The most common reasons why implementation of the strategies are unsuccessful are:

  • The employees and managers do not fully understand the strategy, and this arises mainly from their lack of understanding of the mission and objectives of the organization. This lack of understanding may be traced to a number of reasons, such as:
    • Lack of effective communication, or lack of communication, in general. It falls upon the shoulders of senior management and the strategic management team to communicate the organizational mission and goals to every member of the workforce, and also make them understand the strategy and each member’s particular role in how it will be carried out.
    • Lack of ownership on the part of the “implementers”, the members of the workforce. Since the employees and maybe even the supervisors of the smaller units are unaware of the strategy, or do not understand it, there is very little motivation and sense of empowerment to make them perform well in their respective tasks and functions. There is a lack of ownership, since the employees do not feel that they have a stake in the plan, and this results to poor implementation of the strategy.
    • Confusing, convoluted, and generally overwhelming plan. Some people can only assimilate several things at one time. If they are presented with a plan that seems too massive and too ambitious for them, their natural response would involve shutting down and refusing to understand. Thus, it is important that the strategy formulation be carried out properly, and the strategic plan prepared in a user-friendly manner. Also, communication is key. No matter how overwhelming the strategic plan may be, it can still be understood and accepted by the workforce if communicated properly.
  • The strategy is disconnected from with crucial aspects of the business such as budgeting and employee compensation and incentives. Executing the strategies involves funding, resource allocation, financial management and other budgeting matters, and if there is no link connecting these activities to the strategies, then there is no way that they will be implemented effectively. This is largely an issue that must be addressed in the strategy formulation stage.
  • The strategy is paid little attention by management. All too often, the owners, managers and supervisors become too caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business, they rarely refer to the strategic plan. Before long, they end up adopting a dismissive attitude towards the strategic plan, treating the strategies as something related to the overall management process, but still separate. They devote a token number of hours in a month to go over the plan and discuss strategies, but that’s it. After the discussion, they will put it at the back of their minds, and continue as they were.
    In order to ensure the success of the strategy implementation, covering all your bases is important. The best way to go about that is by following the essential steps to executing the strategies.

STEPS IN STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

To ensure an effective and successful implementation of strategies, it’s a good idea to have a system to go about it. Take a look at the steps to ensure that happens.

Step #1: Evaluation and communication of the Strategic Plan
Of course, the strategic plan must be distributed for implementation. However, there is still a need to evaluate the plan, especially with respect to the initiatives, budgets and performance. After all, it is possible that there are still inputs that will crop up during evaluation but were missed during strategy formulation.

There are several sub-steps to be undertaken in this step.

  1. Align the strategies with the initiatives. First things first, check that the strategies on the plan are following the same path leading to the mission and strategic goals of the organization.
  2. Align budget to the annual goals and objectives. Financial assessments conducted prior will provide an insight on budgetary issues. You have to evaluate how these budgetary issues will impact the attainment of objectives, and see to it that the budget provides sufficient support for it. In the event that there are budgetary constraints or limitations, they must first be addressed before launching fully into implementation mode.
  3. Communicate and clarify the goals, objectives and strategies to all members of the organization. Regardless of their position in the organization’s hierarchy, everyone must know and understand the goals and objectives of the organization, and the strategies that will be employed to achieve them.

Step #2: Development of an implementation structure
The next step is to create a vision, or a structure, that will serve as a guide or framework for the implementation of strategies.

  1. Establish a linking or coordination mechanism between and among the various departments and their respective divisions and units. This is mainly for purposes of facilitating the delegation of authority and responsibility.
  2. Formulate the work plans and procedures to be followed in the implementation of the tactics in the strategies.
  3. Determine the key managerial tasks and responsibilities to be performed, and the qualifications required of the person who will perform them.
  4. Determine the key operational tasks and responsibilities to be performed, and the qualifications required of the person who will perform them.
  5. Assign the tasks to the appropriate departments of the organization.
  6. Evaluate the current staffing structure, checking if you have enough manpower, and if they have the necessary competencies to carry out the tasks. This may result to some reorganization or reshuffling of people. In some cases, it may also require additional training for current staff members, or even hiring new employees with the required skills and competencies. This is also where the organization will decide if it will outsource some activities instead.
  7. Communicate the details to the members of the organization. This may be in the form of models, manuals or guidebooks.