Course Level: Beginner to Intermediate - No prior knowledge of strategic planning is required. Recommended for 2.0 hours of CPE.

Implementing the Strategic Plan

We have established our overall strategies forhow to implement strategic planfuture. We need to make it official by having the Strategic Plan approved. Approval may involvehow to implement strategic planBoard of Directors, Executive Management, and others who need to lend their support to getunderstand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationPlan implemented. By having key decision-makers approvehow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan, it signals that it's OK to implementunderstand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organization Plan. Implementation is managed throughhow to implement strategic plandevelopment of an Operating Plan.

An Operating Plan is a step by step plan for implementinghow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan. Operating Plans depend upon good strategic plans. If there are fundamental problems withhow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan, then successful implementation will be extremely difficult. Additionally, since operating personnel must implementhow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan, some level of involvement prior to this point should have taken place.

Operating Plans are prepared for the short-term (usually one year). One major function of understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationOperating Plan is to allocate resources for gettinghow to implement strategic planplan implemented. If resources are not available or there is an excess of resources, thenhow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan should be re-evaluated.

Operating Plans need to coverhow to implement strategic planfunctional areas which are required for implementation - marketing, research & development, financing, operations, technology, etc. Each functional area will submit detail budgets and plans for inclusion withinhow to implement strategic planOperating Plan. Detail functional plans addresshow to implement strategic planfollowing:

- Plans for establishing organizational size, structure, and staffing.
- Plans for asset deployment and investment.
- Plans for promotion, pricing and marketing of products and/or services.
- Plans for production changes and scheduling.
- Plans for management development and training.
- Plans for raising capital.

Generally, functional plans should be prepared by Managers overhow to implement strategic planfunctional area. They should not include areas outside the control of the Manager. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationkey task forhow to implement strategic planManager is to remain focused on the Strategic Plan and not get lost in the detail. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationbest operating plans tend to minimize the detail and flow fromhow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan.

Also consider the following points about Operating Plans:

- Operating Plans usually assign responsibilities and definehow to implement strategic planroles people will play in accomplishinghow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan.
- Operating Plans are routinely changed as you learn more and gain experience. An incremental, trial and error approach is oftenhow to implement strategic planbest approach.
- Operating Plans need to be tight enough to meet strategic objectives, but loose enough to allow for creativity and flexibility.
- Operating Plans usually will include a timeline or deadline for completing tasks.
- Operating Plans should be communicated to everyone held responsible for doinghow to implement strategic plantasks. If outside groups will assist, then include them inhow to implement strategic plancommunication.

Evaluation and Control

Successful implementation requires monitoringhow to implement strategic planprogress of action steps within the Operating Plan. Evaluation should be done on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly, etc.) with an emphasis on the following:

- How much progress has been made in accomplishinghow to implement strategic plantask?
- What is preventing us from moving forward?
- Is there a need to go back and revisehow to implement strategic planstrategic objective?
- What adjustments should be made to the Operating Plan?

One way to evaluate and control an Operating Plan is to include budgets. Budgets are used to allocate resources and coordinate how assets are deployed. Budgets compare actual results with performance standards. Budgets usually cover short-term (one year or less) and they cover several functional areas - marketing budget, production budget, technology budget, etc.

Budgets should be prepared based onhow to implement strategic planfollowing criteria:

- Budgets should be simple and easy to understand.
- Use budgets for those areas that need to be monitored.
- Budgets should not dominate decision-making. They should be used as a tool for managing, not a way to manage.

All of the budgets for an organization are combined intohow to implement strategic planFinancial Plan. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationFinancial Plan is part of the Operating Plan.

Note: For more information onhow to implement strategic planFinancial Plan, take Short Course 2 on Financial Planning and Forecasting. One of the problems with budgets is that they tend to be financial in nature. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationStrategic Plan covers many functional areas not related to finance, such as marketing, customer service, production, and human resource management. Therefore, we need a measurement system forhow to implement strategic plannon-financial areas. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationperformance measurement system used for measuring non-financial areas is calledhow to implement strategic planBalanced Scorecard. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationBalanced Scorecard is designed around the Strategic Plan. Additionally, how to implement strategic planBalanced Scorecard will include critical financial measurements. Therefore, the Balanced Scorecard becomeshow to implement strategic planprincipal system for evaluation and control of the Strategic Plan. Like the Strategic Plan, how to implement strategic planbest Balanced Scorecards tend to be simple and manageable.

Contingency Plans

Because change is so much a part of planning and decision making, it is often useful to include contingency planning withinhow to implement strategic planOperating Plan. Contingency Plans provide direction to operating personnel if unplanned events occur. For example, lower-level managers can prepare several budgets - expected budget, budget if growth rates are 10% below expected, 20% below expected, etc. These alternative or contingency plans provide guidance based on "what if" type analysis.

Contingency Plans are prepared similar tohow to implement strategic planOperating Plan. They cover the short-term and outline specific action steps to be taken. However, how to implement strategic planlevel of detail is kept to a minimum, providing enough information to set a new direction.

Larger companies will use simulation models to prepare contingency plans. For example, if market growth is 5% less than expected, how to implement strategic planimpact on cash flow and earnings will be _____. Since more quantitative data is available athow to implement strategic planoperating level rather than the upper levels of the organization, simulation is more appropriate for developing operating plans than strategic plans.

Updating the Plan

understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationfinal step in this entire process is to repeathow to implement strategic planprocess; i.e. update the Strategic Plan. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organization process needs to be dynamic since the operating environment is changing. As a minimum, strategic plans need to be updated yearly by going throughhow to implement strategic planbasic process of assessment, critical issues, objectives, etc. This will involve new staffing, new projections, and new implementation steps. Additionally, you may need to change your approach to strategic planning. If a stable environment has become extremely dynamic, then a shift from a goals approach to scenario playing may be appropriate.


Strategic planning is a dynamic process of continuously looking at your current situation and plotting your next move. This requires a solid understanding ofhow to implement strategic planorganization as well as an understanding about the environment thathow to implement strategic planorganization operates in. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationbest organizations are always engaged in some form of strategic planning. There is no right way to do a strategic plan. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationbest approach is to find a process that fits withhow to implement strategic planorganization. This requires a fit with the mission statement, how to implement strategic planstrengths and weaknesses of the organization, and the opportunities and threats confrontinghow to implement strategic planorganization. If there is a fit, then start the process by getting organized. Organization involves putting together a team or committee, collecting information about current plans, and outlining howhow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan will be developed.

Situational Analysis is the next step inhow to implement strategic planprocess. Situational analysis is an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the organization. Significant critical issues (no more than eight) are listed. Critical issues are addressed by developing overall strategies or objectives. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationcombination of mission, objectives, principles, and other components becomes the formal strategic plan. understand Implementing the Strategic Plan in organizationfinal layer inhow to implement strategic planprocess is implementation ofhow to implement strategic planplan. An Operating Plan is used to plot specific actions or tactics for gettinghow to implement strategic planStrategic Plan implemented. Operating Plans consist of budgets, functional plans, financial plans, contingency plans, and other specific plans. Throughout this entire process, changes and updates can take place. Therefore, strategic plans and operating plans must be flexible and open to revision. At least once a year, how to implement strategic planStrategic Plan is re-evaluated for changes.

Recommended Workbook: Strategic Planning Workbook byhow to implement strategic planWilder Foundation, 919 Lafond Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104-2198, Ph: 1-800-274-6024 or 651-659-6024 or visit

No comments: