Planning is easy…implementing, not so much
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article (see the link below) about the four big reasons why implementing a plan can seem impossible, so this article discusses the things you can do to make sure you see your plans through to implementation.
As you know, building a plan is the easy part. All of us have created plans, with the intention of seeing them through to the end but have also struggled to see that happen and as a result, haven’t always seen the results we hoped for.
There are cases when the plan is flawed, but I believe more times than not, it comes down to the struggle you face in getting it implemented. Here are three things that are important to build into your planning and implementation phase, that will help to combat the issue:
Document your plan – The chances of a plan being implemented increases when it is written down and formatted in a formal way. There is something in the documenting of a plan that make it more official, and it gives it importance. A plan that is discussed, is more or less a group of suggestions and generally the team does not give it the importance it deserves. According to a study by a software company, a documented plan is twice as likely to get implemented as a non-documented one. If you are serious about solving the problem, your plan is meant to address, then take the time to write it down and keep it in front of you.
Identify your decision maker – No matter how well a plan is discussed at the time it is developed, there are going to need to be decisions made along the way. Plans often don’t make it through to implementation, because there is no one identified or willing to make a decision. A team will try to handle it by discussing the issues; the pros and cons, the timeframes, etc., but will sometime look to others in the group to make the decisions they are not prepared to make themselves. All the discussions in the world, will not make a decision and while you might hope that your team will, there needs to be someone who will ultimately make one, if it means that things are not progressing. Make sure you identify who is responsible for making decisions to support the plan.
Build in accountability – Left to each of our own devices, it is easy to promise yourself you will get to it, but sometimes this simply doesn’t happen. In truth, this is a big part of why business owners work with us. They know that they need someone to help keep them accountable. In a company, when the leader is diligent and committed, they will keep their team accountable to implement the plan, but when this is not the case, then most of the time it doesn’t. There is no shame in recognizing, that even though there are the best of intentions, a lot of times a plan doesn’t get implemented because there is no one to hold the group accountable. Put in place a structure that will ensure people are held accountable to implementing the entire plan.
Seeing a plan through to the end is important, not just in terms of results. Equally as important is the culture you are building in your company. Too many times, the leadership of a company can be seen as having the “flavour of the day” when a plan is developed and never implemented. When the planning process is taken seriously and the implementation is given equal importance, then the culture of follow through is created, which ultimately produces results, each and every time.
If you are looking for a great tool to help…check out our After Action Review Process… click HERE.
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