Strategic planning for business growth

Implementing a strategic plan


Implementation is vital to the success of your strategic plan. It allows you to activate the plan you have created, turn strategy into actions, and ensure that the time and energy you've put into the planning process don't go to waste.

Steps to implement your strategic plan

To ensure that you're set up for a successful implementation, you will need to secure five key elements: people, resources, structure, systems and organisational culture. You will also have to follow these vital steps to carry out the implementation:

  • install a new business and management structure, if necessary
  • assign clear roles and responsibilities to those implementing the plan
  • clearly communicate the strategy, processes and goals to staff, stakeholders, etc
  • secure funding and resources for any initiatives or changes that need to happen
  • manage change efficiently and effectively
  • enable staff to dedicate time and effort to the agreed actions

Once you align these things, you will be able to execute your strategic plan.

Monitor strategic implementation

The key to implementing strategic objectives is to assign goals and responsibilities with budgets and deadlines to responsible owners. This could include key employees or department heads. You then have to control and evaluate actions to ensure they remain on target towards achieving the strategic goals. You can do this through:

  • performance measurement
  • review of internal and external issues
  • making corrective actions, if necessary

Monitoring will be an ongoing process. You will have to:

  • define which parameters you wish to measure
  • use KPIs to assess business performance
  • set targets and deadlines as a way of managing the process
  • determine your progress by measuring the actual results versus the plan

As implementation progresses, you may find you need to tweak your business strategy.

Using a business plan alongside your strategy

Your business plan is another important tool in the implementation process. The business plan is typically a short-term and more concrete document than the strategic plan. It tends to focus more closely on operational considerations such as sales and cashflow trends. Your business plan can help you set out actions that drive growth and the implementation of your strategy. See how to prepare a business plan for growth.

Remember that strategic planning can involve making both organisational and cultural changes to the way your business operates. Read more about best practices for change management.