How to Choose a Strategy Management Solution: 17 Top Factors to Consider
Most companies have big plans for their business growth; however, many fail to accomplish their goals despite having developed detailed strategic plans with much higher expectations.
The question is, why is there such a constant disparity between ambition and performance?
The gap, we believe, is due to a disconnect in the strategy formulation and execution of most firms’ strategic plans.
In most cases, the staff of companies who fail to achieve their strategic initiatives do not understand their company strategy. Hence, they cannot effectively help their organization implement it.
The good news is that it does not have to be like this. To help your team understand your strategy, for the successful execution of your objectives and edge over your competitors, finding the right strategy management tool is key.
But with so many strategy management software out there, how do you know which one to choose?
This article explores 17 factors to consider when selecting a strategy management solution.
Ready to make informed choices that drive your organization toward achieving its strategic plans?
Keep reading to find out important questions to ask and factors to consider before choosing a strategy management solution.
1. Does it align with your organization’s goals and objectives?
A strategy management solution can help your company with its planning processes, execution, and control cycle, which allows you and your team to achieve your strategy and objectives. But to do so successfully, it must first be able to integrate with and support your company’s strategic vision seamlessly.
Hence, the first consideration to keep in mind when choosing a strategy management solution for your organization is to determine whether or not the solution aligns with your company’s goals and objectives.
If it doesn’t align, it creates a gap that can cause you to fail to realize your organization’s targets. On the other hand, when it is in sync, the result is:
An efficiency in driving every action, KPI, and project that contributes to the bigger picture.
You gain clarity because it will ensure your employees are informed about what they should be working on and why.
You can easily track performance and adjust to the rapidly changing business environment.
And lastly, you will be able to utilize resources efficiently.
2. Is it easy to use?
There are many management strategy planning solutions out there catering to companies of all sizes and industries. However, not all of them have good usability features. Many are complex and require a steep learning curve before your team can utilize them.
Hence, when choosing a solution for planning, managing, and executing your business strategy, consider usability.
A strategy management solution with a friendly UI/UX will make the adoption process by your team quick and effective because ease of use means a reduction in the learning curve.
A solution with a steep learning curve is time-consuming, and this is one of the critical areas Kippy excels in.
Your team can focus on projects, track progress, and interact effectively to achieve your strategic goals thanks to our simple interface.
Instead of your team needing help understanding how to use the solution, time is well spent on activities that count.
3. Does it have a robust customization option?
Another top factor to consider is the solution customization option. It is an essential element that many businesses ignore or forget initially to regret later.
Remember that each business is unique. Therefore, what may be required for one may not be necessary for the other.
Instead of going in for off-the-shelf strategic planning software tools, it is important to consider the kind of customization options your business will need and check if the provider you have in mind offers robust customization to allow you to align the solution with your existing workflow and specific needs.
When you have a solution you can easily customize to your needs; it eliminates the need for significant process adjustments.
4. Can you easily integrate it with your existing systems?
You likely already have some tools and work automation in place. It’s helpful if the strategic planning model solutions you are considering play nicely with your existing CRM, project management, business intelligence tool, etc.
Built-in integrations with your other software will save time, provide you with access to comprehensive and accurate reporting, and improve collaboration without needing to switch between platforms. This also helps in reducing errors from shuffling information.
You may also like: 33 Top Software Solutions for Strategic Management (Reviewed).
5. Is it scalable?
Scalability is another factor you should consider in your selection process, especially if you are a growing company. Your business growth plan is a part of your strategy, but if you have strategy management software that is not as futuristic as your strategies are, you will be forced to switch in the near future.
Hence, it is critical to ensure that you choose a strategy software that should be able to accommodate multiple sites, onboard your growing team without hassle, or add more modules aligned to your company’s needs.
6. Does it have a robust data security measure?
In modern business, security plays a huge role in improving your competitive advantage. Although technological advancement simplifies most business operations, it can expose sensitive data to increasing online threats and manipulation.
As a matter of fact, in the first half of 2022 alone, a staggering 1.51 billion IoT breaches were reported, highlighting the gravity of the challenge organizations face with data security.
Compounding this issue, 51% of IT teams don’t know the types of devices linked to their networks, indicating a lack of visibility and control over latent vulnerabilities.
A breach in security is a serious challenge that comes with many unwanted consequences for the company affected, including data and financial loss.
Let’s take Equifax as a case study:
“In 2017, the credit agency lost the personal and financial information of almost 150 million individuals due to an unpatched Apache Struts framework in one of its databases.
