If you find that your business plans regularly ‘fall’ at the implementation stage I suggest that you review the following checklist to see if you have taken the necessary steps to position your initiatives for successful execution :
1. Strategic Planning is completed – structured inclusive process from which has emerged a clear business vision, strategic direction and goals.
2. Priorities are established – you have a finite list of areas upon which you and your management team will focus. This involves making clear choices. If ‘everything is a priority’ it is a clear warning sign that you may have issues at the implementation stage.
3. The driving critical success factor is identified – resources are scarce so it is important to know which area above others needs to be the focus for action. This will change over time, as the tasks related to the factor are successfully completed.
4. There are ‘bite sized’ deliverables – essential for project management and their achievement builds team morale. There should always be early wins.
5. People alignment with organisational goals – everybody knows what is expected of them and there is clear personal accountability attached to all goals and tasks. The level of formality needed will vary but there needs to be close alignment between job roles and what needs to be done.
6. Planning is to task level for short term deliverables – needs to be clear at any point in time who is to do what by when.
7. Next steps are always clear – essential to maintain momentum. Consider organising an event to kick start the initiative as your first implementation step.
8. Regular checkpoints are built into the implementation plan – if initiative is going off track you will need to know sooner rather than later. Make commitment to yourself to stay close enough to ‘action’ so that you can be assured that what is being reported to you is happening in reality.