20 Of The Best Strategy Tools For Your Organization
by Tom Wright, on Nov 6, 2019, 8:01:00 AM
Strategy is a huge deal for most organizations. It's also a huge topic, that covers many different aspects of running your organization or team. As with anything you're working on, having the right tools for the job makes all the difference between success and failure. That's why we've compiled this comprehensive guide to the best strategy tools available. What's more, we've broken down the different strategy tools into the difference phases of the strategic management process. So wherever you are in your strategic journey, you'll have quick and easy access to the best possible business strategy tools.
We've included a mix of strategy tools taken from our library of free strategy content, as well as external tools including some SaaS platforms. All of the strategy tools listed are either free, or have reasonably full-functioned free trials that you can take advantage of.
Strategy Planning Tools
The first major part of the strategic management process involves analysis and planning. The strategy tools we've listed in this section are all about helping you to understand where you are today, and where you want to go tomorrow.
Goal Setting Strategy Tools
The first part of the strategic management process involves setting out your high level vision and goals.
Vision Statement Toolkit: This Excel-based strategy tool will help you to create a vision statement for your organization from scratch [Excel / Free].
Values Toolkit: Another pillar of your strategy is setting your strategic values. This Excel-based strategy toolkit will help with that process [Excel / Free].
Strategic Planning Template: A solid strategic planning template that encompasses goal setting and strategic planning elements (Excel-based) [Excel / Free].
Strategy Tools to Better Understand Your Environment
The next part of the strategic management process involves building insight into your own strengths as well as the environment in which you operate. The following strategy tools will help with that process.
GAP Analysis Toolkit: A toolkit to help you understand where you are today and what gaps there are in your capability [Excel / Free].
SWOT Analysis Tool: Free online software tool to help you create a SWOT Analysis from scratch [SaaS / Free].
PESTLE Analysis Template: PESTLE helps you examine the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal & Environmental that could impact your strategy [Word / Free].
Strategy Formulation Tools
Strategy formulation is where the rubber-hits-the-road in relation to the creation of your strategy. By now, you've got a good idea of where you want to go (goal setting) and your own capabilities, as well as the situation externally (understanding your environment). Now it's time to create an actual plan for how to get there.
Cascade Strategy Software (PLAN Features): An online tool with drag-and-drop for creating a strategic plan then exporting to PDF or Excel [SaaS / Free 14 Day Trial].
Google Sheets: A step-up from Excel as it allows for easy and effective collaboration when brainstorming your strategy with colleagues [SaaS / Free].
Strategic Planning Questionnaire: A downloadable questionnaire that you and your team can complete prior to a strategy formulation session to get your thoughts flowing freely [Word / Free].
KPI Library: An online library of free KPI examples for a range of industries to give you inspiration [PDF / Free].
Strategic Management Tools
The second part of the strategic management process involves actually executing on the strategic plan that you created earlier on in the process.
Strategic Governance Tools
Strategic governance is all about setting up the right processes in your organization to have effective and meaningful strategy discussions. The strategy tools below should help you to achieve this.
Google Calendar: OK, so this isn't really a strategy tool per-se, but the first step in effective strategic governance is actually getting your team together on a regular basis to talk about strategy [SaaS / Free].
Trello: Whilst not a fully fledged strategy tool, Trello can help with basic governance of strategic goals and projects [SaaS / Free].
Strategic Communication & Engagement Tools
It's all very well having a strategic plan, but the key to success is in effectively communicating that plan with your organization and then engaging people with it. That's where our list of strategic communication and engagement tools can help:
Prezi: PowerPoint is a terrible tool for strategy execution, but a good presentation is a perfectly fine way to get people interested in your new strategy. Up your game with an interactive Prezi presentation rather than stuffy old PowerPoint! [SaaS / Free 14 Day Trial].
Strategic Communication Toolkit: This toolkit will help you to plan out your strategic engagement plan to ensure you cover all the bases of effective strategy communication [Excel / Free].
Employee Engagement Toolkit: Create an action plan to drive higher employee engagement in this interactive template [Excel / Free].
Performance Management Tools
Linking people's performance management to the strategy is a great way to drive execution across your team. Check out these tools for a helping hand:
Zoho People: There are very few genuinely free performance management tools out there but Zoho have a free tier for up to 5 team members [SaaS / Free].
Cascade Strategy Software (MANAGE Features): A team-based tool to help you keep track of what everyone's working on. [SaaS / Free 14 Day Trial].
Strategy Tracking Tools
The final part of the strategic management process involves tracking the effectiveness of your strategy and then iterating where needed. These tools are all about tracking, analytics and iteration!
Strategic Analysis Tools
Strategic analysis is all about monitoring whether or not you've actually delivered on your strategy and made progress towards your goals. It's also concerned with helping you to understand the reasons why you've succeeded or failed.
Dasheroo: The free version only allows you to create one strategy dashboard, but it does include integrations to lots of your business systems [SaaS / Free].
Cascade Strategy Software (TRACK Features): Probably the only dedicated strategy dashboard tool on the market [SaaS / Free 14 Day Trial].
Strategic Iteration Tools
Once you have a good sense of what's gone well and what hasn't, it's time to iterate your strategy for a better outcome next time around. These strategy tools are geared towards strategy iteration.
Strategy Transition Meeting Agenda: This editable agenda template will help you to run an effective transition from your current strategy to your new one [PDF / Free].
More Strategy Tools Coming Soon
We'll be keeping this list of strategy tools updated, so be sure to check back regularly. And of course if you haven't already, be sure to check out Cascade Strategy - it's the ultimate all-in-one strategy tool and our pride and joy 😍