It failed to fix a severe vulnerability months after a patch had been issued and then did not inform the public of the breach for weeks after it had been discovered. This led to fines, totaling $575 million, that in July 2019 the credit house agreed to pay.”
As we said, data security is a big deal. For this reason and more, the strategy management solution you choose must have advanced security measures to protect your data from cyberattacks.
However, not every strategy management solution has top-notch security measures. Should an unforeseen data breach occur, you need to be sure that the solution you choose has secure backups and disaster recovery protocols in place.
Thankfully, when you have Kippy as your strategy management partner, you can have peace of mind with compliance, and you need not worry about data security.
We ensure that the data you rely on for decision-making is protected, accurate, and not tampered with.
7. Is it possible for teams to collaborate seamlessly?
Strategic goals can only be achieved when teams collaborate efficiently. So, in your consideration, factor in the collaboration capabilities of the solution you want.
Most businesses today have internal and external teams who might be working remotely. Coordination is immensely critical in such a distributed setup.
Features like real-time messaging, commenting capabilities, and the ability to check progress and give updates or provide feedback should be looked out for.
After all, collaboration only becomes possible in a true sense if your teams can communicate with each other in real time, reducing the need for lengthy email chains and status meetings.
When your team can work together seamlessly, projects move faster, and strategy execution can be done much more efficiently.
Related reading: 7 Tips for Fostering a Proactive Feedback Culture in the Workplace.
8. Does it allow you to track and manage performance?
Strategic goals can be achieved when you have a system that allows you to track and monitor performance. When you are able to monitor progress and key metrics within your system, you can see how well your team are executing strategies, giving you insight into expectation.
You can evaluate employees’ performance and ensure that both individual and team goals are aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.
You can track the status of performance KPIs and metrics, identify high-performing talents and underperforming employees, distribute incentives, and create plans for improvement.
Better still, when you are able to track performance and KPIs in real time, it means that you don’t have to wait for a 30-day or 90-day cycle to clock before you get reports.
In the new business world we live in, a slow progress report would guarantee the death of your business.
Your choice solution should allow you to monitor and compare the performance of individual employees, teams, departments, or the entire company on a customizable performance management dashboard.
With performance tracking capabilities embedded in your solution, you quickly gain insight to make adjustments if your strategies are not going as planned or maximize an opportunity.
Will you be able to achieve your short-term goal (1- 2 years) and long-term goals (5 years and above)as an organization?
A strategy solution like Kippy with performance tracking capabilities can give you insight.
9. Does it have excellent analytics capabilities?
A strategy solution with an excellent and customizable dashboard can transform how you manage your strategies. A solution that helps you with planning and execution but does not give you a way to ensure you are tracking your most relevant KPIs puts you at a disadvantage.
With excellent analytics, you can:
Track present KPIs and identify future ones.
Make informed decisions borne out of insight discovered.
Customize data analytics to meet the specific needs of the business.
Create flexible metrics.
Discover new growth opportunities.
Detect early-stage trends by painting a real-time picture of how your business context is evolving so that you can trigger significant adjustments before your competitors do.
Anticipate complex market dynamics by developing proprietary insights about the combined impact of myriad forces.
With that said, ensure the solution you pick will provide you with an efficient data analysis feature to empower your business with data and improve your strategies and executions.
You may also like: Performance Reports: The Key to Data-Driven Decision Making.
10. Will it provide training and support for your team?
There are many strategy management solutions out there, attending to businesses of all sizes and industries. However, not all of them will provide an adequate level of training and support for your team.
Hence, it becomes critical to find a solution that is prepared to educate your team on how to use their solution. When searching through vendors, check for access to educational resources, training, video tutorials, e-learning, white papers, and installation guides that the vendor can provide to you.
A strategy management solution provider who offers training and support for new users will help promote the successful adoption of the solution among your teams.
After all, what is the point of getting a tool that your team can't use?
In connection with that, Kippy has foreseen the need not only to help our customers with their inquiries but also to deliver up-to-date knowledge about the products we offer.
For this purpose, we have our educational resources and learning center, where system owners, managers, and users can experience and get certified for Kippy functionalities by participating in different courses organized and facilitated by Kippy specialists.
11. Is the solution mobile-accessible?
One of the most critical questions on this list of considerations that you will need to ask yourself when finding a strategy management software for your organization is whether the solution you found is mobile-accessible.
It should be compatible with various mobile platforms, including iOS and Android, to accommodate the preferences of your team members.
