A quick intro to agile company strategy

The strategy "drumbeat"

Unlike slower strategy processes, an agile company strategy process consists of fast, iterative, incremental planning and progress.

We call this a "drumbeat".


Long-term goals

Long-term goals are high level, multi-year goals:

  • Should be annual or multi-year, e.g. a 1 year revenue goal
  • They are determined by the Board or Owners, and may tie to compensation plans
  • They are quantitative, often financial (e.g. revenue, operating margin)
  • They are indisputable - no one should disagree with these goals.


Strategic objectives measure the success of an organization and its strategy over the short- to medium-term, say one quarter.

Objectives should be informed by longer-term goals/comp plans (e.g. revenue, operating margin).

There should be 1 primary measure of success, and up to a couple of secondary ones.


Strategic initiatives are the top priority workstreams to achieve the defined strategic objectives.

Initiatives may be ideated according to many frameworks and experts. Crucially, they must then be prioritized by ROI (e.g. impact on objectives vs feasibility), so only top initiatives are executed. This should happen at the same cadence as setting new objectives (e.g. quarterly).

Priorities may change mid-execution, as more data is available.

Initiative execution

Teams execute the initiatives, and are held accountable to the outcomes of the activities within.

If initiatives themselves are executed in an Agile manner, then each task or activity in an initiative may be viewed as an experiment with a measurable KPI. See the Experiments module for more detail on this approach and the Sapeum features that support it.

At the strategy level, initiative progress is reviewed frequently through status updates from the initiative owner.

Put it into practice

Enough theory - go to Getting started to put this into practice.