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Elate puts everything you need to build your Strategic Plan right at your fingertips. From setting your long-term vision and annual goals to tracking quarterly objectives, it’s never been easier to create a plan that helps you reach your goals.
Rather than working out of dozens of spreadsheets or endless presentations, Elate helps you build a simple, intuitive plan that can be easily shared with team members.
As a business owner or manager, you undoubtedly already know the frustrating statistics surrounding new business longevity. Or lack thereof. Many small businesses won't make it past the first year and the majority of all businesses won't make it past the first five years. Why? Because starting up and running a business is difficult. No matter what industry you are in. The good news is that the right strategic planning software can help you on your journey.
Strategic software is so important and so vital to the modern business precisely because so many new businesses flounder due to their inability to properly assess and plan for market changes, disruptions, and more. Just consider the following key common business mistakes that can be avoided by simply including the right strategy execution software:
The core issue that's at the heart of all the above common problems and more is poor communication. Good communication is the heartbeat of any company of any size of any industry. Just consider how many times you have to communicate something about a project to someone else; how often what you do relies on the information your team gives you. Thus it is integral for every company to have the communication in place to properly cascade strategy. One of the best ways of doing so is by evaluating a list of the best strategic planning tools and implementing the strategic planning software that makes sense for your business.
The best strategic planning happens when the facts of your company’s performance are properly brought forth, benefits outlined, challenges discussed, and then teams act and react accordingly. Strong strategic planning applications are designed to make communicating all across an organization easy and stress-free. The best strategic planning tools do this by:
As you start shopping for strategic planning solutions and initiative management software, you are going to find a lot out on the market. Simply note that not every strategy management software is built the same. While our experience has led to us incorporating many of the main features in Elate, including the very sought-after one-page strategic plan template that helps businesses with strategic planning from the ground up, there are some really great options out there.
But no matter which strategic planning software you choose for your company, make sure they can offer you the following key features:
Here at Elate, our developers and team members have had the exact same struggles and frustrations many businesses have when starting a new venture. In fact, it is because of our experiences that we combined talents to create a robust, multi-purposeful platform through which other businesses can better succeed.
Through our best strategic planning software, businesses can:
So are you ready to see the difference that a robust strategic planning software can have on your business and goals? Let our team be the one to show you that difference. Contact us today to learn how to set up your business for success with this program.
Over the past few years, we've seen an evolution of the strategy and operations leader at high growth companies. What was traditionally viewed as a leadership role designed simply to help add structure and processes, strategy and operations leaders are now taking a much more direct role in driving growth at leading companies.
Today, strategy and operations leaders serve as the connective tissue between the long-term vision of the company and the tactical execution. Often, they sit directly alongside the CEO or leadership team, and help translate the three, five, and ten-year vision into quarterly goals that must be reached in order to ever realize that long-term vision.
So with the increased emphasis placed on the strategy and operations position within a high growth company, it's more important than ever that these leaders are leveraging solutions that help drive execution towards the company's vision. One critical part of executing towards a long-term vision is the Strategic Planning process. At Elate, we believe Strategic Planning is all about the people, process, and tools a company needs to continue meeting milestones on their path to success.
With Strategic Planning serving as a catalyst for growth at so many high growth companies, strategy and operations leaders need a solution that unifies the entirety of their Strategic Planning process. From building their plan, to executing against it, and reviewing performance, the right strategic software can create a complete lifecycle that accelerates growth for a business.
In the past, strategy and operations leaders were forced to use tools that were incredibly manual or only provided visibility into one part of their Strategic Planning process. Whether it was in the form of excel spreadsheets, balanced scorecard software, scenario planning software, performance management tools, or even just dashboards, each of these examples comes with significant manual effort to set up and provides limited visibility into the entirety of the Strategic Planning process.
So for those looking for a Strategic Planning software to help align your team like never before, transparently execute on what is most important, and easily review performance for future goals, we'd like to introduce you to Elate.
Elate is the leading Strategic Planning software built to help high growth companies communicate their vision, create alignment, and track performance all in one place.
Unlike free strategic planning software or manual tools like excel, slides, or OKR tools, Elate was built to fill the void of Strategic Planning solutions in the market. From our own experience in strategy and operations at high growth companies, our team built Elate serve as a solution that provides leaders with insights across the business and drives decision-making at every level of the company.
Today, we'd like to share what Strategic Planning software really is, how it helps in building strategic planning templates, and why Strategic Planning for SaaS companies can serve as a competitive advantage. Let's start with understanding what we mean when we say 'Strategic Planning Software.'
If you were to look at the definition of Strategic Planning software from a few different sources, here is what you might find:
G2: Strategic planning software provides a solution for building out a business mission statement, a plan to accomplish the mission, and the ability to track progress toward that ultimate business goal. Strategic planning solutions give users a place to easily create and share company values and goals, as well as track key performance indicators necessary to accomplishing those goals.
Capterra: Strategic planning software gives companies a centralized place to define business performance objectives, collect data, track progress, analyze trends, and predict outcomes.
The reality is that nothing in these definitions is wrong. In fact, tactically, they encompass a good portion of what should be part of any strategy and operations leader's search for strategic management software.
