An implementation plan is, by definition, the actions taken to carry out or execute the project plan. Taken a step further, this plan is the fuel to the project planning process because it outlines the steps to take to get the project done. An Implementation Plan's benefits include increased cooperation, buy-in from multiple factions, and a system of accountability that keeps projects on track.
Implementation Plan Template
Implementation Plan Template
The basic objective of any plan is to define and communicate goals and timelines to ensure that everyone has buy-in and shares the commitment to the goal.
While implementation plan templates are crucial in business improvement, organizations struggle to develop and implement the implementation plans primarily because they force the process from strategic to tactical and ensure that the goals are accomplished. However, by following the process and documenting the steps that must be taken, organizations define an accountability plan and set themselves up for success.
Components of an Implementation Plan
The components in an implementation plan include:
- Definition of goals/objectives - This section defines the goals to be accomplished, who will be impacted, and how the plan will improve operations and efficiency.
- Allocation of resources - Identifying the resources needed ensures adequate resources, including time, finances, and staffing, to successfully execute effectively. During this stage, resources are defined and holes identified so that they may be filled.
- Planning milestone - This area focuses on identifying the tasks, dependencies, and outcomes required.
- Designation of responsibilities - Assigning roles and tasks to team members.
- Identification of contingencies - Backup plans allow the team to pivot quickly when issues arise at any phase.
- Drawing the picture of success - The first component is the definition of goals. The final is knowing what a successful outcome looks like.
How to Create an Implementation Plan
When it comes to creating an implementation plan, there are several ways to design one that is well-suited for your organization. That’s because there really is not a one-size-fits-all solution for creating an implementation plan. The process is borne from the strategic planning process. It connections factions throughout the organization and connects them in ways they may not have previously been connected.
In an effective plan, the project management needs assessment that must be considered, and a variation of the following steps included:
Step 1 – Define Required Outcomes
The project goal centers on the entire implementation. It gives the team strength to push to accomplish the desired performance goals by the time goal by employing the agreed-upon resource goal. The measure for goal achievement must be clearly defined and success, or the degree of success, verifiable and quantifiable.
Step 2 – Define Ownership for Outcomes
Allocate an owner for each outcome. They should be motivated to achieve the goals to ensure the project team is accountable. Look for personnel with a vested interest in achieving the outcome and demonstrate the commitment to success.
Step 3 – Determine Actions to Accomplish the Outcomes
This is where you document the actions that will result in success. This is the most practical portion and very straightforward.
Questions to ask here include:
- Who should be involved?
- What resources are necessary?
- What milestones should be accomplished, and by when?
- How often should those milestones be reviewed?
- What setbacks may occur?
- Are there any contingencies or dependencies, and how do we account for them?
All of these must have a measurable marker, or dates will be missed.
Step 4 – Define Budgets, Roles, and Measures
Armed with the list of actions, the next step is to define the roles and responsibilities, timelines, and budget. Remember the adage that ‘one person is responsible or no one is responsible.
Tips for Establishing the Budget
Budgeting is an intimidating process, but it needn’t be if you follow these simple steps:
- Know your risks
- Define contingencies
- Create resource buffers for time, money, and personnel
Step 5 – Define the Tracking System
Regardless of whether you have a sophisticated tracking system or a simple tracking sheet, there should be a single place to update progress on the plan. You don’t have to create the implementation plan on your own. There are countless project management resources that effectively support the planning, management, execution, and evaluation of project plans.
Step 6 – Implement a Project Management Methodology
The project management methodology provides control, structure, and process to help with the management of time, resources, and efforts. Pick one and stick with it.
Step 7 – Review and Revise as Needed
Through the review process, you learn what worked and what didn’t. This allows for simple identification of areas for improvement.
The Implementation Planning Process
The implementation plan documents, in detail, the steps that must be taken to achieve the specified outcome. Specifics and ownership must be defined. This process is not for the faint of heart. It takes commitment to the process, willingness to learn from mistakes, and dedication to the goal. This element plays a significant part in ensuring the success of your strategic plan. It also connects the team to the vision and outcomes.
Tasks must be delegated to be accomplished. That requires effective communication of the way for the plan. Handing out roles without giving insight into the big picture will not produce the passion for driving a project to completion. Review the rationale for the plan and provide purpose and motivation.
Set Clear Expectations
Take time to set clear expectations for the project deliverables. This will set the team up for success and drive the results you want.
Who Should Use this Implementation Plan?
The strategic planning process should include senior management of any given organization. Key team leads and employees with influence, passion for the goal, and an ability to impact the outcome should be included. An implementation plan that’s embraced globally is the most successful. For that reason, everyone on the team should be involved in some way. While the management team should determine who should participate, the input may come from any organization level.
Implementation plans are a core strength of effective organizations. To learn more, contact us.