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26 Best Strategy Tools For Your Organization in 2024

Article by 
Tom Wright
  —  Published 
December 6, 2023
April 24, 2024

Developing a sound strategy is something every organization strives to achieve. A highly effective strategy helps organizations establish their competitive position, grow market share, and thrive in a ruthless business environment. Or they become irrelevant and slowly die.

However, choosing the right tools to execute that strategy and bring their strategic processes to life is something few are concerned with. 

In this article, we’ll cover a collection of strategy tools and free templates that every growth-oriented strategist should have in their strategy toolkit:

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Strategic Planning Tools

The first significant part of the strategic management process or business planning involves analysis and planning. The strategy tools we've listed in this section are all about helping you understand where you are today and where you should be tomorrow.

Strategy analysis tools to kickstart the strategic planning process

The first step of the strategic planning process is to study your organization’s strengths and internal and external factors to inform your strategic decisions. 

💡Analysis is key to identifying weak spots and opportunities. But don’t get trapped in that rabbit hole of endless evaluation. Focus on core business metrics, prioritize initiatives that move the needle, and take action. 

Here’s a list of free tools and templates:

1. GAP Analysis Toolkit

This toolkit will help you understand the gap between where you’re today and what you need to do to get where you want to be as a company. Free template included. 

2. SWOT Analysis

Use this guide with free template to help you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you should consider when evaluating your strategic options.

3. PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis helps you to analyze Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors that could impact your strategy.

4. PESTLE Analysis

pestle analysis cascade diagram

PESTLE Analysis is an expanded version of a PEST Analysis. It adds two more external factors to your analysis: Legal and Environmental. Grab a simple PESTLE Analysis Template here

5. VRIO Analysis Tool

VRIO framework will help you identify your business's competitive advantages.

vrio diagram cascade

6. Porter's Five Forces model

porter five forces diagram cascade

This framework (introduced by Michael Porter) helps you identify five forces that place competitive pressure on a company in any given industry. It focuses on these five dimensions: Threat of New Entrants, Supplier Power, Buyer Power, Threat of Substitutes, and Competitive Rivalry.

7. McKinsey 7S Framework

mckinsey 7s model diagram cascade

Mckinsey 7S framework is an oldie but goldie. This tool will help you identify strategic alignment between departments and processes. Grab your template in this free collection of templates for internal analysis.

8. Ansoff Matrix

ansoff matrix cascade diagram

This matrix can help you figure out which of four strategic directions you should take to grow your business successfully. Its four quadrants include market penetration, product development, market development, and diversification.

9. BCG matrix

bcg matrix cascade diagram

Boston Consulting Group developed a valuable strategic planning tool to help companies prioritize their different businesses by their degree of profitability. You can find a free BCG matrix template here

10. GE Matrix

ge matrix cascade diagram

McKinsey’s GE Matrix is a visual tool designed to help portfolio managers determine resource allocation for multi-business portfolios. 

Along with providing an overview of business units' performance, the GE Matrix also prescribes three strategic paths (grow, hold, and harvest) to inform strategic decisions.

11. Value Chain Analysis

Want to review your new product’s journey? This template will help you identify and analyze all related activities and processes to increase efficiency.

12. The Business Model Canvas

Use this strategic management tool to assess new business models, whether you are an existing business or a fast-growing start-up. 

👉You can also download our internal analysis toolkit with a collection of templates to help you with analysis.

📚Recommended readings: 

Strategic planning tools for strategy formulation

Strategy formulation is where the rubber hits the road. By now, you should have a good idea of your internal capabilities and the situation of your external business environment. So, it's time to set goals and create an action plan to achieve them. 

1. Vision Statement Toolkit

This Excel-based strategy tool will help you create a vision statement for your organization from scratch. 

2. Values Toolkit

Another pillar of your strategy is setting your strategic values. This Excel-based strategy toolkit will help with that process.

💡When is the right time for a makeover of your company’s vision and values? It’s a good move when dealing with significant organizational changes, growth slowdowns, or cultural issues because it can boost stakeholders’ motivation. On the flip side, skip this exercise if you’re dealing with crisis management or focusing on short-term business goals like meeting quarterly financial targets.

3. Strategic planning models

We’ve put together an overview of the five most widely used strategic planning models, including: 

💡Strategic planning models and frameworks are a great starting point to start brainstorming and formulating your strategy. But they don’t solve your alignment and execution problems. That’s why you need the right strategy tools that combine iterative strategic planning, centralized observability, and execution in one place.

4. Strategic Planning Template

strategic planning template cascade
A preview of Cascade's free and customizable strategic planning template. 

Ready to turn your strategy into an execution-ready plan? Use this free strategic planning template to set clear goals, build a strategic roadmap, and assign responsibilities to ensure stakeholder engagement with your strategy.

4. KPI Cheatsheets

Here you can explore an online library of free KPI examples for various industries to inspire you. 

💡Craft a custom strategy that suits your organization's unique goals and priorities. Start with our pre-built templates as jumping-off points for a highly effective strategic plan. Check out some examples from our template library

#1 Strategy Execution Platform Say goodbye to strategy spreadsheets. It’s time for Cascade. Get started, free  forever

Strategic Management Tools

The second phase of the strategic management process is executing the strategic plan you created earlier—the most crucial part of every strategy. 

