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By this stage of the process the planning team will be a little stretched and looking get the Strategic Planning exercise over and done with. Please resist that temptation of taking shortcuts in this phase. This final phase of the journey is where the rubber hits the road! So far, you have done a great job at planning, strategizing and defining what success looks like. This stage is where you define and kick off the implementation with your people on the ground. Remember there is no plan in the world, which will succeed without the people following it. People will follow if you lead, engage and communicate effectively.

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Step #22: Construct the Implementation Plan

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Planning Team + Functional Leaders + Specialists SMART Goals (step 19) Completed Implementation Plan Implementation Plan Template

The staff closer to the action constructs the implementation plan. It is essentially a list of action items that need to take place in order to achieve an objective. It can sometimes get a little complicated when you have an organisational matrix that spans through function and geography. In this instance it’s important to bring in representatives from each function and geography and make sure that they are aligned to the implementation plans and their success criteria.

  1. You want to start with the Finance team. They need to help develop a financial projection for the next three years based on the output of the Offsite. This could take a couple of days, so engage them early.
  2. Each Functional area or department in your business should run a workshop (4-6hrs) where they come up with a functional level action plan that is fully aligned to the organisational SMART goals covering the next 12 months. Each action item should also follow the SMART framework and should be assigned to a person and budget where applicable.
  3. Once the Functional goals have been reviewed and approved by the Heads of each function, and then it should be instructed that these goals and action items are cascaded down to all of the staff. These should form part of staff performance and development plans for the year.
  4. Worth noting that when these goals are being cascaded into action items, there could be multiple levels of action items.  It’s important that these are transparent to the organisation and measurable through a central tracking system.

Step #23: Set up a Strategy Implementation Governance Framework

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Strategy Governance & Communications Team + LT Completed Implementation Plan Governance Framework & Schedule

Any plan will require a means to monitor the timing, quality and issues of its delivery. This step involves setting up a mechanism that allows the leadership team to get exposure to the success and issues early in the process and not at the end of the year.

Schedule the Reviews

First of all you want to create a schedule for the next 12 months that outlines all of the meetings and reviews that need to take place at each level of the organisation.

Meeting Name Who Frequency / Length Agenda
Implementation Progress Update Managers and Staff Monthly (1h)
  • Progress on Action Items
  • Issues, Risks & Dependencies
  • Escalations
Implementation Progress Review LT (Functional/Department Heads) Monthly (30 min)
  • Overall Progress Summary
  • Escalations
Quarterly Strategy Review LT and Executives Quarterly
  • Full KPI Review
  • Review of Remediation Plans
  • Proposals to change strategy, budgets for next quarter.
Yearly Strategic Planning* Per this guide Yearly
  • Per this Guide

The meetings that we suggest you schedule on a regular basis are outlined above. As always, remember that this is not set in stone; you can augment, change and adapt depending on your business size and structure.    I included Yearly Strategic Planning into this table, as its important that you have visibility of when you will start planning activities for the following year. There will be lessons learnt from this year (perhaps you want more time, start survey’s earlier, etc.). It’s a good habit to get these scheduled into the calendar as early as possible.

Step #24: Set up a Communication Framework

 

Who Inputs Outputs Tools & Resources
Strategy Governance & Communications Team + LT Organisational Structure
  1. Communication Framework
  2. List and schedule of required communication instances

Communication to the wider team with regards to strategy should not be once per year. This step is in place to ensure that there framework in place to execute company wide/functional communication efforts. This is to ensure that all staff stay on strategy, but its also as a means to collect candid feedback. I suggest you make a list of the most effective types of communication that are available in your organisation. This will be different for many as it all depends on culture, geographic locations, schedule, demographics, etc. In today’s age, there are many ways to affect a decent communication strategy. The key is to build a framework around it that suits your people, and make sure someone is accountable for executing it. Some tools and suggestions below:

  • Town halls
  • Facebook for business where you can share and post content
  • Collaboration tools (Jive, Confluence)
  • Executive and Leadership Blogging
  • Webcasts and recordings (posted on social or internal platforms)
  • Conference Calls and Recordings (posted on social or internal platforms)
  • Email (less effective)