Today’s team comprises those who work from home, hybrid and remote. And this has become more prevalent post-pandemic.
According to an article published in Forbes, as of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% follow the hybrid model, and it is projected that by 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely, indicating that there will be a continuous yet steady, shift towards remote work arrangements.
As you can see, today’s teams are made up of diverse working arrangements, which makes it crucial to use a solution that offers mobile accessibility, allowing your team to stay in sync and actively execute your strategies effectively, regardless of location and in real-time.
A solution with excellent mobile accessibility features will allow team managers to monitor progress no matter where they are, update their status, and communicate with their team while on the go.
This also improves collaboration among team members, ensuring that they remain agile and responsive.
12. Is it cost-effective?
As you search for a strategy management solution, consider your budget. However, when factoring in price, don’t just look at how much the solution costs—also look at how much you’re getting out of it.
A strategy management solution with built-in project portfolio management and performance management software, for example, might be more valuable than a straight strategy tool because you’re getting more bang for your buck.
So, during your research, remember prices will differ from one solution provider to another, but most should be able to provide an estimate of upfront costs.
Look into elements such as per-user price, entry-level price, licensing, features, implementation and training fees, and the total yearly cost so you can plan long and short-term expenses and eventually calculate the potential ROI.
Next, consider scalability. We discussed scalability earlier in the post. We are going to mention it again. While considering the price, please consider the scalability of the solution.
The scalable option you find will likely be your most cost-effective solution and will cater to your needs as your organization expands.
13. Does it have excellent reviews and a track record?
Many companies, in their search for a strategy management solution, solely focus on the features and functionalities of the software. However, If you desire a successful partnership and want to avoid any future costs and the inconvenience of switching solutions, it is critical you thoroughly research the provider you plan to choose.
The easiest way to do this includes visiting a credible review site like G2 and Gartner Peer Insights to read up on customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. On such sites, you will also find a list of features and functionalities the solution offers.
14. Does it offer custom reporting features?
Every company is unique and has its own unique process, even those operating in the same industry. Within the same company as well, each department, meeting, or company gathering may require a unique set of information.
Hence, your strategy management solution of choice should offer capabilities that allow you to quickly build and deliver customized reports in different formats that help keep your team focused on what is most important.
15. Does it give you access to perform appraisals?
A strategy management solution with performance appraisal features will help you get and provide feedback on how well your team executes your strategies. It helps you check their alignment with your strategy management efforts.
Team performance is central to achieving your strategic objectives. Hence, finding a solution with such a feature is wise.
16. Does it offer excellent support and maintenance?
The kind of support you get from your strategy management solution partner will depend on the solution provider. What do we mean?
Well, imagine you have decided to go with XYZ, but in time, you face technical issues. Updating the system may be challenging, even if you are tech-savvy, and you may even end up misunderstanding some of the software's features or functionalities.
It can be many things, but the point is when making your decision, ensure that you are choosing a trusted long-term vendor who can provide you with quick, reliable support and maintenance when you need it so you can get back on track to achieving your target.
Look out for:
Ongoing support and maintenance beyond the onboarding process and more.
17. Does it offer a trial period or demos?
Finally, in your selection process, explore the solution and see whether they offer demos or free trials. A solution that offers free trials allows you and your team to check the boxes of how the software can help you in planning, executing, and managing your strategies.
It gives you the chance to test if the features offered cater to your strategic management, performance tracking, and appraisal needs.
The right solution should be confident to have you book a demo.
Your strategy management software demo is your chance to see the solution in action with a tour.
The trial will offer a high-level view of their features and functionalities and how they can be integrated into your existing systems.
Takeaway: Choose the right strategy management solution using these 17 top considerations!
Finding the right strategy management solution is key to helping you achieve your overarching organizational goals and objectives.
In this piece, we discussed some of the top considerations to keep in mind when choosing a strategy management solution.
We hope that with this list, you are now better informed on the essential steps to take or questions to ask to help ensure you make the right pick for your organization.
Remember that some of the software solutions out there will have many of the features we listed here to help you meet your goals and scale up, while others are limited.
Among the many strategic planning solutions available in the marketplace, Kippy is one tool that stands out.
Kippy is a fully integrated AI strategy management solution that helps businesses (both large and small) use the power of AI to manage strategies and drive better business outcomes.
Offering all of the features mentioned in this article and more, you can be confident that your strategic planning models and management processes will be efficiently done.
Ready to use the power of AI to enhance and streamline the strategic planning process of your organization? Book a demo today and see how Kippy can help.