Strategic Management Maturity Assessment

Please answer the following 14 questions.

Each question has five possible answers. Select the answer that best describes your organization's current situation. Then add a few basic facts about your organization and submit the form. Note: your identity is anonymous and this information will not be stored in a database! Answer as honestly as you can. After completing the questions, your answers will be analyzed and a customized assessment of your organization's strategic management maturity will be provided. Recommendations will be offered for steps you can take to move to the next level!

1. Leadership
1. Top-down, command-and-control management style. Leaders generally invisible to rank-and-file employees. Lack of awareness of company's strategic situation. Distractions; short-term thinking. Inadequate succession planning.
2. Leaders have some knowledge of performance management concepts. Leaders are trying to put measures in place, at least for compliance reasons.
3. Leaders see performance management as essential to success, not just a "nice to have". Leaders are engaged and supportive of strategic vision. Leaders are willing to listen and learn.
4. Leaders are increasingly using factual data on all aspects of organization performance.
5. Leaders are learning what strategies work for the organization, and what do not work for us.

2. Values
1. Little thought is given to values other than to post a list of nice words.
2. Leaders try to "walk the talk". Training in values is provided to all employees.
3. Employees know the organization's basic values and know how to maintain them.
4. Organization's values are taken seriously and seen by leaders as a key component of the mission.
5. Values are integrated into the culture and leadership of the organization.

3. Management Culture
1. Static culture, risk-averse, resistant to change. Employees are burdened with bureaucratic work. Celebrates the past; fears the future.
2. Employees are anxious about the future, the competition, the economy, and the direction of the organization. Staff increasingly aware of urgent need for change, but not how to change. Management focused on "doing things right".
3. Change management and internal communication is an ongoing, continuous, 2-way process. Internal efforts to communicate strategy are successful. Everyone knows our mission, vision and high-level strategic goals or themes. Everyone knows "What's in it for me" and knows why their job is strategically important.
4. Managers have the skills, abilities and resources needed to implement effective strategic change. Employees have a clear picture of the strategic "road ahead". Employees are empowered to suggest and to improve things, and are involved in the planning process. Healthy attitudes toward change among the workforce, supported by leadership.
5. Strategic performance management is embedded in the culture: "the way we work around here". Culture is innovative and supports improvement of all aspects of the organization.

4. Strategic planning process
1. Strategic planning, if any, is done in traditional way without wide input; focus is on producing a document.
2. Leaders seek input from many others in formulating plans. Planning framework still traditional format; planning may be facilitated by a consultant. Lots of time spent on "wordsmithing" the mission and vision statements.
3. Large cross-functional team recruited to develop strategies. Strategic plan developed with broad ownership and empowerment of employees. Plans are evaluated and changed as necessary at least annually.
4. Planning is distributed through the tiers of the organization via a cascading process. Planning is centrally managed by an Office of Strategic Management (or equivalent).
5. Internal cross-functional teams are experienced at developing new strategies when needed. Increasing agility allows the organization to compete in a rapidly-changing world.

5. Strategic plan content
1. Plan is in the traditional format. Lots of language about specific projects, programs and initiatives. Large, complex document in technical language.
2. Traditional strategic plan with goals written in high-altitude, vague language. Goals not linked to measures. Lacks middle-altitude language of continuous improvement objectives; goals not tied to owners and budget process.
3. The top-level (corporate) strategic plan is a brief, action-oriented document. The plan contains brief, clear, memorable mission and vision statements. Contains 2-4 strategic themes, a well-designed strategy map with about 10-15 strategic objectives linked together; performance measures for each of the strategic objectives; a short list of high-priority initiatives to be funded.
4. The corporate strategy map has been cascaded to strategic objectives at lower tiers. Strategic risks are known and documented. Alternative scenarios and plans have been prepared to allow rapid response to potential contingencies. A strategic budget is allocated for strategic initiatives.
5. The strategic plan functions as the "marching orders" of the organization. The strategic, operational and capital budgets are driven by the strategic plan. It is referred to constantly for guidance.

6. Organizational alignment to strategy
1. No central strategic direction and communication. Many managers operate autonomously. Employees see their job as a functional description and a box on an organization chart. Many employees are not aware of the external customer's needs.
2. Employees see the value of collective performance measures to promote teamwork. Employees are clear on who primary customers are and their needs (not just their boss). There are processes in place to obtain specific feedback from customers, and to use it. There is a centralized location identified where corporate performance measures may be collected and viewed.
3. Top-level (corporate) strategic plan and strategy map is complete. Executive meetings structured around strategic themes, perspectives, or objectives. More detailed customer segmentation defined.
4. Cascading is complete and aligned to personal development goals and reward system. Employees see the strategic aspects of their work and are rewarded accordingly via HR alignment to the strategy. Cross-functional partnering and communications ongoing.
5. All the above, plus: organization structure is being aligned to the strategy and managers are learning how to adapt the strategy and the budget dynamically and effectively.

7. Strategic metrics quality (metrics = what to measure)
1. Guesswork or ad hoc metrics without refinements.
2. Most metrics are operational: inputs, activities and outputs. Outcome and customer metrics are limited. Insufficient use of ratios and standards.
3. Metrics are derived from strategic objectives on a strategy map.
4. Metrics are a refined, balanced, normalized mix of quantitative and qualitative measures. Some standard performance metrics are in place and compared to industry benchmarks.
5. Innovative metrics are devised that allow decision makers to detect leading indicators of strategic importance. Statistical variation of metrics is calculated and reported along with averaged values, so that the uncertainty in comparisons can be considered by decision makers.

