Monitoring Your Strategic Plan
You also made assumptions about what your significant competitors would be doing in each market segment. How is reality playing out relative to the assumptions you made here? Again, if your predictions are close, you may not need to change anything, but if they are not, this review is an opportunity to make a mid-course correction.
The team also made an assumption about the future average industry profitability in each market segment. How is that assumption holding up? Note that this does not mean your own company’s level of profitability, but the general direction of the industry as a whole in this segment. Is this segment still an attractive place to be doing business? Should you emphasize it more, or less, than originally intended in your strategic plan?
Finally, is there something on the horizon that might displace the products or services you are providing in a particular segment? Are your products like portable CD players at a time when new products like MP3 players are on the brink of introduction?
One of the outcomes of this monitoring and testing of assumptions could be the realization that you need to develop market information gathering approaches that allow you to better discern what is going on.
Having gone through your assumptions about your market segments, you need to decide what to do and when to do it. If your assumptions are close to reality, you likely won’t want to change anything significantly. On the other hand, if your assumptions are at wide variance with reality, you and your team should go back to ground zero and re-analyze every market segment to adjust your predictions to the latest reality.
Where you have made significant changes, you should review your strategic plan for each segment, possibly changing your strategy to reflect the changes that have occurred. If those changes in strategy will affect your Objectives, and thus your action plans, you should modify each changed Objective and action plan to reflect the latest reality, recasting each to take advantage of your new assumptions.
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