Initiating effective strategic planning sessions in your business can help strip away the overwhelm that often sets in due to business complexity, and thankfully there are a wide range of strategic business planning frameworks available to help us through this process.
Ensuring you choose the most suitable planning structure for you, your team, and your business is extremely important.
Although the vast majority of these tools all aim to support your business in successful planning and execution, if it’s not the right fit, it won’t take you, your team, or your business anywhere.
Yogi Berra, a professional baseball catcher who later became a coach and manager, once said,
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”
To which I’ll add,
“Knowing where you are going and using the proper means to get there surely creates a difference.”
Over the last few decades, we’ve been pushed to achieve our goals faster and faster while performing them efficiently and effectively.
We’ve come across numerous business strategy planning models over the years, some good, some complete rubbish.
While I’d never suggest a cookie-cutter approach towards any business strategic planning, there are some models that are great frameworks to work with, such as OGSM.
OGSM, which stands for Objectives – Goals – Strategies – Measures, is a great tool for successfully performing strategic planning in your business.
Figure 1. The OGSM Framework.
The OGSM Framework is a powerful strategic tool that was developed in the 1950s by Japanese car manufacturers. It provides a clear and compact structure linking big picture strategic elements such as company mission, vision, and values with the operational elements like goals, strategies, initiatives, and measures (the Key Performance Indicators).
The OGSM model gives way to a comprehensive and actionable strategic plan which can be used in prioritizing, developing, aligning, and implementing long-term strategies. The four elements of the OGSM model ensure that concrete and measurable goals are set to achieve from the implementation of its strategy.
Let us examine each component below.
1. Objective: The image of future success
“Where are we going?”
The objective sets the direction to where your company must go for the next three to five years. It is connected to your overall purpose that aims to answer the question, “What are we trying to achieve?”
Also, the objective statement should align with your already created vision and mission. As opposed to the former two statements, the objective is much clearer, specific, time-bound, and tailored to your business. It will function as a meaningful reminder and motivator to everyone in your company of the image of future success.
2. Goals: The quantifiers to future success
What will it look like when we get there?
The objective, when streamlined and made more attainable, gives rise to goals. They are also strategic and measurable targets that are often financial and operational. It drives you to answer, “What must we accomplish financially?”
Your goals must be formulated using an approach that allows simple monitoring and tracking of progress. Goals are the numbers that describe the image of success in three to five years.
3. Strategies: The way to realize future success
How are we going to get there?
Strategies are your clear action items directed to attain each goal and the overall objective based on your available resources and timeline. They are often applied through initiatives or structured work plans.
Strategies are your means to bring realization and achievement to your company goals on your way to success.
4. Measures: Progress assessments to measure future success
How will we know we’re on track?
Measures are the well-defined and quantifiable metrics that enable you to evaluate your company’s progress and performance on the strategy. It places a benchmark on your status quo versus your desired outcome in three to five years.
It is advisable to have a maximum of three well-defined measures per strategy. This will allow you to thoroughly track your company’s progress in achieving its desired impact while making essential adjustments along the way.
The OGSM model may be applied to the following:
- Companies without a formal strategic framework
- Firms that have experienced rapid growth or rapid decline
- Organizations that involve mergers and acquisitions
- Any company that strives to attain their financial, operational, or technological goals
What are the benefits of using this tool?
- It is clear and concise for effective tracking of goals and progress
- Goals are defined and are directly linked to strategies and business activities
- Goals are created based on realistic expectations
- The OGSM model promotes long-term planning (3-5 years)
- Encourages the stakeholders’ participation through communication and information dissemination that facilitates effective development and alignment of the 4 components
- Performance of strategies are assured as it is bound by the metrics and timelines
- The general structure and approach is easy to convey among team members
What are the challenges in using this tool?
- Leaders must be proactive to ensure its implementation
- t may take time to discuss and evaluate the O-G-S-M
- Quick response and attention are needed to adapt to the shifting environmental situations
The OGSM model is a staple to small and medium companies even large corporations like Procter & Gamble who popularized the OGSM model back in the 1980s to align their direction worldwide.
The OGSM framework is a simple yet effective way to create a united and effective organization by aligning everyone in the team. It allows you to know what everyone is doing, why they are doing it, how they can check their progress, and if there are tweaks needed to be made along the way.
ArchPoint Consulting. (n.d.) 6 Popular strategic planning frameworks. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.myogsm.com/6-popular-strategic-planning-frameworks/
Berra, Yogi. (n.d.). Forbes Quotes. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/quotes/10405/
Kaplan, Soren. (2020, April 4). Want a High-Performing Team? Try the OGSM Model. Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/soren-kaplan/want-a-high-performing-team-try-ogsm-model.html
Janse, B. (2019). OGSM Framework. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.toolshero.com/strategy/ogsm-framework/
MindTools. (n.d.). OGSM Frameworks. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/ogsm-frameworks.htm#:~:text=OGSM%20is%20a%20business%2Dplanning,term%20goals%2C%20actions%20and%20measures.&text=It%20is%20believed%20to%20have,idea%20of%20Management%20by%20Objectives%20.
Rangel, Pedro. (2019, December 14). What is OGSM. LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-ogsm-pedro-rangel