Utilizing the SMART Criteria with VisPlan: Streamlining Visual Strategic Planning

SMART Criteria for Effective Strategic Planning
Effective strategic planning is the foundation of organizational success. It involves setting clear objectives, defining actionable strategies, and aligning efforts towards a common vision.

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In this article, we will explore how VisPlan, a powerful visual planning tool, can enhance the implementation of the SMART criteria. By leveraging VisPlan’s capabilities, organizations can develop strategic plans that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, leading to better outcomes. 


VisPlan facilitates the creation of specific objectives by providing a platform to define a Position Statement, the overarching goal or position that an organization aims to achieve with its strategic plan. By visualizing this Position Statement, stakeholders gain a clear understanding of the organization’s desired destination and can align their efforts accordingly.

Within VisPlan, organizations can break down the Position Statement into specific Strategic Objectives, each representing a key aspect of the overall goal. These objectives can be articulated with precision and linked to the organization’s long-term vision.

To develop specific objectives, it is essential to answer the “Five Ws” – Who, What, When, Where, and Why. 

For example, instead of stating a vague goal like “increase sales,” a specific objective would be “increase quarterly sales by 15% in the Western region by implementing targeted marketing campaigns.”


Measuring progress is crucial for evaluating the success of a strategic plan. VisPlan enables organizations to associate Key Results with each Strategic Objective. Key Results represent measurable outcomes that indicate progress towards achieving the Strategic Objectives.

VisPlan provides the ability to define relevant metrics using Key Result. By visualizing these metrics, organizations can track and analyze their performance, making informed decisions based on real-time data.

For instance, if the goal is to enhance customer satisfaction, a measurable objective could be “improve customer satisfaction ratings to 90% in the next six months through post-purchase surveys.”


While it is essential to set ambitious goals, they must also be attainable. Objectives that are too far-fetched or unrealistic can lead to demotivation and hinder progress. Organizations must evaluate their resources, capabilities, and constraints when setting achievable goals.

To ensure goals are attainable, organizations should conduct a thorough analysis of their internal and external factors, including available resources, market conditions, and competitive landscape. By aligning goals with the organization’s capacity, it becomes more feasible to develop strategies and action plans that can realistically deliver the desired outcomes.


Relevance is critical for maintaining focus and ensuring that strategic objectives contribute to the overall success of the organization. Objectives should align with the organization’s mission, vision, and values, as well as address significant challenges or opportunities in the marketplace.

To establish relevant objectives, organizations should assess the strategic importance of each goal and its potential impact on the organization’s success. Objectives that are directly linked to the organization’s core competencies and long-term sustainability will have a higher likelihood of driving meaningful results.


Setting deadlines or timeframes for achieving objectives creates a sense of urgency and accountability within the organization. Time-bound goals provide a clear timeline for action and enable organizations to monitor progress effectively.

When setting time-bound objectives, it is crucial to establish realistic deadlines that consider the complexity of the task, available resources, and external factors. Breaking down long-term objectives into short-term milestones can help track progress and ensure timely adjustments if necessary.


Developing a strategic plan that adheres to the SMART criteria empowers organizations to set clear objectives, monitor progress, and make data-driven decisions. By focusing on specificity, measurability, achievability, relevance, and time-bound targets, organizations can increase the effectiveness of their strategic planning efforts. Embracing the SMART criteria as a guiding framework ensures that strategic plans are aligned with the organization’s vision and provide a roadmap for success in today’s dynamic business landscape.