8. Strategic metrics completeness
1. No data are reported, or only compliance data that are conveniently available.
2. Large quantities of measurements may exist, but most are operational and financial measures. HR stores employee performance reviews. No strategic metrics plan or linkage. TQM methods used.
3. Strategic objectives and measures are defined and assigned to owners. Balanced among leading (capacities, processes) and lagging (customer satisfaction, financial) measures.
4. Metrics have been standardized so that they can be rolled up from across the organization to support enterprise-wide evaluations. Metrics have been cascaded through the organization down to the level of individual performance plans.
5. Organization has learned what to measure, what not to measure, and how to measure. A process is in place to monitor and improve data quality.

9. Strategic measurement process
1. Reactive, ad hoc responses to requests for data. Lack of a routine process of data collection and reporting, other than financial data.
2. Managers realize the need for measures and are requesting them. Many separate measurement systems may be in place to gather and report non-financial measures, but people are unclear about what to measure.
3. Automated processes are in place to collect and report data. Measures have owners responsible for reporting data on an appropriate schedule. Measurements are validated and verified.
4. Quantity and quality of measures has been refined through many iterations, and now we are measuring fewer things, but more important things, in better ways that do not intrude on our workforce.
5. As we plan, we measure our plan; as we work, we measure our work -- it is institutionalized as a normal part of doing business.

10. Use of measurements in strategic management
1. Measures may be provided to external bodies for compliance reasons. Few measures are used to inform planning; managers make decisions based on guesses and anecdotes. Lack of feedback to source; many open loops.
2. Some operational measures are used to track trends in work activities. Managers believe increased use of measures will enhance ability to compete or perform better in the future.
3. Increasing availability of consistent information allows executives and line managers to track trends and make better decisions about improving performance and making better use of resources.
4. Strategic measures are frequently used in decision making regarding changes in operations, strategic initiatives and budgets. Executives make comparisons across organizational units to drive changes. Managers use benchmarking to learn where their performance stands relative to industry.
5. Leaders use strategic performance measures and their variability to make decisions about future directions and initiatives. Executives evaluate the strategic plan on a regular cycle and make adjustments based on statistically valid comparisons of data.

11. Use of automation to support strategic management
1. There may be lots of computers, but there is no systematic use of automation to collect or report management data.
2. Data may be collected on paper or Excel spreadsheets. Efforts being made to standardize processes or acquire automation to improve efficiency.
3. Strategic performance data are collected regularly and stored in a central relational database. They are distributed on a network for easy access and comparisons. This provides graphical presentations of performance information, but not all features may be used.
4. Automated systems support cascading and rollup of performance measures from departments, business units and individuals. In larger organizations, advanced analysis techniques may be used, such as ad hoc queries, data mining, what-if analysis, analysis of variance, experiments and surveys to gain reliable strategic information from metrics.
5. Automation is used in innovative ways to add value and leverage strategic knowledge in the organization.

12. Strategic human resources management
1. HR work is seen as routine, mechanical procedures. Hiring, compensation and training are treated with across-the-board policies. HR lacks updated knowledge of the skills of the workforce.
2. HR beginning to consider strategic requirements of the key business processes and how to meet them.
3. Hiring, training, promotion, and evaluation are becoming aligned to the strategy. Career advancement of key staff is a priority. Across-the-board policies are avoided.
4. HR has aligned hiring, assignments, cross-training, promotions, and rewards to strategic needs. HR using skills audits to identify gaps relative to strategic needs. Employee innovations and efforts are being adopted and rewarded appropriately.
5. HR is a full partner in strategic assessments and planning for the future of the organization.

13. Strategic costing and budgeting
1. Object costing; lack of knowledge about where funds are going re. strategic priorities. Budgeting not centrally managed ("rice bowls"). Incremental budget changes from year to year in all programs. Difficult to shut down a poorly-performing program. Across-the-board funding policies.
2. Some program output and benefit measures are being collected (not just financial inputs). Focus is on operational process efficiency improvements. Initial efforts to link program performance to budgets; political resistance.
3. Shift in executive thinking more toward strategic costing and budgeting based on outcomes, not only resource inputs. Budget established for strategic initiatives.
4. Executives are able to obtain estimates of costs and benefits broken down by strategic objective. Budgeting process considers strategic performance data in evaluating programs for funding. Significant (not incremental) changes in program budgets are likely from year to year. Ample funds are available to support strategic initiatives.
5. Executives are able to estimate ROI of all assets. Cost of strategic activities is being measured using efficient processes (e.g. time-driven ABC). Resource allocation is closely aligned to strategic needs. Moving toward an agile rolling budget process.

14. Sustainability of strategic management
1. Leaders worry about the future but aren't doing much to prepare for it. They are focused on short-term operations.
2. Leaders are able to obtain some sense of the organization's performance relative to others based on performance information. Focus is on continuous improvement, not merely survival.
3. Roles have been assigned to some managers who will serve as champions, owners of strategic themes or goals, objectives and measures.
4. An Office of Strategic Management serves to keep a focus on strategic goals and performance across all parts of the organization.
5. Full integration of the three management processes: planning, performance measurement and budgeting has been achieved. The organization is strategy-focused and learning how to optimize its strategies within a dynamic environment.

Now please answer these basic questions about the organization you scored above:

15. Approximately how many employees are in the organization?

16. What type of organization is it?

Commercial (for-profit)
Nonprofit or not-for-profit
Government, civilian
Government, military

17. Does the organization have a strategic plan?
Don't know

18. Does the organization have a balanced scorecard?
Don't know

19. If the organization has a balanced scorecard, how long has it been in place?