Monitoring and Review
Once you have decided on your course of action and begun to implement it, you then need to monitor progress and, if necessary, take corrective action.
In many cases, the implementation phase will be easy - or at least will appear easy. If you are installing a new machine then you will know whether it is working correctly. But don’t forget that installation is only part of implementation. If you expect a certain level of work to ensure that the machine pays for itself, you will also need to monitor sales, machine utilisation, etc. In other words, it is the whole project that you have to monitor.
Some decisions, such as choosing not to register for VAT or not to become a company, may need periodic review. The facts on which the original decision was based may have changed - turnover may have increased requiring registration for VAT; profit retained in the business may have increased, prompting incorporation.
Monitoring can often be reduced to defining appropriate figures or ratios and then keeping an eye on them. These might include financial ratios, or quality measures, or customer satisfaction figures, or machine utilisation figures, or sales income, or value added per employee.
Taking corrective action
If you discover that you are veering off course then you need to consider what corrective action is required to put you back on track. This takes you back to the planning cycle and may involve setting new, SMART objectives (see Purpose and vision in the links below).