How can you move a strategic plan forward without the mundane review of each KPI and action step? What fresh approaches exist to review strategy implementation progress and potential revisions as we proceed?

A Brainzooming blog subscriber posed these questions. We talked live and shared background and ideas. She originally found her way to the Brainzooming website on a search to make their original strategy planning process fun, lively, and productive.

Her organization, four months into its current strategic plan, needs to step up progress monitoring. So far, they’ve been distracted and haven’t spent much time formally tracking the strategy plan’s implementation. She wants to bring productivity and a breath of fresh air to the leadership team’s upcoming strategy review.


I spelled out a framework built around four different types of meetings that address strategy implementation progress. For each meeting, I suggested varied approaches to guide and enliven the meetings.

1) Project Management

Objective: Track important tasks and implementation progress.

Run by: Project Manager or the Strategy Office

Ideas to Improve These Meetings:

2) Exception Management

Objective: Focus on variances from expectations, addressing the reasons and next steps.

Run by: Strategy Office, Executive Sponsors

Ideas to Improve These Meetings:

  • Set standards for identifying what receives focus and what doesn’t.
  • Rely on a dashboard or background reporting for updates on items within standard performance.
  • Consider engaging frameworks to stimulate discussions. You can ask everyone to share one of each of these: Surprising Successes, New Roadblocks, and Potential Watch Outs.

3) Strategic Direction Check-ins

Objective: Gauging strategy implementation relative to progress on major initiatives that will determine plan success.

Run by: Strategic Planning Leader, Executive Team

Ideas to Improve these Meetings:

4) Engagement-building for the Plan

Objective: Focus on successes, challenges that have been overcome, and motivating to stay engaged in the plan.

Run by: Top Leadership, Strategy Leader, Communications

Ideas to Improve these Meetings:

  • Abandon a checklist format completely. Solicit themes, stories, and motivational experiences related to the plan’s ongoing implementation.
  • Executives and staff can lose track of what’s been accomplished. Frequently revisit accomplishments to keep interest and momentum going for the strategy.
  • This type of meeting takes longer to develop. Solicit the input well in advance. Involve communicators who can develop multi-media formats to engage and motivate the team.

Yes, it’s possible to bring fun and productivity to strategy implementation reporting. That’s why it’s a big part of the Brainzooming Simple Strategy online course. A strategy is only as successful as its results!  Mike Brown

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