Strategic planning is just an abstraction without proper implementation. Implementation is where, as the saying goes, “the rubber meets the road.” The rubber would be the strategy, and the road the path to growth. Implementation, like a professionally crafted storyline involves the who, where, when and how.
So, if your strategic plan is on a solid footing, your management team can get it on the road with all the resources and organizational buy-in it requires for the successful journey. That journey is what implementation is all about. Therefore, implementation is a carefully crafted process that ensures the strategic plan will be more than a plan. It will become part of the organizational culture because:
- It involves specific ownership and clear statements of responsibility.
- Implementation plans are communicated to your staff with a clear statement of how they contribute.
- Implementation is treated as a separate and special program not to be bogged down in daily business operations.
- Goals and actions are sufficiently focused and realistic in scope so as not to be overwhelming.
- The plan contains no fluff or meaningless statements of vision, mission or value statements that promote lip service but no buy-in.
- The planning document is understood not to be an end in itself, but is at the forefront in every aspect of the strategic planning process.
- There is highly visible accountability and ownership along with measurable progress tracking.
- The accountability for implementation is coupled with actual empowerment and delegation of authority — the means and tools to implement the plan.
Implementation allows the organization to transform the abstract to action with buy-in and practical implementation techniques.