It's challenging to introduce new goals to your organization. No matter how effectively your team works together, realigning your team and resources to accomplish new goals requires a well-thought-out approach.
This is where strategic implementation comes into play.
The implementation process is a method used in strategic management that focuses on the execution of your plan by addressing who, when, where and how goals can be attained.
In this article, we'll help you understand how you can create and implement a successful implementation strategy. Read on.
What is an implementation strategy?
The process of putting your strategic plan into practice is known as strategic implementation. Your plan is just as valuable as how well it is put into practice, whether you are implementing a new marketing strategy to boost sales or introducing work management software to boost productivity.
An organization must focus on the strategy implementation process once it has determined or established the goals it must reach. A firm engages in a culture of ongoing self-evaluation as part of the strategic management process in order to surpass its rivals. This is a vital component and the intended result of implementing the strategy since it enables the company to maintain its competitive edge.
Why is implementation strategy important?
Here's why implementation strategy can be a game-changer for your organization. An implementation strategy can:
1. Enable businesses to take a proactive approach
A strategic plan enables companies to predict the future and make the necessary preparations. Companies can foresee some unfavorable outcomes and take the appropriate procedures to prevent them through strategic planning.
Organizations can be proactive rather than merely responding to problems as they emerge with the help of a solid strategic strategy. Being proactive enables businesses to keep up with the market's constantly shifting trends and consistently outperform their rivals.
2. Establish a sense of direction
A strategic plan supports the establishment of attainable objectives and goals that are consistent with the organization's vision and mission and helps define the direction in which it must move.
A strategic plan provides a fundamental basis for a business to expand, assess its success, pay its staff and set parameters for effective decision-making.
3. Promote greater profitability & market share
A focused strategic plan can help firms learn important information about customer trends, market developments and product and service offerings that could impact their performance. Increases in profitability and market share can be achieved by taking a targeted, well-planned approach to all sales and marketing activities.
What are the major types of implementation strategies?
Implementation strategies are techniques or actions that are intended to remove obstacles to implementation, quicken and improve implementation and maintain interventions over time. The five different implementation strategies are listed below.
1. Dissemination strategies
It focuses on educating workers and stakeholders about innovation and encouraging them to embrace it. Key ideas and information are created and distributed to the appropriate audiences.
2. Implementation process strategies
It allows for the planning and delivery of innovation over its various implementation stages. These involve analyzing the situation, talking to important players, keeping an eye on implementation and making adjustments.
3. Scale-up strategies
Its goal is to increase one's capacity to implement policies, practices, or services in many contexts. Examples include building system infrastructures, such as data systems and train-the-trainer programs.
4. Integration strategies
It aims to incorporate a specific invention into a particular environment. For instance, duties and responsibilities for staff members may need to be updated and revised and record-keeping procedures may need to be changed if you wish personnel to implement a new practice.
5. Capacity-building strategies
It boosts people's capacity and motivation to participate in implementation, like providing training.
What are successful examples of implementation strategies?
Concepts are easier when combined with examples. So, here's a complete analysis of Toyota's implementation strategy as an example to help you further:
Over 82 percent of the American automobile market was dominated in 1973 by the "Big Three" automakers. Currently, they own less than 50 percent. Why? Because of the rapid (and unexpected) entry of Japanese automakers, led by Toyota, into the US auto industry in the 1970s.
Large quantities of cars are expensive, heavy and difficult to transport. That's one of the factors that contributed to the US market being unprepared when Toyota began offering Japanese-made vehicles at prices below what competitors could provide.
One of the government's initial responses was to impose protectionist taxes on all imported automobiles because the auto sector made a significant contribution to the US economy. As a result, Japanese cars became as expensive as domestically produced cars.
But it didn't work. Toyota was able to start production in the US within a few years, negating the need to pay any of the significant new import duties. US automakers weren't too concerned at first.
The expenses for the Japanese automakers would almost certainly be comparable to those of the local automakers as a result of having to relocate production to the US.
That didn't happen, though. Toyota kept up its cost-cutting tactics. Even so, it was still able to produce cars for a lot less money than US businesses.
