What It Means To Implement A Strategy (With Steps and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When teams have organisational goals they want to achieve, using a strategy can make the process more effective and efficient. Strategy implementation involves forming a strategy and implementing it within the business or team. Learning more about this process can help you execute an organisation's plans successfully.

In this article, we discuss what it means to implement a strategy, offer steps for strategy implementation and provide steps to experience a successful process.

What Does It Mean To Implement A Strategy?

To implement a strategy means to execute a plan to achieve a desired goal or group of goals. Individuals within an organisation can brainstorm to help form the ideas and vision for strategy implementation, and the implementation process helps them realise their plans and strategies. Strategy implementation relies heavily on status reports and active feedback to ensure that the strategy is producing optimal results. This kind of regular feedback can help an organisation's personnel determine if any element of the strategy implementation process needs revisions.

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6 Essential Strategy Implementation Steps

Here are six steps you can follow to achieve successful strategy implementation:

1. Define clear goals and accompanying variables

The first step in the process of strategy implementation is to define clear goals and accompanying variables. Creating objectives for the organisation to work towards can help all personnel understand what they are trying to achieve. As your team is creating goals, it is important to make them realistic and attainable. Otherwise, your team may become discouraged and less motivated to work towards completing them. Keeping the organisational goals realistic can foster enthusiasm, inspiration and teamwork amongst employees.

You can maintain high morale by reviewing past goals. Study the past performance of employees and evaluate the results that the goals produced. You may also note any shortcomings and try to pinpoint potential causes of these shortcomings. Use these past experiences to determine how similar objectives may work with the resources and timeline that the organisation has currently. It is also essential to account for any variables that may hinder your team's progress. You may create contingency plans to handle these variables effectively.

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2. Determine responsibilities and roles

The next step in strategy implementation is to determine responsibilities and roles. Accountability is an important aspect of this process, so you can ensure that everyone knows their duties by creating roles. Set expectations in terms of tasks, timelines and deliverables. Ensure that everyone knows who is responsible for leading certain elements of the strategy. It can be beneficial to record all of the resources that an organisation has in terms of personnel. Some of these resources may include entire departments, smaller teams and individual employees.

Summarise what group or individual is responsible for each task that you have to assign. You can also establish clear communication channels and encourage personnel to talk with you and each other if they are ever unsure of their responsibilities. As a leader of the strategy implementation process, you can work to establish strong relationships with personnel in the organisation. These strong relationships can help you maintain effective communication and maintain satisfied employees who uphold their responsibilities to the organisation.

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3. Execute the plan and monitor its progress

Once you alert all personnel of their roles and expected responsibilities, you can execute the plan. Offer support to employees so that they can complete their tasks efficiently. As a leader, you may delegate tasks to other personnel. Sometimes, you may benefit from completing a responsibility yourself if you have the skills and time available. Be sure to check in with your teams regularly and ask for progress updates. Listen to any challenges they experience.

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4. Adjust or revise the plan as necessary

While you monitor the progress of strategy implementation, you can consider studying weekly or monthly status reports. Depending on the scope of the organisation's goals, you may even benefit from conducting and reviewing daily status reports. Consider constructive feedback that you receive so that you can adapt to employees' needs.

You may recreate milestones and deadlines so that employees can have more time to produce high-quality work. You may also ensure that teams are maintaining constant communication with one another and are striving towards the same end goals. Instead of adhering to the organisation's goals uncritically, be willing to adjust them based on any unforeseen challenges that the company encounters.

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5. Seek closure on all projects

As the organisation approaches the conclusion of the strategy implementation process, you can begin to seek closure on all projects. Ideally, each team that has worked on a project can come to a consensus on what the final results look like. Ensure that all personnel feel that they have completed all their tasks effectively to produce a satisfactory final result. Gather data on the results and collect details and information from team members so that you can deliver a comprehensive report to your supervisors if necessary.

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6. Review the outcome of the plan

The final step in the strategy implementation process is to review the outcome of the plan. Determine the extent to which the organisation achieved its goals and note if it was unable to achieve any objectives. You may document any additional steps that the organisation had to implement that were not originally part of the plan to reach its goals. You can also note any unforeseen challenges that teams encountered, how they attempted to overcome the challenges and what lessons team members learnt as a result of the plans they implemented.

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Potential Barriers To Strategy Implementation

Here are some potential barriers to strategy implementation and how to overcome them:

Unprepared personnel

Unprepared personnel may hinder the success of strategy implementation. They may not understand the scope of their responsibilities or know how to communicate with individuals on related teams. You may address this potential barrier by providing adequate training. Develop thorough training programmes that include the appropriate instruction delivery methods.

For example, employees may need to review industry regulations or safety protocols via instructor-led training. Depending on the scope of the plan that the organisation wants to implement, you may also develop training methods that let employees gain practical experience in a controlled environment before they attempt to apply the skills in a real workplace setting. You can also prepare personnel for the strategy implementation process by inviting team members to ask for clarification or assistance when necessary.

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Insufficient resources

Insufficient resources may prevent personnel from completing their expected duties. Even if they have access to some equipment and materials, personnel may experience delayed progress that can affect other milestones. You can address the problem of insufficient resources by budgeting for them before the organisation implements its intended strategy.

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A poor company culture

A poor company culture may result in poor communication and disinterest amongst employees. They may not feel the motivation they need to perform impactful work. You can address this potential issue by fostering a positive workplace culture. You can make an effort to deliver rewards and administer praise to employees who produce high-quality work within established deadlines. You can also be a role model who takes an active role in the organisation.

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A lack of communication

A lack of communication can make it challenging to relay progress updates and alert others of unforeseen circumstances. You can address this potential barrier to strategy implementation by creating clear communication channels via messaging platforms, email and in person. As a team leader, you can delegate more tasks so that you can make yourself available to answer questions and address concerns.

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