Stage 5—Implementation and Evaluation
last updated August 31, 2003

Once drafted, the strategic plan should be circulated for comment as widely as possible, particularly to those who will be responsible for implementation. This helps ensure that the plan's objectives are realistic and can be achieved in the time set out.

As Mike Burns, in Off the Shelf: How to Ensure That Your Strategic Plan Becomes a Valued Tool, explains, a plan's chances of success are increased if the organization makes a commitment to periodic evaluation. Although there is no formula for how often the organization should review its progress in implementing the strategic plan, it can be useful to set a schedule for this review (e.g., on a quarterly basis) to ensure that monitoring occurs and is not lost amid all of the other pressing demands facing the organization.

MAP's Basics of Monitoring, Evaluating and Deviating from the Strategic Plan  provides useful questions to ask in evaluating the plan's implementation. MAP also recommends including in the plan a mechanism for changing the plan (i.e., documenting the reasons a change is necessary). Such a mechanism can help the organization in its future planning efforts.

Strategic plans should also be updated as needed. Generally, it may be useful to review and update the plan at the beginning of each fiscal year, since a new annual plan will also be needed at that point.