Strategic Plan Evaluation – From IAF Interview


Magate Wildhorse and I thank the Association for Strategic Planning, and the International Affairs Forum (IAF) for the opportunity to speak on the following topics ahead of the ASP Conference 2018. The theme of this year’s Conference was “Bridging the Strategy Execution Gap”.  We had a wonderful time in Chicago. We met many strategy experts from various industries and countries; learned and shared during various conference sessions and we came home with a prize.  Ha ha see why you can’t afford to miss ASP Conference.

Following are the full-length scripts from my pre-conference interviews hosted by Dimitri Neos of the IAF.

The interviews are shared in three parts and covers the following topics:

  • Part 1: Pre-Implementation Evaluation of the Strategic Plan
  • Part 2: Monitoring of the Strategic Plan
  • Part 3: Post-Execution Evaluation of the Strategic Plan

We also discussed specific challenges related to closing the strategy to execution Gap.

From our ASPConf2018 pre-conference interviews.

Part 1: Pre-Implementation Evaluation of the Strategic Plan

IA=FORUM What is your approach to Monitoring and Evaluating strategic plans?

MEEGAN SCOTT: Our approach to the evaluation of strategic plans depends, on the stage in the strategy process, the purpose of the evaluation, and the terms of reference for the evaluation. Our role depends on whether we are adjunct internal or external consultants, and who commissioned the evaluation.

I mentioned internal adjunct because that’s a service we provide where we are adjunct to a team and not just be involved for a couple of days.

The evaluation would involve examining the context as well as the basis and logic of the strategy contained in the plan. We would also be, comparing expected to actual results, identifying emergent strategies, making recommendations for corrective actions, and developing recommendations for performance improvement.

How it actually plays out at Magate Wildhorse depends on whether we are doing the evaluation prior to execution. If it’s before execution, we focus on the content of the plan and we look for the typical consistency, balance, consonants, feasibility, advantage, completeness, clarity, and ability. When we look at consistency, we are looking at strategic intent, the framework, and so forth.

Depending on the strategy, the framework and context, we are looking at– the questions that would focus on things like: are the strategic intent and strategy framework consistent? Was, or to what extent, was a value chain considered for improving products or service delivery— or both? Has the strategy identity of the organization been clearly articulated? Are they relevant? Is there a mission statement; vision, values, and culture statements? Is there a value proposition? We also look to answer the question — Were there provisions and powerful messages for communicating the strategy identity?

Does the plan provide for building human resource and leadership capacity in response to internal gaps or a desired future state of the organization?

Another thing we look at is what, and how solid, the planned activities initiatives are. For example, activities and initiatives for retaining or growing membership or customer base as well as those for capturing non-users. We also ask, is there a timeline, or calendared activities and processes for strategy renewal and updates? What is the frequency of updating the strategy plan and version control. What is the efficiency of the plan

development process?

A question asked to help us as well as the client to do better in the future.

You have to learn what you could have done differently, what you have to get the clients to do differently, what they could have done differently.

During the analysis of the processes, we would use methods such as customer satisfaction assessments. We also look at time sheets, schedules and journals for assessing the time and process. We review our own reflexive journal for every strategic planning exercise; I get a completely new journal.

Organizational history and review of assumptions and sharing are important. You have to examine when and why the organization started. How has it changed, what has impacted the change and what the client or organization is looking for in the future?

That process can really aid organizational learning as well as raise flags or clarifies concerns related to mission drift.
We ask clients to answer questions related to history and the processes that they can do away with. We also look for mechanisms for ongoing surveillance as well as balance in accordance with the strategic framework. Key questions here would consider — How well does a plan addresses risk, the assumptions and the contingencies? Or if it addresses them at all.

To see what’s in the control kit or better other things in the control kit we look at: timelines, levels of effort, performance standards, quality standards and performance indicators.

The mix of lead, lagging, SMART and SMARTER indictors, the last being (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time-bound), plus extending and rewarding.
For ensuring the plan is actionable we also look at work plans and budgets —how well do they support each other?

In the next post we share the discussion on Monitoring the Strategic Plan.

Hosted by IAF ahead of ASPConf2018.

See also:

Bridging the Strategy Execution Gap — Select Challenges

Monitoring strategic plans

Evaluating the corporate strategy plan post-execution (post-implementation)

Magate Wildhorse, The  Noësis & Artificial Intelligence


ASPConf2018, the Association for Strategic  Planning Conference, an event for your professional development and business calendars.

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