Many organisations come up with great strategic plans, but then fail to manage them effectively. There are five critical activities that management is advised to engage in to support the proper implementation of any strategic plan. They are grouped into two: Preparatory and Execution steps.
Step 1: Making of Three-Year Business/Programme Plans
Generally, organisations are made up of strategic business units or core business divisions. That’s in the private sector. Governments and non-profit institutions are made up of key, major or strategic programme areas depending on naming preferences. These are the segments that contribute directly to your organisation’s core objectives.
The development of three-year business or programme plans for each of these, complete with financial and developmental estimates, is recommended.
Step 2: Making of Annual Plans and Strategic Budgets
While the three-year business or programme plan looks at the mid-term aspirations of the strategic business unit or programme area, these units or programmes should have immediate plans that fit into the mid-term agenda. The annual plans serve this purpose. In essence, they drive the day-to-day activities towards the attainment of the three-year objectives. The annual plans prioritise tasks and allocate resources objectively.
Step 3: Planning to Implement
Planning to implement the strategic plan is about getting the organisation ready for the execution of the newly developed strategies. It is the crucial bridge between strategic planning and implementation.
Plan-to-implement step involves organising senior management in such a way as to enable them to steer the implementation of the new strategies. The establishment of a Strategic Steering Committee complete with an annual plan to guide the necessary change is recommended. This team will be responsible for communicating issues of concern to the new strategic plan so that the entire organisation is appropriately briefed and won.
Step 4: Strategy Implementation
The rubber meets the road here. The step involves breaking down the strategic plan into key sectional objectives, targets, strategies and what not, and further down to individual performance requirements and reward systems.
Step 5: Annual Strategic Review (and Update)
An annual review of the strategic management systems is recommended, following which the systems are updated in response to the feedback. This is an audit of the strategic plan, done for the purpose of monitoring progress and its effectiveness. Apart from helping to maintain a good tempo for the implementation of the strategic plan way after its newness has faded, this activity helps to identify problem areas so that necessary adjustments can be made in good time.