How does OGSM work?

Why use OGSM?

There are 4 great reasons to use OGSM over other models:

OGSM is a clear and easy-to-understand model that summarizes your essential strategic choices on a single page. This also makes it a good tool for communication, because it is much easier to understand and interpret than a long written strategic document.

Coherence. OGSM makes explicit, logical connections between five different aspects of a strategic plan. These aspects are your objective or mission; your quantitative goals; the strategies you choose to achieve those goals; the way you measure progress towards the goals; and the actions or projects planned to realize the strategies.

Clear choices. Because OGSM is a strict logical framework limited to a single page, it forces you to make clear choices. Using this framework, every action and project your organization or team works on, must be connected to your organizational goals. In that way, OGSM helps you identify any outdated or less-relevant projects and work more efficiently. This aligns perfectly with the Lean philosophy, and a clear and differentiated strategic focus is the result.

Flexibility. OGSM is a flexible framework that can be adapted to multiple levels of an organization. For example, you have made a plan on one page for the strategic change of a whole organization. That may not be immediately executable for individual departments or teams. But by linking higher-level to lower-level OGSMs (a process called cascading), you can make your strategic plan concrete and executable at each level.


How do I make a business plan using OGSM?

OGSM has five elements: the Objective, the Goals, the Strategies, the Dashboard Measures, and the Action Measures. Below, we will give you a short description of each. For our free OGSM ‘cheat sheet’ instruction booklet, please contact us at

The overarching goal and definition of success for your strategic plan are reflected in your Objective. In one sentence, it should capture what the organisation wants to have achieved at the end of the strategic planning period, and signal the overarching strategic direction. Since all next steps will follow the direction as set in the Objective, it is important that the team agrees on an Objective with concrete and clear wording.

The Goals section of your OGSM translates your Objective into a set of clear and measurable targets that must be achieved to realize it.  Goals tend to include key financial targets like market share, profit, numbers of clients, or revenue. They can also include other numbers relevant to your organization’s performance, such as client satisfaction, employee churn or ESG goals.

Strategies are the roadmap to the realization of your Objective. If your Objective defines the ‘what‘ you hope to achieve with the strategic plan, your Strategies should describe how you will do that. Selecting good Strategies is crucial to good performance for any organization. These will define the areas of focus for your strategic plan.

Dashboard Measures
Your Dashboard Measures are the KPIs you use to monitor your progress in executing your Strategies. They should be SMART and can be split up into leading and lagging indicators.

Action Measures
This is where your plan comes to life. The Action Measures turn your Strategies into well-defined Actions (projects), which can be subdivided into multiple steps. In the course of realizing these projects and tasks, you will execute your strategy. Of all the areas of your OGSM, this is the one you will return to most frequently. Many organizations use a Kanban or task board, alongside daily or weekly ‘stand-ups’, to track progress on the Actions.

Ogsm Template

Check the quality of your OGSM

Check the quality of your OGSM plan or get familiar with the basics of the method. You can download your free basic OGSM checklist here. It contains 18 questions and a short explanation for a deeper understanding. This will increase the quality and the deliverability of your plan. You will have the right information at your fingertips to explain it to others. If you need more information, please reach out to us

More questions?

We have more answers! For more information on OGSM, take a look at our page What is OGSM?

For more information on how to use OGSM Software to manage your strategic plan, please refer to our FAQ or tutorials page. You can also read more about OGSM on Wikipedia.

Still curious about anything? Don’t hesitate to contact us with any question you may have!