Strategy and operations traditionally hasn't been viewed as a growth engine for companies. However, with the rise in platforms built to help drive efficiency and effectiveness across your business, strategy and ops is quickly becoming one of the key ingredients for finding and replicating areas of growth across your business.
From the COO to the Chief of Staff and plenty of roles in between, strategy and ops leaders are being tasked with taking the long term vision for a company and distilling it into year-to-year or quarter-to-quarter execution. The best way to do that? Create a dynamic strategic plan that evolves and grows with you.
There are plenty of strategic planning tools that can help you get started, ranging from free strategic planning software to enterprise platforms designed for Fortune 100 companies that can take 9-12 months to implement. So when it comes to evaluating the best strategic planning software for your business, it's important to understand what you are looking for and what is going to work best for the stage of your business.
Today, we are going to focus on the best strategic planning tools for high growth companies, and why a strategic planning app makes sense at this stage.
Why Do You Need a Strategic Planning Solution?
It's no secret that venture backed high growth companies are surging in today's landscape. From companies disrupting existing markets to companies building new categories all together, these companies are experiencing significant growth in terms of revenue and headcount.
So while in the past, strategy execution management software might have been something reserved for only Fortune 500 companies, in today's landscape, high growth companies realize that operations can help remove friction and serve as a growth engine for continued scale.
It isn't enough to hack your way into unsustainable growth. That playbook has been run, and it doesn't work in the long run. In working alongside some of the leading strategy and ops leaders, we’ve come to find that they recognize growth is the number one goal for the company. However, the secret to unlocking the full potential of a company comes from building structure that removes friction and hurdles that otherwise slow down revenue teams.
We often hear the argument of, 'Strategic planning doesn't work for us because we're growing too quickly!' And we get it. Things are changing daily, milestones are being reached monthly, and you're smashing through sales records every quarter.
But a strategic plan isn't designed to cap you or restrict growth. In fact, a great strategic plan is evolving with you and surfacing areas for continued investment. If you view strategic planning solutions as a way to help accelerate growth, rather than a way to simply report on past performance, then the opportunities unlocked to your team can be limitless.
Building Your Dream Strategic Planning Solution
So what does your dream strategic planning solution look like? From working with hundreds of companies, we've identified three main areas of strategic planning:
1. The leadership offsite. This can be quarterly and/or annually, but it usually consists of your leadership team heading off site to meet and discuss what your team's goals will be, how they align to the long term vision of the company, and who owns what objectives. The reality is that often teams struggle to bring the takeaways from their offsite back to the company. Whether it be communicating these goals clearly and consistently to employees or just reviewing them on a regular basis as a team, so often these goals get lost in the move from planning to reality.
2. Measuring quarterly goals against your strategic plan. Strategic planning is not a ‘set it and forget it’ process, which means it's something you'll need to revisit more frequently than once per quarter. You and your team should be constantly reviewing how your team is performing against plan, and leveraging strategic plan tracking tools to understand where there are opportunities for growth or where resources might need to be shifted away from in your business. Further, you should be reviewing objectives and KPIs that tie into your balanced scorecard software. And if you don't have software that can easily unify your OKRs and KPIs for reporting, then we should definitely talk.
3. Reviewing company performance. The review process isn't just about reviewing what worked and what didn't, it's about the insights your team can be gathering on the direction of the company and the areas of investment you should be exploring further. It also helps paint a picture for how goals are set in your company, and how you might need to adjust. Is your company consistently meeting 100% of your objectives or are you at 75%? Is engineering constantly overachieving while sales is underperforming? You should be leveraging a strategic planning platform and strategic planning templates that allow you to easily report on how teams are doing across your business and make tweaks as needed to find the right cadence.
Looking for the right strategic planning platform for your company can be an overwhelming process. That's why we built Elate.
Our team has lived through the strategic planning process, and realizes how exhausting and time consuming it can be. And we aren't just talking about building the plan. We know all too well the complexity of scheduling the first offsite, taking copious notes on all the whiteboard ideas, distilling those ideas into a few critical themes, bringing it back to the rest of the employees, rolling out a framework for all the employees to own their objectives, and even reporting on those objectives!
Elate is the leading Strategic Planning software built to help SaaS companies communicate their vision, create alignment, and track performance all in one place.
From our intuitive, user-friendly design to our customer success team, we are focused on one thing: helping strategy and ops leaders build and grow their companies.
If you're interested in learning more about how we are working with other leading strategy and ops leaders, reach out to our team today! We'd love to go through a demo of what we've built for you.