As professional facilitators, we see the failure to successfully implement plans as a major obstacle to optimize productivity and realize economic potential.
Here are the five most common problems we encounter:
Plans aren’t implemented. In many cases, the organization lacks a well-organized, disciplined process to take action on its plans. In some cases, the problem is more subtle and deep-seated, where despite an organized approach to implementation, plans are sabotaged by those who don’t support or understand the plan or who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. In some cases, the saboteurs are amid senior management itself. Another common factor is that the plan is not well designed. Design flaws should be detected and corrected quickly before the plan loses credibility or implementation loses momentum.
Plans are implemented but do not achieve the desired results. Quite often, the cause is pretty obvious. Desired results were never defined in the first place. This is one of the most common process omissions that we see in organizations. In other cases, the implementation process gets focused on action steps and loses sight of what the actions are supposed to achieve.
Implementation isn’t on time. Most organizations are quick to blame implementation. It could well be that the timing or timetable was inappropriate in the first place.
Implementation isn’t on budget. Like timing, the culprit here could be the spending, the budget or a combination of both.
Implementation creates unintended consequences. Action steps are too focused on achieving a single result without due consideration to the ripple effects they create. This happens when action steps are not designed to flow in concert with surrounding systems. Implementation is as awkward and disruptive as the proverbial bull in a china shop.
How should your organization respond? First, gather participants from recent implementation efforts to share in a candid analysis of how well your organization is performing in these five critical aspects of successful implementation. Second, take steps to retain and exploit the strengths of your implementation process and address your vulnerabilities.
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