vision.
- Is your plan realistic? Over planning is a common problem. Consider pushing some deadlines out further than you originally anticipated.
- Is your plan integrated? Make sure that all the elements of your plan support each other.
- Is your plan balanced? Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework will keep you going in the right direction. Make sure that you have a good balance between financial, customer, internal business process, and employee and learning goals.
- Is the plan complete? Identify any holes in your plan or potential activities that are unsupported.
- Is the document clear? It’s easy to write down an action item or a goal that makes sense in the moment, but making sure that the action makes sense in six months is crucial.
Make sure every statement is explicit so everyone knows what’s intended.