There Are Five Main Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail

Organizations who have either attempted to create successful strategic plans, or avoid this exercise altogether, do not realize that there are very good reasons why plans struggle to succeed over time.

Our research shows that there are 5 primary reasons most strategic plans fail over time.

  1. The plan was not well written and is too complicated.
  2. The plan was written by one person and not by a team.
  3. The plan never had adequate buy in from the organization.
  4. The plan was hidden/there was no visible evidence that the plan existed.
  5. Finally, the plan was not properly managed.

Every executive knows the true value of strategic planning. So why do so few organizations implement strategic planning into their management disciplines and daily running of their operations?

As President Eisenhower famously pointed out, sometimes what is urgent is not necessarily important and sometimes what is important is not necessarily urgent.

Reluctance can stem more from organizations not knowing what a strategic plan entails, how to start and even what’s it supposed to look like. Combine this with the element of everyone’s time and a return on that time spent and it begins to foster a belief that strategic planning is a priority that can wait.

Organizations will then choose to delay and focus on what is urgent. The Truth is, there is really no perfect strategic planning method. However, some strategic plans are better than others. Remember – planning is one thing, but executing the plan is another and execution is everything.

What we believe you need in a plan is a true proven executable methodology that can reach all your employees and consistently align them to focus together on what is most important to the overall success of you organization. It has to be simplistic and repeatable where everyone has input, buy-in and is able to view the plan. Combine this approach with practiced, managed disciplines and your organization produces a living, aligned and focused plan, which will have a far greater opportunity to drive your organization forward towards it’s intended mission.

Today we believe a more agile approach to strategic planning meets the needs of an organization more so than the traditional waterfall approach. This is best illustrated in a book called “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. Their method uses the objective and key results (the OKR methodology). It’s agile, fast, simplistic, repeatable and involves everyone in your organization from top to bottom. Some of today’s most successful organizations employ this as a means to propel their organizations towards being the best they can be.

At Atruity, we help organizations implement this methodology into strategic planning and execution. We have a turnkey approach to implementation. We combine workbooks, facilitation assistance, an online dashboard, and management assistance to help instill the necessary disciplines to carry out their plan quarter after quarter, which insures your plan has the best chance for success.

For more information, please visit our web site at and drop us a line for a conversation.

Talk with us to find out more and how we can be of service. Your success is our business.