OGSM Template

OGSM Template: How To Use An OGSM Template To Simplify Your Strategy And Deliver Results

If only there was a simple OGSM template for PowerPoint or Excel to make creating the OGSM easier and faster. Look no further, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll share OGSM templates and explain how to use them.

OGSM stands for Objective, Goals, Strategies and Measures and is a one-page business plan that defines ‘what’ you aim to achieve and ‘how’ you are going to achieve it. Using an OGSM template, the framework is created top-down in order of setting the objective and goals first (the what) and then defining the strategies and measures (the how).

Having a template to guide the process can be incredibly helpful. It provides a proven format and saves time. However, purely filling in a template can also be quite dangerous if it leads to oversimplification and purely “filling in the boxes”. With this article we will provide you the templates and guide you through the OGSM process to prevent you from falling into the all-too-common “template trap”. Read on to discover how.

The OGSM Template

Recent studies have found that an astonishing 2/3 of strategies fail. The power of the OGSM methodology lies in creating a simple but sophisticated one-page overview of the business strategy and its execution plan. The OGSM thereby builds in “what” you aim to achieve and “how” you are going to achieve it.

The benefits of OGSM are threefold:

  • Clarity: the simple one-page format creates clarity and transparency about the direction of the business
  • Alignment: involving the team during creation and implementation of the OGSM creates buy-in and ensures cascading of the strategy throughout the organisation.
  • Execution: the objective and goals of the business are clearly connected with strategies, actions, and measures to ensure that plan becomes reality.

This is what an OGSM Template for PowerPoint may look like:

Example of an OGSM template for PowerPoint

And this is what an OGSM Template for Excel may look like:

Example of an OGSM template for Excel

You can find downloadable OGSM templates and examples via the following links.

Find OGSM templates for your strategy process here. The link will take you to our resource page with many helpful tools and templates including the OGSM of course.

Click here for OGSM examples and inspirations. The link will take you to our resource page with OGSM examples and case studies.

Using the OGSM Template

The OGSM is created top-down starting from the Objective, followed by the Goals, the Strategies and finally the Measures.

In the following we will describe each component of the OGSM individually to guide you through your strategic process step by step. Let’s start with the objective.

Setting the Objective

The objective is a qualitative statement which describes the direction of the business and answers the question “where are we going?”.

It is important to write a clear, concise objective because everything else in the OGSM will follow its lead. Make it inspiring and ambitious, yet achievable and closely linked to the situation of the business.

Follow this 5-step process to write an impactful objective statement:

  1. Conduct an analysis of the purpose of the business and the situation it is in.
  2. Determine the timeframe for the strategic plan.
  3. Brainstorm the results you aim to achieve over the chosen timeframe.
  4. Draft a one-sentence objective statement, applying the “what-by-how” method.
  5. Review the objective statement and make sure it leaves no open questions.

The “what-by-how” method was coined by van Eck and Leenhouts in their excellent book “The 1 Page Business Strategy“. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a practical guide (see here for more books we’d recommend).

Fill this one-sentence objective statement into the top of the OGSM template where it says “Objective”. Then turn to the goals.

You can read more about how to write a meaningful objective for your strategic plan here.

Setting the Goals

The goals are quantifiable metrics that translate your qualitative objective statement into measurable results.

Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They should typically include financial and operational targets and allow you to gauge whether you are on track towards achieving your objective.

It is important to align the goal setting with the timeframe of your strategic plan. If you aim to achieve your objective over a 5-year time horizon, then your goals should quantify the destination of your business after those 5 years.

Make sure that you include a specific goal for each part of your objective statement. Writing your objective using the “what-by-how” method, include 1-2 goals for each the “what”-part and the “how”-part, respectively.

Together the objective and the goals of your OGSM describe the “what” of your strategic plan, i.e. what you aim to achieve. Or said differently, the O and G jointly describe specifically where you are headed.

