Implementation plans provide step by step instructions for everything from digital marketing campaigns to ending hunger in rural communities. They’re used to transform abstract concepts within strategy plans into real world action. The only downside is that implementation plans can be challenging to pull off. Some industries see as much as a 75% failure rate in plan execution.
The good news is you can succeed where others have failed by creating a successful implementation plan with the tips and strategies outlined in this guide.
Keep reading to discover must-have components for implementation plans, a thorough step by step planning method, and advice for how to avoid common pitfalls.
What is an implementation plan?
A project implementation plan (also called a strategic plan) is a combination of strategy, process, and action. It outlines the steps a team will use to achieve a shared objective. An implementation plan covers all aspects of a project including budget, timeline, and personnel.
The perfect project plan includes:
Every implementation plan breaks down big picture goals into measurable project phases, tasks, and subtasks. Each category is clearly defined with its own deadlines and resource allocations. Tasks and subtasks are assigned to team members who will complete and approve each one.
In other words, if the goal is the “what,” the implementation plan is the “how.”
An implementation plan is often presented as a written document or planned in a project management solution. The latter is a better fit for this particular roadmap because, as you can probably tell, implementation plans are complex and comprehensive. Implementation plans should all contain solutions for:
Tasks and subtasks Budgets Timelines Collaborators Any additional resources
It’s also important to note that having a flexible implementation plan is key for dealing with changes that come up once the project is live.
What are the benefits of implementation planning?
The benefits of implementation planning range from organizational to relationship-building to increased profitability. A solid implementation plan:
Creates an actionable roadmap from project inception to completion Makes communication simple and crystal clear Improves employee retention in the long-term Organizes all resources in one manageable place Helps businesses be proactive instead of reactive Offers transparency to clients and collaborators Builds trust among stakeholders Holds everyone accountable Outlines a daily and weekly workflow the whole team can follow Improves the likelihood of buy-in Makes collaboration more fluid and synergistic Helps businesses commit to long-term goals Gets everyone’s thoughts out of their heads and into one accessible place When do you begin implementation planning?
Because it’s so involved, it’s important that you don’t begin implementation planning too early or too late.
Why? The process of creating an implementation plan is time consuming. Most of the tasks involved require you to wait on communication or approvals from multiple stakeholders. The process also requires lots of research, goal-setting, gathering or defining of resources, and getting team availability together.
Avoid planning too early by waiting until the project is officially greenlit. The definition of greenlit means something different to every agency. However, most would agree that a signed contract and successful deposit payment are good markers.
After those client onboarding tasks are complete, you can begin implementation planning. Remember, the project can’t begin without these plans, so have a system in place to kick off and support implementation planning aheadContinue reading