What is OGSM?

Fast and effective planning with OGSM​

The OGSM methodology enables you to do business planning quickly and effectively. As long as you dare to make critical and difficult choices, OGSM will help you create a well- structured strategic plan that provides insight into your organization’s goals and how to achieve them.

Index

OGSM

OGSM Explained

OGSM is a strategic planning method that helps you concretize your plans, dreams and ideas and make them achievable. What’s unique about OGSM is that it’s fast and effective, leading to a plan on one page. OGSM can be used for organizations or individual life goals. More than simply creating a plan, OGSM also guides you through the steps to make your goals actionable: because realizing your dreams is even more fun than dreaming them.

What can you use the OGSM model for?

OGSM is commonly referred to as a business planning method, but you can use it for any type of plan: department plans, annual plans, project plans, personal plans and any other plans. Essentially, OGSM takes a clear goal and subsequently translates this goal into concrete steps and a way to execute them. It’s a uniquely simple, well-structured and effective method that you can use to achieve any goal without unnecessary complexity.

OGSM Dashboard

What does OGSM stand for?

OGSM is short for Objective, Goals, Strategies & Measures. Together these components form the basis of a good and effective business plan on 1 page.

Objective

The ‘O’ in OGSM stands for ‘Objective’. The objective is the qualitative aim and ambition of the plan. The Objective describes the conditions that you want to achieve during the agreed-upon time period. The Objective sets the direction for the whole plan. A good qualitative objective meets the following requirements:

Goals

If the Objective is a qualitative ambition, Goals are a translation of that ambition into quantitative targets. This ensures that all stakeholders of the OGSM have the same defiintion of the words from the objective. When you achieve all your Goals, the Objective should also be realized. Ideally, you want to use the lowest possible number of goals that are necesary to make it indesputable that you achieved the Objective of the OGSM. Make sharp and critical choices for Goals that are truly important and make sure the Goals are ‘SMART’: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

OGSM Obective

Strategies

Strategies describe the specific choices you make and approaches you’ve selected to realize your Goals. These should describe how you focus your resources, such as employees, money and time. Similar to the goals, it is important to choose critically and ensure the Strategies reflect real choices in areas relevant to your plan, for example organization, partners, innovations, etc. You want to focus on a limited number of Strategies and ensure they are specific, selective, sustainable, synchronized, and sufficient.

Measures

The component of OGSM called ‘Measures’ really consists of two separate elements: a ‘Dashboard’ and an ‘Action Plan’. This split within Measures is not native to OGSM, but was introduced to improve the clarity of the model by Marc van Eck (one of our co-founders) & Ellen van Zanten.
  • The Dashboard includes key performance indicators that tell you whether or not a strategy is on track;
  • The Action Plan includes the projects or actions that enable the practical realization of your strategies, as well as data on who & when will execute them.

OGSM, the 1 page business strategy

Do you want to know more about the OGSM methodology, find out how to make a good OGSM yourself, or have your own go-to guide for any questions related to OGSM?

You can find everything you need to know in the short book “The 1-page business strategy”, written by our co-founder Marc van Eck. The Dutch version of the book has been a bestseller on managementboek.nl and bol.com for more than 5 years. Do you prefer a different language? No problem, the book is translated into English, Greek, Chinese and Taiwanese.

The 1 Page Business Strategy

Get yours here

When did OGSM originate?

In the mid-twentieth century, a man named Peter Drucker introduced a management style called Management by Objectives, which eventually evolved into OGSM. The general idea of Management by Objectives is that management and employees should set goals together, because by agreeing together on goals that are challenging but achievable, you motivate and empower everyone involved. For that reason, Drucker wanted to link the goals of the employees of an organization to the goals of the organisation itself.

The management method was first applied by NASA. The goal of getting the first man on the moon was split into sub-goals and divided over various teams. These teams in their turn translated these sub-goals into sub-sub-goals and those were assigned to sub-teams, and so on. In this way, everyone was involved with setting the goals that helped motivate the entire team. Every employee knew what his or her team’s objective was, and knew that if they had achieved their objective, they had contributed to the achievement of putting the first man on the moon.

