Developing an Implementation Plan
Implementation planning is the process of determining how an initiative will be implemented and setting it out in sufficient details to enable an organization make informed judgment about whether to proceed in the light of risks and the requirements involved. This process is crucial in ensuring that outcomes are delivered on the decisions made by the management. In this paper, we describe the elements of a successful implementation plan and making sure that these elements are communicated to the key stakeholders of the implementation plan.
A successful Implementation Plan
An efficient implementation plan plainly articulates what success is. It should show the objectives of the firm, the targets, and the goals that need to be achieved. The plan should also be succinct. It must be concise, with brevity. The plan should be free of terminologies, easily understood by inexperienced users. Avoid ambiguity and confusion in the plan. The points to be implemented should show clarity and to the point. In addition, the plan should be based on sound program logic, presenting a clear line of sight from the organizations objective through inputs and outputs to expected outcomes and benefits (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014).
The plan outlines the assumptions made about the links involved and how the assumptions will be evaluated. It should clearly outline the timeframes and project phases, particularly when there are interdependencies with other programs either within or out of the organization. The decision pathways should well articulate in the plan. The means to achieve the set objectives of the initiative should be clearly defined and easy to follow. Standards and quality controls to be used in the implementation process must as well be identified in the plan. We may use a scale of 0-10, percentages, and other ways of rating various parameters. The implementation challenges must be explicitly identified and addressed and explanation on how any changes will be managed (this includes risks and such issues). The plan outlines the risks precisely; their source, likelihood of occurrence, consequences and mitigation strategies (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014).
Stakeholders are the individuals (or groups of individuals) that affect and/or could be affected by the organization’s activities, products, or services (California, 1984). Stakeholders’ engagement is a process of involving the significant stakeholders for a clear intention in attaining the anticipated outcomes. It provides useful information in shaping the implementation plan of the initiative at policy, program, or project level. The main elements of engaging the stakeholders effectively includes
- Involving the right stakeholders- the ones who are directly involved.
- Ensuring a fit-for-purpose approach with well-managed interactions.
- Managing stakeholders’ expectations. Outline the best time to engage them.
- Utilizing the information from the stakeholders. The feedback received should be well incorporated.
Every implementation plan must involve and work together with every stakeholder in order to bring the desired outcomes. While engaging them, understand the capacity to do so, their interests and influence in the project, and their level of involvement. Communication could be through conferences, board meetings, seminars, open days, and by asking their feedback by writing (Bryson et al, 2011).
Bryson, J. M., Anderson, S. R., & Alston, F. K. (2011). Implementing and sustaining your strategic plan: A workbook for public and nonprofit organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
California. (1984). Strategic implementation plan. Sacramento, CA (1025 P St., room 220, Sacramento 95814: The Office.
Commonwealth of Australia (2014). Guide to Implementation Planning: Cabinet Implementation Unit. Retrieved on 11th August 2014, from http://www.dpmc.gov.au/implementation/docs/implementation_toolkit/guide-to-implementation-planning1.pdf