From small businesses to large corporations, when you render all the challenges and issues facing these economic engines from employees to growth and innovation, the inability to secure desired results or implementation always float to the top as the number one to number three obstacles that prevent business success. As a business owner or management executive, have you ever asked yourself one of these five questions:
1. How do I move from my vision to my desired results?
2. How do I get my employees to perform?
3. How do I recruit new employees with the skills that my company needs?
4. How do I attract new customers or clients?
5. Why can’t I consistently achieve my desired results?
All of these questions when rendered down are about implementation. The failure to implement any corporate wide business goal consumes valuable resources specifically time, people and money. These resources may have been already allocated to other initiatives. Effective implementation is what separates the successful companies from the not so successful ones. Many authors from Rick Page in “Hope is not a Strategy” to Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton in “It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, It’s the Fast that East the Slow” write about the affects of poor implementation.
Possibly why implementation continues to vex today’s businesses is because executives search for an ineffective answer through a business plan instead of a strategic business plan. A recent search using Inventory Overture revealed that searches for business plan were over 200 times as many as for strategic business plan (148,650 vs. 614). From these searches, it suggests that business owners may be looking for the wrong answer.
Why choose a strategic business plan over a business plan? The answer is simple because a strategic business plan defines “Who Does What By When” through the critical success factors and supporting goals that are in alignment with the sales and marketing plans.
The structure of a strategic business plan is all about implementation. Using the ADDIE Plus methodology may help you in your efforts to create an effective strategic business plan.
Assess - The current market conditions, future market conditions and the organization need to be assessed. This evaluation should begin with an overall organizational assessment and may extend to internal and external customers.
Design – After the evaluation, a design is crafted. This design should include the vision, values and mission of the organization and is overall architecture for the plan. Simply, speaking this is the “Big Picture. ”
Develop – The plan is developed according to the structure of the organization. Smaller plans or pictures such as marketing and sales fit within the overall plan.
Implement - Using specific goal setting and goal achievement, the strategic plan is implemented. At this juncture, who does what by when is identified.
Evaluate – Goal achievement is the mechanism to monitor and evaluate successful implementation.
Plus - Follow-up is the plus to ensure necessary course correction that may again require some new assessments along with design, development, implementation and evaluation. Using the ADDIE+ methodology provides business owners a consistent vehicle from which to create, monitor, evaluate and follow-up on their strategic business plan.
If you truly want to reach that next level of success by bridging the implementation gaps, stop focusing on a business plan and take the time to create a strategic business plan that clearly defines who does what by when.
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, www.processspecialist.com
This article may be freely published. Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accepted).
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S. CEO of ADVANCED SYSTEMS located outside of Chicago, IL, is the Learning and Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business & education experience, she helps her clients to double their performance. By uniting systems, strategies and people to create loyal internal customers, Leanne brings a unique perspective to training and development that delivers ROI solutions in 4 key areas: financials, leadership, relationships and growth & innovation within a variety of industries including education, healthcare, manufacturing and professional services. As co-author of M. A. G. I. C. A. L. Potential: 7 Capacities for Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement due for 2005 release, Leanne speaks nationally to a variety of audiences. Please contact Leanne at 219.759.5601 or visit http://www.processspecialist.com/organizations.htm to read how you double your performance for unheard of results.