After getting the first man on the moon, various major car manufacturers in Japan noticed NASA’s success and developed Drucker’s ideas into the model we now recognize as the OGSM methodology. OGSM is now being used as the main tool for strategic planning by companies such as Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Mars and many other Fortune 500 organisations wordwide.

the smallest lettertype you are allowed to use for OGSM is Arial 6

5 secrets to a good OGSM

We’ve mentioned a couple of times that it is necessary to make clear choices in order to get a quality OGSM, and that practice has shown that less is more. But how exactly do you create a good OGSM? Here’s five essential tips:

1. What-by-How approach

Clear and sharp choices are made using the What-by-How approach. This is a component of OGSM that has been added by Marc van Eck & Ellen van Zanten. What-by-How means that your Objective, Strategies and Actions should consist of two elements: a ‘What’ part and a ‘How’ part. For example: «Deliver a new website by collaborating with a web development partner.» What is it that we want to achieve? And how are we going to achieve this? Always take a moment to reflect on the decisions you made in your OGSM and ask yourself: do I have both a ‘What’ and a ‘How’? In case you didn’t, you now know exactly what to change!

2. Sharp and Smart Goals

In other management methods, achieving even 75% of the goals may lead to great enthusiasm, but that’s not the case with OGSM. With OGSM, everything should be planned to be realistic and achievable. For that reason, it’s very important that your Goals are clear and that you make them SMART. Specific and measurable goals have a percentage, a measure, or a number in them, ensuring you can ‘tick the box’ once you have achieved it. The goals should be ambitious, but achievable: they need to really make a difference. The desired result should be well-defined, and you should specify the exact timing for you to reach that Goal. You should aim to reach all the goals at the end of the set time period.

3. No more than 5 strategies

When it comes to Strategies, we tend to say less is more. But how many is too many? A maximum of 5 strategies is recommended, because you tend to get better results out out of handling a few Strategies really well. This forces you to make clear strategic choices and not spread your efforts too thin.

4. Choose existing measurements

It is wise to choose Dashboard Measures for your OGSM that are already being used in the organisation. Experience shows that it’s often more efficient to use an existing measurement that is 80% associated with being on track, than to set up a new measurement that is 100% aligned. If you do decide to use a new Dashboard Measure, take some time to think carefully about how you can do this as practically as possible.

5. Monitor your plan

Setting up your OGSM is only the beginning. Following up on your plan and habitually working within the framework of the OGSM is key. In the follow-up process, you should constantly reflect on the strategies and measures and make adjustments as you go. This ensures that the OGSM stays representative for your organization and that people still feel enthusiastic about it. Continue to apply the mechanics of OGSM as well as possible. If your OGSM starts to show technical inaccuracies, this can have serious consquences for the effectiveness of the framework.

OGSM Example: Jeep

One example from «The 1-page business strategy” is an OGSM made for Jeep. We have imported this example into OGSM Software for you to learn from. The Jeep example can show you exactly how the software works and how your Action Measures should be linked to your goals. That way, you’ll ensure that everyone is doing the right things to reach the Objective.

OGSM Example: Jeep

Cascading your OGSM

One example from «The 1-page business strategy” is an OGSM made for Jeep. We have imported this example into OGSM Software for you to learn from. The Jeep example can show you exactly how the software works and how your Action Measures should be linked to your goals. That way, you’ll ensure that everyone is doing the right things to reach the Objective.

Need help cascading your OGSM?

Why OGSM Software?

Whether you have used OGSM before or are still new to it all, OGSM Software is the best place to create your OGSM. OGSM Software supports you in the daily activation of your strategy and makes managing it a pleasure. An easy to use management tool, everywhere and for everyone, so you can see the forest for the trees again.

Frequently asked questions about OGSM

OGSM is a strategic planning method that helps you concretize your plans, dreams and ideas and make them achievable.

OGSM is short for Objective, Goals, Strategies & Measures. Together these components form the basis of a good and effective business plan on 1 page.

OGSM is commonly referred to as a business planning method, but you can use it for any type of plan: department plans, annual plans, project plans, personal plans and any other plans.

You can create an OGSM in powerpoint or sign-up for OGSM Software, create your OGSM here and enjoy the many benefits.