However, too often when searching for software to help solve strategic execution management we get fixated on a single pain we are looking to solve for our company. Examples such as, 'Our employees aren't updating objectives. We need something to make this easier' or 'We are constantly losing sight of priorities as an executive team, so we need to implement business execution software to stay on track.’
While those are certainly real pains that can cause significant harm within a business, the reality is that you are likely just playing 'whack-a-mole' trying to solve for the most immediate pain for today without understanding the underlying issue.
In defining 'What is Strategic Planning Software', we must understand how it fits into the entirety of the business.
Strategic Planning software should help create the rhythm and cadence for your business, while providing a solution to support the operating framework that you've chosen to implement at your company. We like to think of this in three parts: Plan, Execute, Review.
However, it's important to remember these aren't simply tasks to be completed. As in, it isn't a point A to Z journey. Instead, think of Strategic Planning as an ever-evolving process or a flywheel. Additionally, Strategic Planning software should be the motor that helps keep the flywheel spinning, and even accelerate it at the appropriate times.
Strategic Planning software isn't a point solution designed to help fix one issue within your company. Instead, company adoption, alignment, collaboration, and visibility are all benefits that come from implementing the right strategy execution management software.
So don't get fixated on just solving for one of the challenges highlighted above, but rather on finding a solution that powers each step of the process. To do so, we've outlined the makings of any great Strategic Planning template to get you started.
When setting off to build your company's Strategic Plan, it always helps to have a template or structure to provide direction. Let's start by talking about the big picture.
Whether this is your first Strategic Planning session or one of countless, it's always good to start with revisiting the three, five, and ten-year vision for the company. Aligning all your team members on the direction or even challenging the direction itself based on pivots, market changes, etc., is the perfect way to make sure you are all aligned and building goals off of the same expectations. So be able to answer the following:
3-5 Significant Milestones to Achieve:
3-5 Significant Milestones to Achieve:
3-5 Significant Milestones to Achieve:
Next, let's focus on what will be the main priorities or themes for the company this year? Your strategic plan template should begin with 3-5 Themes that help define success for the company.
These can often be sales, customer success, new product, or even culture-driven themes. For instance, one example of a sales theme could be:
'Reach $100M in ARR on our way towards becoming a $1B Strategic Planning platform, powering the growth of 100,000+ businesses.'
As you can see, it isn't just a specific metric. It is a company objective with a key measurable that connects to the 'why' of the overall direction of the company.
Finally, after building your company themes for the year in your strategic plan template, we can move on to how we will break those themes into quarterly goals. Again, these quarterly goals and objectives should connect. First to the annual theme, then to the long-term company vision.
For tracking these quarterly objectives, you should be able to leverage your Strategic Planning software, rather than just any of the countless free strategic plan tracking tools. There are too many tracking tools to count, but don’t fall into the trap. The idea isn’t that you are just tracking updates with no context, but rather that you are connecting the progress and performance quarterly objectives and with the larger picture. By connecting these results, you can begin leveraging the insights for how you review past performance and build future objectives as a company.
For those in SaaS, Strategic Planning can be a touchy subject. Often we hear the excuse, 'We're just growing too fast. Strategic Planning doesn't work for us.' Or even worse, 'We just take things month-by-month or quarter-by-quarter, because we are still figuring things out.'
Look, we get it. As a SaaS-based company, we understand the pace and degree of change that can come in our industry. However, by not providing clear direction on the long-term vision of the company, you are opening your company up to a lack of alignment, buy-in, or understanding of what should be prioritized.
The best strategy and operations leaders we work with know that Strategic Planning is a constantly evolving process. Strategic Planning SaaS leaders embrace evolution. Rather than constantly fighting against structure or change, they are willing to ride the momentum and current needs of their company.
This is why it's so important to fight against the software strategy examples so often given as to why strategic planning won't work for high growth SaaS companies.
Strategic Planning can serve as a way to keep employees focused on priorities, while also providing them room for innovation. Ideas and innovation are never lacking at a high growth SaaS company, but ideas without direction will distract from the overall purpose.
A great Strategic Planning software, like Elate, is designed to provide flexibility and account for the dynamic nature of high growth companies by providing a cadence and rhythm for bringing ideas and potential changes to a unified source. Strategic planning platforms help provide the proper forum for discussions and debate, while not throwing off the company's momentum.
So as you think about whether Strategic Planning is right for your company, think about what you are losing every day by not harnessing the direction and creativity of every member of your organization.
As you might have picked up, we're a little biased here at Elate on the Best Strategic Planning Software. But can you blame us?
Our founding team lived through the pain of using so-called Strategic Planning apps, that never amounted to anything more than an employee check-in tool or a static plan on a page tool that never provided the value or visibility needed to truly implement a plan and execute against it. Again, we realize that there are a number of low-cost options or even Strategic Planning Software free choices that exist.
But don't be fooled!
If you are looking for a solution to help maximize Strategic Planning at your company, make sure you are selecting a solution that allows for the following:
- Connects the long-term vision of the company with tactical execution
- Creates clarity on where the company is going, and how they will get there
- Provides an operating framework for how the company sets, plans, reviews, and takes action on the priorities moving the business forward
As the leading Strategic Planning software built to help high growth companies communicate their vision, create alignment, and track performance all in one place, we are here to help. If you're interested in connecting with a member of our team to learn more about how Elate can help your business, reach out and someone will be in touch today!