Change management begins with making sure that strategic and operational planning are aligned.
But this first link in the chain between strategic planning and business outcomes is broken: planning exercises confuse brain storming with planning; operations plans, when they exist, are only loosely connected to the strategic plan.
The Business Strategy Audit links up existing plans to an in-depth analysis of an organization’s historic and current reality.
A Business Strategy Audit engagement serves to bring focus to the “business” objectives embedded in planning documents, and bring into relief whether this plan is aligned or at odds with historical trends. See below for a full description or (download PDF )
Agility in a Time of Change:
The Business Strategy Audit
It begins by gathering hard data and performing a statistical analysis of financial trends and ratios to assess how well an organization is performing:
- What are the trends in giving and granting?
- How is it performing against its own planned goals and objectives.
- What has been the Profit & Loss (P&L) experience?
- How have operating reserves budget capacity been managed?
This audit also moves through the strategic plan and assesses the operational implications of the initiatives and vision being considered. This is done with special attention to staffing and systems technology. A survey is undertaken of the senior management team to tease out relative priorities within the plan, and to identify the champions, or lack thereof, within that team for a given initiative
The Life Cycle of Change
The pages that follow show samples of the table of contents of an audit, several dashboards from the data analysis showing operational and organizational metrics, and sample results of the management survey compares priorities across departments .
For more information, please Douglass Yeager, (
1. Business Strategy Audit TOC
The table of contents illustrates the multi-dimensional nature of the audit. These over-lapping perspectives begin to echo each other, thus reinforcing the conclusions reached.
· Patterns of Change: a data-driven perspective
· Operational Implications: a strategic plan driven perspective
· Management Priorities: an on-the-ground driven perspective
2. Business Strategy Audit: Analysis of Historic Data
||Sample Dashboard #1
• What are the patterns
o In transaction volume?
o In expenses?
o In key ratios such as expenses per fund?
Sample Dashboard #2
• How are gifts, grants and expenses related?
o What happens in an economic downturn?
|Sample Dashboard #3
• Where is revenue coming from?
• What areas are growing?
• How does this compare?
|Sample Dashboard #4
• Is the organization in the black?
o What is happening to unrestricted reserves?
3. Business Strategy Audit: Management Survey
 Examples shown are snapshots lifted from actual “deliverables” provided to clients under contract. To protect the confidentiality of these clients, all identifying information has been removed, and samples from multiple clients mixed interchangeably.
For an introduction to services offered by Yeager and Associates, see http://www.dougyeager.com/joomla/services.html