Their production methods were so well-honed and lean that they could compete with US automakers on equal footing. Most likely, you've heard of the idea of "continuous improvement." Toyota is pretty essentially a synonym when used in manufacturing.
Implementation strategy example: lessons from Toyota
Bold actions and audacious ideas are a common theme in corporate success tales. However, not this one.
Toyota studied American automakers' assembly lines for years, including Ford. They understood that the US automobile industry was more developed and productive than the Japanese one. They chose to wait.
They researched their rivals and attempted to mimic what the Americans were so successful at. They combined these methods with their individual abilities to produce something much better.
Toyota provided evidence that one of the best business techniques you can use is to be aware of one's flaws.
Not only that. Can you name just one well-known executive at Toyota? Honestly, I can't. Humility is Toyota's top corporate value, which is one of the causes. They used it to break into the US market and it permeates the entire company, from top management to assembly line workers.
Toyota's success is founded on a strategy of constant improvement at the functional level concerned with daily activities, choices and objectives. They realized that thousands of small jobs and workers make up the broader image.
They ensured that every level of the business was affected by their mission, including lofty objectives like "becoming a cost leader in our industry without compromising quality."
How to create a successful implementation strategy?
Follow this step-by-step process to create an implementation strategy for your organization that actually works.
1. Establish & convey clear, strategic goals
Your strategic plan and the process of putting it into action (strategic implementation) overlap at this point.
You must first decide on specific, attainable goals before implementing a new approach. Like everything else, communication is crucial. Your objectives should include your purpose, vision statements and long-term objectives and KPIs.
Because everyone will pursue the same objectives, the more clearly the image is defined, the simpler the rest of your strategy will be to accomplish for your team and business.
2. Communicate with your team
You must establish focus and encourage accountability to successfully carry out your strategy. Throughout the implementation phase, there are a few methods you can use to maintain your team's interest:
Early on, decide who will be responsible for what. To make sure there are no responsibility gaps, use a RACI matrix to define your teammate's roles.
Effectively delegate work. Despite the temptation to keep an eye on everything, micromanagement will only make you slower. Trust that your team will carry out its tasks in accordance with the implementation plan after you've clarified everyone's roles and responsibilities.
Leverage communication to ensure your team is informed about how each member contributes to the project. This will maintain everyone's drive and progress.
3. Put the strategy into action
Allocate the required resources so your team can implement the strategy plan, such as funds for operational or strategic budgets. This should be your first priority since, without the proper resources, you won't be able to carry out your strategic plan. Here's how to make sure your group has the tools they require:
- To effectively match your project's goals, key outputs, milestones and timetable, start by thinking about the end result.
- Determine the resources that are available, including the capacity of your team, your budget, the necessary equipment or talents and any other unusual resources.
- Establish a precise project scope, so you are aware of all the requirements in advance.
- Using project documentation software, distribute your project plan to everyone engaged in its implementation.
Implementing your strategic plan will be simpler the more thoroughly it is developed.
4. Stay flexible
Unavoidably, once you start putting your plan into action, you'll encounter problems. When this occurs, modify your objectives or strategy to go around it.
Set up a schedule so you can regularly update the status of your goals or any modifications to your implementation approach. You can prepare project status reports on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, depending on your method. To keep everyone informed, distribute these updates to your internal team and external stakeholders.
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5. Get closure & reflect
Once you've put the plan into action, check in with everyone involved to make sure that they believe their work is finished. A strategy's implementation is not like putting the final piece in a puzzle and having it completed. It's similar to planting a garden that keeps expanding and changing even after you think your job is finished.
Conduct a post-mortem or retrospective to consider the strategy that was put into action and assess the efficiency of the plan's implementation and the process. For upcoming initiatives and plans, this step offers the option to identify lessons learned that will help you avoid potential problems and seize new chances in the future.
Create your implementation strategy!
Even though it's difficult, change is necessary for both your team and your organization to succeed.
Reliable documentation software is essential in ensuring everyone has access to the resources they require, whether you are currently formulating your strategic plan with a small project team or have already communicated your strategy to the entire firm.
Leverage Scribe to create, edit and share efficient documentation easily with your team, even if you aren’t a tech person. Get started for free!