“61% of corporate strategists say poor strategy execution is the primary reason that new growth initiatives fail,” says Marc Kelly, VP at Gartner. “It’s more of a problem than the strategy itself or the funding of that strategy, and it stems from a range of issues.”
Despite execution being the key challenge, most strategic management software focuses on planning and tracking capabilities. They often don’t provide what Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) need the most—capabilities that facilitate strategy execution.
In this article, you’ll see how Cascade helps you close the gap between strategy planning and execution and how it centralizes your strategic efforts in a clear, transparent, and effective way.
Cascade: The All-In-One Strategy Execution Platform
Gartner lists the three key challenges impacting the successful execution of strategic objectives:
- Ambiguous responsibilities
- Inability to cascade objectives to teams and individuals
- No clear priorities
This highlights where even the best strategic planning software often fails. Most solutions help you plan the business strategy and track progress. Still, they don’t help you break it down and translate it into actionable objectives for each department, team, and individual.
Cascade does this. On all levels. And we can hardly explain it better than our satisfied customers.
Here’s what Cascade does for top-level and board meetings:
“The connective tissue between Mission/Vision/Values and key performance indicators (KPIs) is missing in most organizations, derailing execution. Cascade provides that. The platform helps everyone understand what's next and who is in charge. Board meetings stop being a scramble for staff to figure out ´where are we at on everything.´ Executive leadership understands each others' worlds, reducing friction and increasing the speed and quality of decision-making.”
And here’s what Cascade does for siloed teams closer to the ground:
“Planning and execution can get complicated—especially in an organization like ours where everyone is stuck in silos, multiple product lines, etc. But Cascade helps to break the complexity into simpler blocks. It gave structure and clarity to the teams. They were able to see how their work impacts business outcomes and that led to an increase in engagement and ownership.”
Cascade goes above and beyond conventional strategic planning tools. It’s a holistic platform that centralizes strategy, facilitates alignment, and provides clarity. It considers all three vital stages of strategic management: planning, execution, and tracking.
Let’s take a closer look at each stage and Cascade’s key features that will streamline your strategy management workflows.
Build structured strategic plans with ease
Cascade offers a robust platform to architect your strategic plans with structure and ease. It’s designed to help you formulate your strategy in a way that aligns teams, focuses on key business goals, and empowers you to make data-driven decisions.
Cascade emphasizes flexibility in business planning and its Planner feature is designed to help you create strategic plans tailored to your specific needs.
You can use a variety of flexible planning frameworks, such as OKRs, Balanced Scorecard (BSC), and custom frameworks, to break down your strategic goals into smaller, more manageable initiatives.
Additionally, Cascade allows you to toggle between different views of your plan and objectives, such as Timeline View (Gantt charts) and Kanban board, which allows further optimization of your work management.
Ownership and accountability
One of the pivotal challenges for senior leaders is ensuring accountability across the board. Gartner reports that 67% of employees do not understand their role in new strategic initiatives.
Cascade addresses this by enabling you to assign ownership to each initiative to ensure everyone is accountable for their work.
Recognizing the diverse tech ecosystems of modern organizations, Cascade integrates with various other tools, such as task management tools, project management tools, resource management tools, collaboration tools, etc.
Cascade consolidates data from disparate sources your departments use—Excel, Salesforce, Jira, or other popular tools. This integration prowess offers a cohesive view of your organization's performance and eliminates silos.
You get a complete view of your organization's performance, enabling informed decisions and timely interventions.
The Metrics library allows you to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and connect relevant business data to your strategic plan. Through the Metrics library, you can centralize key results and data from CRM, accounting tools, databases, BI tools, or spreadsheets.
You can track measures or KPIs from your strategic plans by connecting them with relevant metrics (either from the library or integrations). This consolidated view not only provides a snapshot of your current performance but also serves as a benchmarking tool, proactively identifying gaps and improvement opportunities.
🎥Take a look at a 2-minute video with a walkthrough of the Metrics Library.
Make alignment and execution progress visible
Cascade enables you to see how different plans and teams are aligned and how they contribute to the organization's overall goals. This visibility can help you identify and address any misalignments early on, ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives.
Cascade’s Focus Areas are categories that group a set of related objectives and create structure around how to get your organization to achieve them.
Focus areas make it easy to see how action plans and teams are horizontally aligned across the organization.
Whether you aim to expand global recognition, achieve aggressive growth, launch new product lines, or maintain zero regulatory issues, Focus Areas offer clarity and direction to all teams involved.
Cascade's Alignment Map helps you visualize how various organizational plans interconnect to form a strategy.
This is especially important as Gartner reports that 67% of key functions are not aligned with business unit and corporate strategies, creating resource allocation challenges that limit successful execution.
