Introducing new goals in your organization is a complicated endeavor. Regardless of how well your team functions, it takes a well-crafted strategy to realign your team and resources to achieve new objectives.
This is where strategy implementation comes into play.
As a tool used within strategic management, the implementation process focuses on the execution of your strategy by addressing who, when, where, and how targets can be met.
Here’s how your organization can harness successful strategic implementation within the project management team.
Importance of Strategy Implementation
Strategy implementation is crucial because it concerns action rather than just brainstorming ideas. It enables a team to understand that the strategies presented are viable. Strategy implementation serves as a great tool for team development as every member can participate in the process. It relies on thorough communication and the right tools.
Basic Features of Strategy Implementation
The primary features of strategy implementation are as follows:
Strategy implementation is a holistic and integrated process. It implies that different activities that constitute strategy implementation are interdependent. For instance, an organization's promotional strategy's activities are interrelated and have to be executed in accordance with each other.
A strategy should be actionable. It can be made actionable via various management processes, including planning and organizing. The management is not just responsible for formulating a plan but also for converting the plan into action.
It suggests that strategy implementation concerns wide-ranging skills. Vast knowledge, abilities, positive attitude, and organizational skills are required to implement a strategy. Proficiency in these skills helps in allocating resources, crafting policies, and devising structures.
Strategy implementation demands the participation of all the components of a system. It includes the top, middle, and lower level management. The top management has to maintain transparency and clarity while communicating the strategy to be implemented. The middle management must further regulate the norms and ensure no miscommunication happens.
It covers a range of administrative and managerial activities. For instance, to implement a marketing strategy, you must prepare a marketing budget, conduct market research, develop a promotional plan, conduct test marketing, launch the product, and collect customers' feedback.
Process of Strategic Implementation
When approaching a goal or a project, the process of strategic implementation governs how you’ll put your plan into action. Its purpose is to help determine how you’ll source your resources, what policies or programs you’ll put into place, and who will help you execute the strategy.
The implementation process should follow an environmental scan and SWOT analysis to identify any potential risks inherent to the strategy.
Without strategy formulation and implementation, it can be challenging to achieve goals.
Prerequisites of Strategic Implementation
Before any strategy can be implemented, there are a few prerequisites your organization needs to achieve success. Sourcing these essential items in advance will help you successfully implement a strategy.
As a management team, consider the following:
- Do you have people with the right skills and experience to implement the strategy?
- Do you have the resources you need (such as time and money) to execute the implementation?
- Is your management structure designed for open communication and frequent meetings?
- Are you equipped with the technology needed to achieve your objectives?
Before you proceed to your implementation process, review your strategy, and ensure you’re providing your team with what they need to succeed.
Aspects of Strategic Implementation
Strategy formulation and implementation work hand in hand, and the following aspects help connect the dots to ensure the execution runs smoothly.
- Establish the right work environment and corporate culture that supports and embraces strategy implementation. By motivating employees and rewarding success, you’ll improve the effectiveness of your strategy.
- Employ a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals to tackle individual supporting projects.
- Improve internal communication to ensure all team members have the support and knowledge they need.
- Develop procedures or policies which help teams better achieve their goals.
- Create a healthy budget and allocate the resources needed to implement the strategy.
Successful strategic implementation involves participation from the entire organization. While the management team may be tasked with overseeing the goal to completion, it’s your team that will be completing the work.
Ensure the right structure and systems are in place to support the workflow through your teams. Employees should be aware of their responsibilities, who they’re accountable to, and the tools available to assist them with their tasks.
7 Key Steps in the Strategic Implementation Process
There are seven key steps for an organization to achieve success in their strategy formulation and implementation process.
1. Set Goals
Ensure from the onset that all goals are realistic and attainable within your set timeframe and resource allocation. Determine whether the goals are companywide or department specific. Then identify any key variables or obstacles that may arise and develop contingency plans.
2. Determine Roles
Communicate your implementation strategy with your team. This will help you establish what responsibilities each department will take on and outline your action plan for colleagues and stakeholders.
3. Assign Work
Assign tasks to your team members. Each individual should understand the overarching goal and how their specific assignment supports it. Deadlines should be clearly communicated to ensure the project stays on task.
4. Execute and Monitor
It’s time to put your strategic plan into action. All team members should have the resources they need to complete the task at hand. Regularly check in with your team to monitor progress and address any roadblocks that may arise.
5. Adjust and Revise
This is often the most important step of the process. As issues or challenges arise, shift your approach, and take corrective action to your process as needed. So long as you share updates with your team and all stakeholders, staying agile throughout strategic implementation will greatly improve your project outcome.
6. Complete the Job
Continue to check in on your team members to ensure the project is on track and that no additional resources are needed to achieve the goal. Update all stakeholders with any important details of the job or delays in your team’s progress.
7. Review and Reflect
The final step of the process is to conduct a retrospective of the strategy implementation. Reflect on the overall process, and review what went well and what did not. Use these learnings to improve your strategy for future projects.
Tips for Effective Strategy Implementation
A team reaches its end goal prior to the deadline while learning more about the project, the company, and its capabilities only with effective strategy implementation. The following tips help in strategy implementation:
Establish Systematic Communication
Various company tools, such as messaging software or project management software, facilitate communication. Making yourself available for discussions by setting up office hours or having open email addresses ensures effective communication of ideas, complaints, and appreciation.
Equip with Right Tools for Job
An idea turns futile when you do not have the proper tools to complete a project. To keep your team moving forward and reach its goal, you must provide the right tools for every job.
You must practice being honest, not just to your team but also to yourself. Honesty in a workplace helps everyone grow and creates a more cohesive team. It facilitates trust among team members. You must look through the challenges of your team with an honest view and give unbiased remarks on the situation.
The clarity in goals and strategies is a must for strategy implementation. After all, only when all the team members are clear on the expectations, duties, goals, and methods will they be able to increase productivity at work.
A supportive team utilizes its collective knowledge to address and resolve the problems, and this practice speeds up the project. You must encourage team members' support with effective communication and by modeling what a support figure looks like.
Strategy Implementation Challenges
Teams might often face the following challenges during the strategy implementation process:
- Inadequate Support: Often, companies lag in reinforcing a culture of support, leading to independent team members and reduced overall work efficiency.
- Inability to Track Progress: Lack of proper software for project documentation weakens strategy implementation.
- No Safeguards: The inability to establish safeguards or address potential challenges leads to several problems. Planning for potential issues saves time and frustration.
- Lack of Communication: Miscommunications are major roadblocks that delay strategy implementation.
- Lack of Effective Training: Inability to train members and entrusting them with duties leads to various problems.
Considering a Strategic Certification for Your Career?
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When you earn this free-standing qualification, you’ll be able to identify risks, challenges, and crucial elements of success in the entire IT service lifecycle; create and manage customer-oriented ITIL service strategies; and, ultimately, prepare for and pass the ITIL SS certification exam.