We outlined in an earlier article post the importance of EVERY competing business having a Strategic Plan to establish its Purpose, Goals, Strategy, Action Plans, and Plan Implementation procedure. Here, we would like to point out critical areas where our best-laid plans may go awry if certain areas of the plan are ignored during the implementation and follow-up phases.
Most important pitfall of all is NOT insuring that company employees understand the logic, goals and required efforts associated with the need for and creation of the plan. Regardless of whether they are or are not direct participants in plan implementation, employees on the “periphery” often generate valuable insight as plan status develops, IF MADE AWARE OF PLAN PURPOSE & GOALS early-on. Assuring a TEAM EFFORT is critical toward reducing individual “defensiveness” to the plan and promoting positive on-going cooperation toward its success. We have attempted to provide positive input toward informing all Departments and employees via the logic of the Complete Guide to Strategic Planning (made available on Flevy). All employees need to be aware of the DIRECTION their company is heading and to feel they may have an important role to play in achieving future goal success.
Closely associated with this issue is FAILURE TO ASSURE that ALL Managers are totally aware of plan objectives and their role in the implementation of them. These managers must also well understand that reaching plan goals is EQUALLY important (and often more so) to dealing with their current, every-day, short term objectives & problems..particularly if the organization was not on a solid footing prior to the development of the Strategic Plan. Top management must also understand the enormous advantages of having line-managers fully involved in the process, a positive tool in DEVELOPING MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES throughout the organization over the long-term.
CLOSELY ALIGNED with these objectives is the need to provide all Departments (&/or associated Divisions, etc.) with necessary information and on-going oversight to implement their individual function and roles (or lack of them) within the combined whole, as well as clarifying group priorities & on-going timing anticipated in reaching goal achievement toward reaching combined organizational success.
There are a other potential pit-falls to be encountered in the implementation and follow-up phases of Strategic Planning…we will touch upon more of these in future articles… STAYING AHEAD OF THESE ISSUES THROUGH AWARENESS AND ANTICIPATION ALLOWS AND CREATES CONTINUED TEAM SPIRIT & ULTIMATE PLAN SUCCESS!!!