5 Strategic Plan Execution Mistakes To Avoid

Here Anderson reveals where execution goes wrong:

Failing to Launch the Implementation of the Plan with Intentionality

Just as each year represents a fresh start, it is important to signal a fresh beginning as you launch the implementation of your strategic plan for the next fiscal year. Failure to do so could result in doing more of the same from the past.  Symbolizing the start of a new year is an opportunity to focus the organization on strategic priorities and build momentum going forward.

Not Having a Scorecard to Track Progress

Clearly defined targets and methods for measuring organizational success are essential; without them progress will be virtually impossible to determine. One of the temptations in setting success measures or goals is to measure what is easy, instead of what is important and strategic. Another common mistake is limiting key success measures to only financial performance measures, ignoring the measures that produce financial results, such as satisfied customers and satisfied employees.

Weak Accountability Systems

In a perfect world everyone would always do everything, when it was agreed to, and there would be no need for accountability systems. In real life, accountability systems make life easier. They respect individual responsibility and foster an environment of ownership for results. 

Failure to Track Progress Regularly

Systems to monitor progress help to keep results on track, to spot deviations, and to take timely corrective action. Tracking results is essential to continuous improvement.

Not Updating the Plan on an Annual Basis or More Frequently as Needed

Plans go stale after awhile, similar to bread and beer. In addition, environmental conditions change, goals are achieved and new ones need to be set. As a roadmap to the future, it is vital to keep the strategic plan current and relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing the organization to get you to your destination.

Weak Day-to-Day Management

All of the above, e.g. clear targets, implementing plans, tracking results are all vital.  Ineffective management day-to-day can undermine employee performance and productivity. Developing the capacity of leadership and management is a crucial investment, which pays dividends in performance results and to maintaining momentum.

Not Linking and Rewarding Individual and Team Achievements

Most employees do not work simply for a pay cheque. They are motivated more by challenging work, which makes a difference to the organization, its stakeholders and larger society. At the same time, they want and expect to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts as individuals and as a team, when results are produced as a team.

Published Canadian Business Online, Powered by PROFIT, May 2006