The Alignment Map eradicates duplication and resource waste, ensuring that every activity aligns with your strategic focus. Moreover, this visual representation aids in identifying and addressing potential challenges, risks, and dependencies on your roadmap.
This feature provides two distinct views, enabling you to understand horizontal and vertical alignment across the corporate, initiative, and project levels.
- Alignment of plans allows you to see every plan made in your workspace from a birds-eye view. Each plan displayed in a simple tree structure shows some essential info, including an alignment score, which is a percentage of objectives aligned with the parent plan.
- Alignment of objectives provides a comprehensive breakdown of top-level objectives, offering a panoramic view of how aligned your functional units are with the overarching organizational strategy. The Drilldown view enables you to drill down into any part of the strategy to surface meaningful context for decision-making and unpack the root cause of an objective’s performance.
Cascade offers customizable update templates tailored to specific entities such as objectives, projects, measures, or teams. Whether you're sharing progress, feedback, or insights, these templates ensure consistency while allowing you to follow your preferred methodology and stay flexible.
Additionally, you can set reminders to post updates, which will send notifications to owners directly in the app and via email.
Pinpoint strategic performance at any given time
Understanding key metrics and milestones, identifying roadblocks, and assessing risks is crucial for successful performance management and strategy execution. That’s why Cascade has a comprehensive suite of tools designed specifically to evaluate progress, highlight challenges, and proactively manage uncertainties.
Cascade's Dashboards are a centralized hub for real-time data visualization, enabling you and your team members to monitor progress effortlessly.
These intuitive dashboards comprise chart widgets that offer real-time and historical data perspectives. Whether you're tracking KPIs or assessing the execution of strategic initiatives, dashboards provide unparalleled visibility.
You can use these dashboards during team meetings to foster alignment or leverage them for leadership insights into critical strategy areas.
Cascade's Reports act as a bridge between strategic execution and effective communication.
Cascade's powerful reporting functionality allows you to generate custom reports and share them with stakeholders within and outside your organization.
You can organize and display data visually with different tables and charts. Additionally, you can add headlines and notes to provide more structure and context around the data in your report.
Whether you're preparing for a board meeting, updating vendors, forecasting trends, or conducting a business analysis, reports offer the flexibility and depth you need.
Cascade's robust risk management capabilities empower organizations to effectively identify, assess, and address internal and external risks.
Whether strategic, operational, compliance, financial, or environmental, Cascade allows you to categorize risks based on their nature and potential impact. Furthermore, Cascade enables you to devise and implement mitigative actions, ensuring that potential threats are proactively managed and mitigated.
Extensive resources and responsive support
Beyond its features, Cascade's commitment to customer success is evident in its rich support and resource ecosystem. From a video library to live training webinars, Cascade ensures that users have the knowledge and assistance they need to make the most of the platform.
- Getting started guide: Cascade provides an user-friendly guide that covers all the main aspects of strategy management and ensures you get up and running quickly.
- Video library: Cascade has an extensive video library with tutorials, walkthroughs, and best practices to help you and your team master the platform.
- Support documentation: A comprehensive and searchable support documentation is there to help you troubleshoot any issues.
- Live training webinars: There are always upcoming live webinars that enable you to dig deeper into certain aspects of Cascade and the strategic planning process and interact with our experts.
- Customer success & implementation team: Our team and your designated customer success manager will provide a fully tailored onboarding and work with you to maximize your team’s adoption and understanding of the tool at each step of the journey.
Cascade’s pricing plans
Cascade’s pricing plans are split into three tiers:
- Essentials: Meant for organizations looking to centralize their strategy execution. It includes access to the full Cascade strategy execution platform, implementation and onboarding, a designated customer success manager, and essential strategy workshops.
- Enterprise+: Ideal for organizations that want to transform their strategy execution and take it to the next level. It includes everything from the Essentials plan and a designated strategy execution director, unlimited strategy execution advisory, tailored strategy execution workshops, and custom integrations.
- Free: Allows anyone to try out Cascade's core strategy execution features, including up to 4 users, unlimited plans, and unlimited metrics.
Essentials and Enterprise+ plans are tailored to each customer and their organization, and as such, they come with custom pricing. Contact our Sales Team for a tailored quote.
The Best Strategy Execution Platform For CSOs
Cascade stands out as one of, if not the most comprehensive strategy software solution on the market. It addresses the gaps often found in traditional strategic planning solutions by centralizing the entire strategic journey.
From planning to execution and tracking—Cascade offers a cohesive approach to strategic management and provides a unified platform that amplifies accountability, fosters alignment, and drives tangible results.
Experience firsthand how Cascade transforms planning into actions and facilitates strategy execution. Book a demo and see how you can enhance your strategy processes.