Write your goals into the “Goals” column of your OGSM template. Then move on to the Strategies.

Read more about how to set clear S.M.A.R.T. goals for your OGSM here.

Choosing the Strategies

What are strategies? In essence, strategies are choices. Strategies describe how you decide to focus your resources in order to achieve your desired results.

If the objective and goals together describe where you are headed, then the strategies and measures describe how you are going to get there.

In my experience, developing effective strategies is a 5-step process to make choices about how to allocate your team’s attention and resources:

  1. Consider your objective and goals as your destination
  2. Develop strategic alternatives using the SWOT analysis
  3. Prioritize 3-5 strategies
  4. Check that chosen strategies are aligned, sufficient, and clear
  5. Set measures and create action plan to drive implementation.

Similar to the objective statement, I would recommend to write each strategy using the “what-by-how”-method. This makes the strategy statements specific and actionable.

After you have discussed in the team your strategic alternatives and picked 3-5 strategy statements that give you the greatest chance at achieving your objective and goals, write these into the OGSM document under “Strategies”. For each strategy statement, you will then define meaningful measures to drive execution next.

Read more about how to make strategic choices for your OGSM here.

Creating the right Measures

The M in OGSM stands for Measures and mark the final step in the OGSM methodology. Measures are the key metrics and actions that clarify who does what by when.

Measures are to Strategies what Goals are to Objectives: Measures are the specific targets that translate the qualitative strategy statements into quantifiable results.

Inspired by van Eck and Leenhouts and their book “The 1 Page Business Strategy“, I can highly recommend to split the Measures into 2 parts:

  • Key Metrics: choose 2-3 metrics that define success for each strategic statement
  • Action Plan: choose 2-3 concrete actions or initiatives to implement each strategy and achieve the key metrics.

Make sure that each action item has a clear caretaker and timeline. Double check with each caretaker that they are clear what is expected of them.

Fill in the Key Metrics and Actions into the OGSM Template under “Measures”.

Read more about how to break down strategies into effective measures to drive implementation here.

Once you have completed your OGSM template, review once more whether the one-page plan is complete and whether it is congruent. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do the Objective and Goals align with the time frame of the strategic plan?
  • Are the Strategies clear and sufficient to achieve each of the desired results, i.e. all goals and components of the objective?
  • Do the Measures align clearly with the Strategies and are they clear and sufficient to achieve each strategic initiative?
  • Are all actions specific with caretakers and clear timelines?
  • Are the needed resources available and sufficient to implement the OGSM and successfully drive execution?

If all of these questions can be answered with “yes” then you have completed the OGSM template. Congratulations!! Now pad yourself on the back first and then read on to see what a completed OGSM may look like.

OGSM examples

Finding the right flight level for a strategy or business plan can be a challenge. You will want to capture the big picture without being aloof or disconnected from the realities of the business. At the same time, you want to be concrete and actionable without getting into all the operational details of the business.

The OGSM methodology can really help in finding the right flight level by aligning the objective and goals of the business with the key strategies and initiatives that really make a difference towards achieving your targets.

It can be helpful to seek inspiration from how others have applied the OGSM methodology when finding the right flight level for your business. The following examples may help.

Click here to read about how Tony’s Pizza applied the OGSM methodology to transform its business from a pizza parlor into an Italian family restaurant.

See the OGSM of Tony’s Pizza below:

Tonys Italian
OGSM Example – Tony’s Italian

Where to go from here?

We have walked through how to use an OGSM template for your strategic plan using the OGSM methodology to simplify your strategy and deliver results.

Learn 13 reasons why successful companies deploy the OGSM methodology or read about how to avoid the 7 deadly sins of business strategy.

On our Resources page you can find additional strategy tools & templates, OGSM examples, workshop materials and much more. Check it out!

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about OGSM, why not contact us via the comment box below? Or sign up to our free newsletter here and receive practical strategy tips straight to your inbox. We’d love to hear from you. Rock on!

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