7.8. Strategic Planning: Monitoring and Evaluation of Strategic Planning

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Strategic planning is a fundamental tool for the effective management of any company, whether small, medium or large. It serves as a roadmap for the company, outlining where it wants to go and how it intends to do so. However, creating a strategic plan is just the first step. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of strategic planning is essential to ensure the company is on track to achieve its goals.

Strategic Planning Monitoring

Monitoring is an integral part of strategic planning management. It involves regularly monitoring the company's progress against the objectives set out in the strategic plan. This is usually done by collecting and analyzing data relevant to each objective. For example, if one of a company's strategic objectives is to increase sales by 20% in the next year, monitoring may involve collecting monthly sales data to assess whether the company is on track to achieve that objective.

Monitoring allows the company to quickly identify any deviation from its strategic objectives and take appropriate corrective action. This may involve modifying specific strategies or tactics, or even reviewing the strategic plan as a whole.

Strategic Planning Assessment

While monitoring involves continually tracking progress against strategic objectives, evaluation is a more formal and systematic process of reviewing a company's performance. Assessment usually occurs at regular intervals (e.g. annually) and involves a more in-depth analysis of the company's performance.

Strategic planning assessment involves analyzing data collected during the monitoring process to determine whether the company is achieving its strategic objectives and, if not, why. This may involve analyzing a variety of factors, including the company's financial performance, customer satisfaction, the effectiveness of marketing and sales strategies, and so on.

Assessment also involves reviewing the strategic plan itself to determine whether it is still relevant and appropriate. This may involve considering changes in the business environment, such as new market trends or changes in legislation, which may require reviewing or updating the strategic plan.

Importance of Monitoring and Evaluation

Regular monitoring and evaluation of strategic planning is essential to ensure the company is on track to achieve its objectives. They allow the company to quickly identify any issues or challenges that may be impeding its progress and take appropriate corrective action.

In addition, monitoring and evaluation can provide valuable information that can be used to improve company performance. For example, they can help the company identify areas of strength that can be leveraged, as well as areas of weakness that need to be addressed.

In short, strategic planning is an essential tool for the effective management of any company. However, for it to be effective, it must be accompanied by regular monitoring and evaluation. This will allow the company to stay on track to achieve its goals and quickly adapt to any changes in the business environment.

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