How to Implement your Strategic Plan

by | Mar 15, 2019

In January, we launched our Exercise Your Impact campaign. Throughout 2019, we’re sharing tools and resources to highlight key phases of organizational planning. Our first quarter focus is on the initial phase: Strategic Planning. As we wrap up the quarter, we want to offer tips on how to implement your strategic plan effectively.

Our process graphic

In a previous blog series, we highlighted the 4 strategic planning steps and detailed each step (step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4). But what happens once you’ve completed those steps? Organizations often get stuck figuring out how to take the big-picture elements in the strategic plan and make them operational. We create an “implementation plan” during Step 4 to avoid this. This implementation plan unpacks the strategic plan into actionable steps. It provides your organization with a road map for accomplishing the goals identified in the strategic plan.

Implement your Strategic Plan - page 7

We recently worked with Healthy Families Indiana (HFI) to help them develop their strategic plan, including a detailed implementation plan. We are helping them implement the plan while providing project management support for their Think Tank. The following four components are key pieces of any implementation plan.

Essential Components to Implement Your Strategic Plan

Strategies/Goals: It is important to include any priorities and goals set within your strategic plan in your implementation plan. For example, one of HFI’s key goals from their strategic plan is to translate information about brain science to share with parents. Including this goal in the implementation plan ensured they had a detailed plan to achieve it.

Action steps: The implementation plan will spell out action steps to help your organization meet each strategy/goal. The tasks associated with the HFI goal included developing or identifying a family-facing brain science resource to share with parents.

Timeline: The implementation plan will indicate which year you plan to complete each task. For example, if you have set a three-year strategic plan, it is important to evenly schedule tasks out over those three years. For example, HFI determined that in their long-term schedule, developing and/or identifying family facing brain science resources would fit best within 2019.

Responsibility: The implementation plan should indicate who is responsible for completing each task. Identifying those responsible helps ensure accountability and track progress. The responsible party could be a group or individual, such as staff, board members, or a committee. HFI identified the Think Tank as the most appropriate group to complete the task outlined in the previous components.

Tips for Using your Implementation Plan

  • When carrying out an implementation plan, it is important to establish a procedure to track progress on tasks. For example, we’ve done this for clients by creating a spreadsheet they can update every quarter to track their actions.
  • An organization can update its implementation plan over time if needed. Tasks may take longer or shorter than anticipated, so it is appropriate to update timelines as you go.

TCG is privileged to work with organizations at all stages of the strategic planning and implementation process. We are currently helping another client, Manchester Early Learning Center, finalize their strategic plan. We’re excited to watch them carry it out!

Track Image - NEW

As we finish the first quarter of 2019, we also look forward to the second ‘leg’ of our Exercise Your Impact campaign: Program Development. Once you have set the strategic vision for your organization, it is time to take a closer look at your program(s) to assess whether your current programming is in place to help you achieve that vision. Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your strategic planning or programming needs!

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