Strategic implementation is nothing but the process that turns the strategic plans into actions to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. It is to turn a theoretical plan into manageable tasks so that the team members can perform and achieve the stated goal in the given timeframe. In simple words, it is doing what you told.
Though strategy formulation, implementation, and execution are intertwined with one another, they are distinct. The creation of a framework to guide decisions is strategy formulation, preparation and placing the elements into its place is implementation, and activities performed across the organization are its execution phase.
This article explains the high-level steps involved in strategic implementation.
Steps to successful strategic implementation
Strategic implementation is the stage that demands the participation of the whole organization. It includes the management team, senior management, and key employees. It is the workforce who execute the plan while management takes the lead. For a business strategist, earning a strategy certification online (amidst tight work schedule) would help to work the way through the strategic implementation tenure. They are:
Define and communicate
Everyone in the organization must get introduced to the strategy lexicon. The teammates must remain on the same page. As you pass on the strategy across the organization, each team including the stakeholders should know about their responsibilities, changes to be made and how it affects their department.
You may consider using a strategy framework like a balanced scorecard or McKinsey’s strategic Horizons to add more depth to the plan.
Build a plan and align initiatives
The next step is to take the strategic framework to the team and welcome new inputs under the focus area(s). You may update the processes (if required), swap out tools, and make other changes wherever required (if any).
Employees need clear and aligned goals to track progress and contribution. Regular and structured performance conversations keep the team active. Defining KPIs and keeping it simple helps the team to report about progress and focus on the outcomes.
Allocation of resources and structural adjustments
As a next step, it is necessary to keep track of funds and its allocation for strategic, operational, and capital expenses. Likewise, there is a need to make structural adjustments like hiring new people, layoffs (if any), contacting new vendors or contractors. Moreover, business strategists can go for changing the reporting structures as per the new updates.
Above all this, it is necessary to have a ‘strategy checkpoint’, where the team leaders can share progress against the strategy to identify and remove blockers at an early stage itself.
Actual performance of tasks and activities
It is crucial to have regular meetings with each team member and understand the contributions. The main objective includes consistency, simplicity, accountability, and insightfulness. You may opt for a strategy dashboard to track the details and update them from the wider business perspective.
It helps to lead and manage the activities and performance at various levels of the organization. Incidentally, businesses may plan further even during the implementation stage while discovering the issues.
Strategic evaluation and performance review
At this stage, it is time to provide data to the next level executives and managers. This helps to determine the changes needed to the strategy or its execution and keep the organization on track toward meeting the objectives.
Organizations are deemed to be successful if employees are held accountable. Henceforth, it is crucial to create a formal link between strategy and performance reviews by investing in a system for HR processes. Rewarding specific credit to employees embracing strategy execution ensures targeted performance and goal accomplishment.
Organizations that can create a value statement, develop a strategic plan and engage employees throughout the implementation plan will drive success.
Writing a strategy in a way that it connects the C-suite and frontline employees, connecting the strategy to each member through the leaders, and translating them into actions across the organization while engaging employees leads to strategic success.