1. Miro

PowerPoint is a terrible tool for strategy execution, but a good presentation is a fine starting point to introduce your people to the new strategy. Up your game with an interactive Miro presentation rather than a stuffy old PowerPoint!

2. Strategic Engagement and Communication Toolkit

It all comes down to communicating your strategy and the why behind it. To drive strategy execution successfully, you need to get buy-in from involved stakeholders. This toolkit will help you plan out your strategic engagement plan to ensure you cover all the bases of effective strategy communication.

3. Alignment map

This Cascade feature helps organizations map out how their goals are connected and impact one another. 

alignment map view in cascade
Alignment Map view in Cascade Strategy Execution Platform.

This is our version of a strategy map that helps you visualize the alignment of objectives across multiple plans, giving you complete visibility into the execution web that's spinning inside your organization. 

As a result, you can quickly identify any risks or roadblocks, prioritize critical initiatives, and eliminate misaligned projects.

📚Recommended reading: 

Strategy Tracking Tools

The final phase 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 monitors whether or not you've delivered on your strategy and made progress toward your short- and long-term goals. It also helps you understand where you are succeeding or failing.

1. KPI Reporting Template (Excel version)

Manually track important metrics and KPIs with this Excel template.

kpi reporting template cascade excel spreadsheet

2. KPI Reporting Template

Connect this template to your existing business strategy tools, automatically track your KPIs, and have real-time data at your fingertips. 

3. OKR Excel Template (Excel version)

Use this free and straightforward template to set and track OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). You can track company, team, or individual OKRs. 

4. Balanced scorecard

You can use this Balanced Scorecard Template to centralize the most important metrics in one place and measure your critical KPIs. Since it’s based on a traditional balanced scorecard framework, you can organize your KPIs and key initiatives into four standard categories: Financial, Customer, Internal Processes, and Learning & Growth.

5. Real-time dashboards and strategy reports

Strategy tools with real-time dashboards and reports are the missing piece that help you bridge the gap between you, your teams, and your upper leadership to ensure successful strategy execution. 

example of a strategy report in cascade
Example of a Report in Cascade

By leveraging these tools, you’ll be able to stay on top of performance, adjust your strategies on the go, and keep everyone focused on strategic goals.  

📚 Recommended reading: Best Reporting Tools To Drive Strategy (Pros, Cons, Pricing & Reviews)

Strategy Execution Tool

Despite the extensive list of strategy tools, templates, and models above—what if we told you that it’s possible to plan, manage, and track your strategic and growth initiatives from one central hub?

A tool that top companies see as a competitive advantage and prefer to keep confidential? 

G2 reviews

From the beginning, our goal was to make a tool that consolidates different strategy tools into a single platform—taking care of all the phases of the strategic management process:

1. Planning phase: You can use customizable strategic planning models that best fit your strategy approach. Drive strategic alignment across the organization by building a high-level company strategy plan and connecting it with strategic plans at the departmental or team level.

plan alignment map cascade
Alignment Map - plans view in Cascade

2. Executing phase: With its powerful integrations, strategic portfolio and project management, and goal management capabilities, Cascade helps you and your team to bridge the gap between planning and execution.

cascade metrics library
Metrics Library in Cascade

3. Tracking phase: KPI tracking, real-time dashboards, or drill-down reports - you name it, we have it. You will be able to provide data-driven insights to your C-suite team or get a real-time view of what's getting done or not. That’s the only way to faster and more confident decision-making.

example of a dashboard in cascade
Build your customizable Cascade’s strategy dashboards to make confident, informed decisions and build compelling narratives with beautifully visualized data. 

Today, Cascade is the leading strategy execution platform with a laser focus on progress and speed and a commitment to top-notch customer service. 

Whereas many companies fail to turn strategy into tangible outcomes, Cascade helps leaders deliver business profitability by giving them a centralized observability of what’s happening across the organization. 

Boost Your Strategy Execution With The Right Strategy Tools 🚀

Strategy planning models, tools, and templates are great for fleshing out your strategy, but to successfully execute strategy and adapt as needed, you also need the right software. 

A great strategy execution platform will help you to create a single source of truth for your strategy, eliminating wasted time in disconnected tools, confusion and potentially preventing a failed strategy execution. 

A single home for your strategy will help you to keep everyone on the same page, allowing leaders to focus on the most critical parts of strategy execution: clear goals, context, and strategic prioritization. 

And when you are not wasting your time in meetings to keep everyone aligned, you can focus on the greater purpose of actually helping your team members learn, grow, and deliver results.

Cascade makes it easy to build strategic roadmaps and assign KPIs and owners to drive accountability. It lets your employees collaborate on shared goals to drive strategy execution across the organization. 

Interested in seeing Cascade in action? Get started for free or book a demo with Cascade’s experts.

#1 Strategy Execution Platform Say goodbye to strategy spreadsheets. It’s time for Cascade. Get started, free  forever

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