Best strategic management tools
We look at the best tools to monitor your business goals
Strategic management tools, unlike project management tools, help businesses manage everything that needs doing in an organisation, including the day-to-day running (business as usual tasks, or BAU) and individual projects.
Strategic management involves identifying the business-wide objectives, developing and documenting the policies and processes needed to achieve the objectives, allocating resource to ensure they're completed and then analysing their success.
Project management, on the other hand, only deals with managing the individual projects - such as software development - which is probably an integral part of your business, but doesn't give an overall view of your company.
Strategic management breaks down all the tasks needing completion into bite-sized pieces, ensuring you can achieve your business objectives and goals, while offering complete transparency of what's happening for all the stakeholders.
Although choosing the best strategic management tool for your business may seem complicated, it's important to note that the majority of the software available integrates with third party project management, resource management and accounting software, so your choice may be made simpler if you're already using one of these tools
Nevertheless, we round up the best strategic management tools to help you make the right choice for your organisation.
Aha! helps you ascertain your company's goals, target market, value proposition and more, and gives you the tools you need to carry out your business strategy once you know these things.
Although it'll take quite a lot of effort to set up if you haven't already set out your business's strategy, AHA! arms you with all the information you need to succeed.
Once you've decided upon your key metrics, you can then use the platform to build more in-depth strategies, track the competition's performance, work out the finances needed to achieve your goals and analyse its success.
Cost: From free for startups
Cascade Strategy is an all-in-one strategic management platform, enabling your to create a plan, execute it and then assess how well your business did from a single dashboard.
If your strategy is likely to change, Cascade Strategy allows you to make tweaks whenever you need to, customising to suit your own business needs rather than trying to make your company fit its templates.
When it comes to rolling out the strategy, the platform allows you to manage individual projects, goals and KPIs centrally, integrating with a range of other tools and allowing for collaboration between colleagues and departments, whether you need to share documents and files or chat in real time.
Platforms: Android, iOS, web
Cost: From $21 per user, per month
Envision has been designed for strategy management in education and governmental organisations. However if you work in eithery of those sectors, you'll find Envisio to be a strong strategy management platform.
Because it uses a framework familiar to public sector organisations, it builds upon the processes governments are likely to use, with an easy-to-use interface offering complete transparency.
Managers are able to view planned progress, measure performance outcomes, review comments, and generate reports to boards or other bodies to demonstrate their progress.
Cost: Upon application
OnStrategy isn't just a software platform; the company is also a team of advisors that will help you implement your strategy by building a custom platform according to your business's specific needs. You'll work alongside a dedicated strategist to give your business the best chance of success in executing the strategy within a specified timeframe, too.
The software covers the entire end-to-end strategic process, from building a corporate plan, directing tasks to specific departments, executing the strategy, transparently reporting progress across the entire organisation, and of course the ability to track performance from one dashboard.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Web
SAP Strategy Management
From one of the most well-known business management companies, SAP's contribution to the strategic management sector takes an operational approach to strategic management, combining planning, benchmarking, strategic management, performance scorecarding and collaboration tools in one easy-to-use product.
You can track your performance against competitors, and the board can easily see whether you're hitting KPIs with scorecards that present the information in a clear and concise way.
SAP's Strategy Management tool encourages collaboration, with the ability to add comments related to KPIs, objectives and initiatives, so everyone can have input in the business strategy.
One of our favourite features is the ability to see the status of each strategy via status indicators that change according to how well you're doing.
Platforms: iOS, Web
Cost: Price on application
StrategyBlocks prides itself on its stunning UI and we must agree - it looks super-sleek, with what it calls an 'interactive' interface. Each element of your strategy is signposted on the cascading architecture, with each widget displaying exactly where you're up to in that part of your plan.
Aside from the UI, Strategyblocks can be hosted either in the cloud or on-premise. The latter is particularly useful for highly regulated businesses that perhaps don't want to store their data in the cloud.
Data regarding performance is autonomously collated and processed to give a better overview of your progress and with the added bonus of risk management, you can be sure your strategy is implemented.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Web
Cost: From free for starter version
Main image: Bigstock