5 Reasons Strategic Plans Fail

5 reasons strategic plans fail by H4P

Strategic Planning ConsultantsWe are already into February and your plans will be well underway. But even with the best of intentions and many sessions building and refocusing your strategic plan many businesses will fail on their strategy by the end of the first quarter.

In the recent Chartered Institute Of Management Future Forecast for 2016. Only 18% of businesses in their survey exceeded their business targets in 2015 and 29% of businesses under shot their targets.

So why are the statistics so low? Was their strategy and plans realistic? Did they research the competition? Are businesses missing the mark on implementing and operationalising their plans?

Here are five reasons why strategic plans fail, and what you can do make sure you achieve your strategy and in turn your targets for 2016.


  1. The plan is too complex 

If you find you’re planning more than you’re executing, you’re probably overcomplicating the process. The best strategic plans are often the simplest. The simpler they are the easier it is for people to understand and operationalise.

Operational plans essentially bring your strategic plan to life and map out the where’s, how’s, why’s and when’s required to ensure successful plan implementation. Make you plan as realistic as possible to enable your team to feel empowered and success to happen.


  1. The plan doesn’t answer today’s problems

Planning for the future can be exhilarating, but sometimes the present is the more pressing issue. Encourage your team to document the trouble spots in real-time as they move through their days. Take a long, hard look at the bottlenecks and obstacles that are bogging down your current ways of working. Resolve these problems first and then you can focus on your plan.


  1. The plan is just a financial one

You can have all the numbers in the world but unless you have a framework and projects to deliver the numbers then they will stay on the spreadsheet. Priorities, goals and communication are key to a plans success, not numbers on their own.

  1. The plan hasn’t got clear accountabilities and objectives for each person

Too often, strategic plans are set in motion without the full commitment of everyone involved. Before you implement make sure everyone is on the same place. Your role is to hold everyone to account and make sure objectives are set around the plan for everyone involved in making it happen.

  1. Nobody is talking the plan and what they are doing to deliver it

Once the strategy sessions are complete, how have you been monitoring them? When is your next review booked for an update? Have you decided to do this monthly, quarterly or in 6 months? Have you communicated the plan clearly to your team and do they know what is the part they play in delivering the plan.

If you can tick all of the above then you are probably heading for success. If not spend a bit of time putting them in place and your will hopefully be in the 18% who achieve their targets.

Jo Hale is a Director of Head4Performance Ltd.

Working with businesses who love performing !


Follow Jo on Twitter @Jo_H4P

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