Conditions of strategy implementation
|Conditions of strategy implementation|
Conditions of strategy implementation refers to the execution of the plans and strategies, so as to accomplish the long-term goals of the organization. It converts the opted strategy into the moves and actions of the organisation to achieve the objectives.Simply put, strategy implementation is the technique through which the firm develops, utilises and integrates its structure, culture, resources, people and control system to follow the strategies to have the edge over other competitors in the market.The most important conditions in the implementation of the strategy:
- Institutionalization of strategy
- Setting proper organizational climate
- Developing appropriate operating plans
- Developing appropriate organization structure
- Periodic review of strategy
Institutionalization of strategy
The first basic action that is required for putting a strategy into operation is its institutionalization. Since strategy does not become either acceptable or effective by virtue of being well designed and clearly announced, the successful implementation of strategy requires that the strategy framer acts as its promoter and defender. Often strategy choice becomes a personal choice of the strategist because his personality variables become an influential factor in strategy formulation. Thus, it becomes a personal strategy of the strategist. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the institutionalization of strategy because without it, the strategy is subject to being undermined. Therefore, it is the role of the strategist to present the strategy to the members of the organization in a way that appeals to them and brings their support. This will put organizational people to feel that it is their own strategy rather than the strategy imposed on them. Such a feeling creates commitment so essential for making strategy successful.
Setting proper organizational climate
Setting organizational climate relevant for strategy implementation is important for making strategy to work. Organizational climate refers to the characteristics of internal environment that conditions the co-operation, the development of the individuals, the extent of commitment and dedication of people in the organization, and the efficiency with which the purpose is translated into results. Organizations whose strategy is implemented with conducive climate are more effective than those whose are not. People are the instruments in implementing a particular strategy and organizational climate is basically a people-oriented attempt. A top manager can play an important role in shaping the organizational climate not only by providing standards for what others do but also what he does because organizational climate is a matter of practice rather than the precept.
Developing appropriate operating plans
Operating plans are the action plans, operational program and decisions that take place in various parts of the organization. If they are made to reflect desired strategic results, they contribute to the achievement, of organizational objectives by focusing attention on those factors, which are important. For example, in budgeting, more resources will be allocated on those factors, which are critical to the success of the organization as spelled out during the strategy formulation process. There are various ways of making sure that operating plans contribute. If every manager understands strategy, he can certainly review the program recommendations of staff advisers and line subordinates to see that they are consistent with the requirements of the strategy. Appropriate committees to see if they contribute positively can review major program. This lends an aura of formality to the program decisions and their influences on strategy may become clear.
Developing appropriate organization structure
Organization structure is the pattern in which the various parts of the organization are interrelated or interconnected. It prescribes relationships among various positions and activities. For implementing strategy, the organization structure should be designed according to the needs of the strategy. The relationship between strategy and structure can be thought of in terms of utilizing structure for strategy implementation because structure is a means to an end, that is, to provide facilities for implementing strategy. Therefore, both should be integrated. In the absence of such integration, outcome may be confusion, misdirection and splintered effort within the organization. There can be various ways of designing an organization structure. However, the major issues involved in designing the structure to fit the strategy involve the answers of following questions:
- What should be the different units of the organization?
- What components should join together and what components should be kept apart?
- What is the appropriate placement and relationship of different units?
Periodic review of strategy
There should be periodic review of strategy to find out whether the given strategy is relevant. This is required because even the care-fully developed strategies might cease to be suitable if events change, knowledge becomes more clear, or it appears that the environment will not be as originally thought. Thus, strategies should be reviewed from time to time. What should be the frequency for such a review is not universal but major strategies should be reviewed at least once a year. In fact this is done by most of the organizations who believe in relating themselves with the environment.
Avoiding the implementation pitfalls
Because you want your plan to succeed, heed the advice here and stay away from the pitfalls of implementing your strategic plan. Here are the most common reasons strategic plans fail:
- Lack of ownership: The most common reason a plan fails is lack of ownership. If people don’t have a stake and responsibility in the plan, it’ll be business as usual for all but a frustrated few.
- Lack of communication: The plan doesn’t get communicated to employees, and they don’t understand how they contribute.
- Getting mired in the day-to-day: Owners and managers, consumed by daily operating problems, lose sight of long-term goals.
- Out of the ordinary: The plan is treated as something separate and removed from the management process.
- An overwhelming plan: The goals and actions generated in the strategic planning session are too numerous because the team failed to make tough choices to eliminate non-critical actions. Employees don’t know where to begin.
- A meaningless plan: The vision, mission, and value statements are viewed as fluff and not supported by actions or don’t have employee buy-in.
- Annual strategy: Strategy is only discussed at yearly weekend retreats.
- Not considering implementation: Implementation isn’t discussed in the strategic planning process. The planning document is seen as an end in itself.
- No progress report: There's no method to track progress, and the plan only measures what's easy, not what's important. No one feels any forward momentum.
- No accountability: Accountability and high visibility help drive change. This means that each measure, objective, data source, and initiative must have an owner.
- Lack of empowerment: Although accountability may provide strong motivation for improving performance, employees must also have the authority, responsibility, and tools necessary to impact relevant measures. Otherwise, they may resist involvement and ownership.
It's easier to avoid pitfalls when they’re clearly identified. Now that you know what they are, you’re more likely to jump right over them.
Key components necessary to support implementation
All components must be in place in order to move from creating the plan to activating the plan. The five key components necessary to support implementation:
The first stage of implementing your plan is to make sure to have the right people on board. The right people include those folks with required competencies and skills that are needed to support the plan. In the months following the planning process, expand employee skills through training, recruitment, or new hires to include new competencies required by the strategic plan.
You need to have sufficient funds and enough time to support implementation. Often, true costs are underestimated or not identified. True costs can include a realistic time commitment from staff to achieve a goal, a clear identification of expenses associated with a tactic, or unexpected cost overruns by a vendor. Additionally, employees must have enough time to implement what may be additional activities that they aren’t currently performing.
Set your structure of management and appropriate lines of authority, and have clear, open lines of communication with your employees. A plan owner and regular strategy meetings are the two easiest ways to put a structure in place. Meetings to review the progress should be scheduled monthly or quarterly, depending on the level of activity and time frame of the plan.
Both management and technology systems help track the progress of the plan and make it faster to adapt to changes. As part of the system, build milestones into the plan that must be achieved within a specific time frame. A scorecard is one tool used by many organizations that incorporates progress tracking and milestones.
Create an environment that connects employees to the organization's mission and that makes them feel comfortable. To reinforce the importance of focusing on strategy and vision, reward success. Develop some creative positive and negative consequences for achieving or not achieving the strategy. The rewards may be big or small, as long as they lift the strategy above the day-to-day so people make it a priority.
- Mišankováa M., & Kočišováa K. (2013) Strategic implementation as a part of strategic management Elsevier, 862-868
- Rajasekar J. (2014) International Journal of Business and Social Science,Factors affecting Effective Strategy Implementation in a Service Industry, 169-181
- Brinkschröder N. (2014) Strategy Implementation: Key Factors,Challenges and Solutions,1-9
- Mišankováa M., & Kočišováa K. (2013)
- Rajasekar J. (2014)
- Brinkschröder N. (2014)
Author: Iwona Maślak