Strategic evaluation and control is very essential phase of strategic management. It is often ignored by strategists on the premise that once they have formulated a strategy and implemented it, their role in strategic management is over. They remain mired with daily control reports, which can be taken even at lower levels. This approach may be all right when there is not high stake involved in a strategy but fatal when the stake is high. Without strategic evaluation and control, strategists have no way to measure whether the chosen strategy is working properly or not.
When strategic evaluation and control is undertaken properly, it contributes in three specific areas:
- Measurement of organizational progress,
- Feedback for future actions, and
- Linking performance and rewards.
Measurement of Organizational Progress
Evaluation and control measures organizational progress towards achievement of its objectives. When a strategy is chosen, it specifies the likely outcomes, which are relevant for achieving organizational objectives. The strategy is not an end in itself; it is a means for achieving something valuable to organizational success. Therefore, measuring this success as a result of strategy implementation is a prime concern for every strategist. This measurement should be undertaken during the process of strategy implementation as well as after implementation to ensure the progress as quickly as possible so that remedial actions are taken at appropriate time.
Feedback for Future Action
Strategic management being a continuous process with no apparent beginning and end. Strategic Evaluation and control provides clues for recycling various actions, which are relevant for achieving organizational objectives. This is possible only when strategic planning and control are well integrated.
Thus, control activities are undertaken in the light of criteria set by a strategic plan. But at the same time, control provides inputs either for adjusting the same strategic plan or taking future strategic plans. This is the way organizations progress over the period of time. They take a strategic action, implement it, and find its results. If the results are in tune with what were intended the similar types of strategic actions are taken in future. Thus, there is a chain of strategic plan actions and control.
Linking Performance and Reward
This is the most crucial aspect of strategic evaluation and control but many organizations fail in linking performance and reward. This happens not only at the level of different organizations but even for a country as a whole. The dispersion of part of the rewards by the organizations without regard to performances is more common in the less modem parts of the country than in the more advance ones and in less developed than in more developed countries. It is one of the reasons why organizational control is less effective in less developed countries. Thus, linking performance and reward is a big issue.