Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Plans And Implementation

Changes in strategic direction do not occur automatically. Operational plans must be established to make a strategy work. Moreover, there must be close interaction between the strategic and operational planning systems.

Three types of plans are generated during the implementation phase:

The plan of action
This involves the definition of objectives in quantitative and actional terms, the timing of strategy, the formation of substrategies relating to markets, production, finance, distribution, pricing, research and development, investment, and personnel placement.
Plan of implementation
This deals with organizational design changes and structural modification, motivational plans, reward and punishment systems, leadership style, and control and information systems.
Plan of policy
This cavers changes in values, rules, policies, and procedures.

Characteristics Of Implementable Strategic Plans

Dennis Hykes (1984 ) suggests that implementable strategic plans have, as a minimum, three characteristics:

They are linked to the appropriate control systems within the organization. Plans must be tied to the budgeting, operational planning, and incentive compensation systems.

There must be a smooth transition from the planning cycle to budget cycle. This link is accomplished through strategic programs that connected with a responsible member of operating management, and are an integral part of an operational plan.

They are "owned" by operating management. Plans are likely to be "owned" by operating management when the following occurs:

  1. Strategic plans must be in the management mainstream, that is, they should be a regular, continuous process, as other management processes tend to be.
  2. Plans, and the process, must be easily digestible, that is, relatively uncomplicated systems, techniques, and forms should be used to produce relatively brief (20-to 30-pages) plans.
  3. The line managers are the planners, with the planning staff concentrating on process design, facilitation, troubleshooting, and review and analysis.

They are perceived as being achievable by those responsible for implementation. Plan must be achievable-neither too difficult nor too easy. Finding the optimal level of difficulty can be aided by using an interactive, participative team approach in their development, coupled with a soundly constructed review program for the plan.