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Bryson. chapter 9. implementing strategies and plans successfully(1)
Bryson Chapter 10
Implementing Strategies and Plans
Well executed implementation (step 9) completes the
transition from strategic planning to strategic management
by incorporating adopted strategies throughout the
relevant system. Developing effective programs, projects,
action plans, budgets, and implementation processes will
bring life to the strategies and create more tangible value
for the organization and its stakeholders as mandates are
then met and mission fulfilled.
1. Greater public value resulting from greater achievement
of the organization’s goals and heightened stakeholder
2. Development of a clear understanding by implementers
of what needs to be done and when, why, and by whom.
3. The use of the debugging process to identify and fix
difficulties that almost inevitable arise as a new
solution is put in place.
Desired Outcomes, con’t
4. Successful implementation is likely to include
summative evaluations to find out whether
strategic goals have actually been achieved once
strategies are fully implemented.
5. Retention of important features of the adopted
strategies and plans.
6. The creation of redesigned organizational
settings that will ensure long-lasting changes.
7. The establishment or anticipation of review
points, during which strategies may be
maintained, significantly modified, or
1. Creation of real public value as changes are
introduced smoothly and rapidly, worthwhile goals
are achieved, and stakeholder satisfaction is
2. The avoidance of typical causes of failure.
3. Increased support from the leaders and the
organization that have successfully implemented
the changes and who are now seen as having more
4. Individuals involved in effective implementation of
desirable changes are likely to experience
heightened self-esteem and self-confidence.
For these various benefits to accrue, a number of
implementation vehicles are likely to be necessary.
They include, programs, projects, and budgets
Programs and Projects
New or revised programs and projects are a
components of many strategic change efforts.
Programs and projects can also focus attention on
strategic initiatives, facilitate detailed learning,
build momentum behind changes, provide increased
accountability, and allow easier termination of
initiative that turn out to be undesirable. Programs
and projects are a version of action plans and should
have the following components:
1. Definition of purpose
2. Articulation of the logic model guiding the initiative
3. Clarification of program or project organization and
mechanism for resolving conflict
4. Calculation of the inputs desired ,including
financial, human resources, information technology,
and other resource plans
Program and Project Plans-components,
5. Definition of the outputs to be produced
6. Identification of target clients
7. Clarification of the process by which inputs
are to be converted to outputs
8. Timeline of activities and decision points
9. Specification of objectively verifiable
indicators of key aspects of the logic model
10. Indicators or assumptions that are key to
the success of the project
The Special Role of Budgets
Budget allocations have crucial if not overriding
significance for the implementation of strategies and
plans. Budgets often represent the most important
and consequential policy statements that nonprofit
organizations can make. Not all strategies and plans
have budget significance, but enough do that
nonprofit leaders and managers should consider
involving themselves deeply in the process of budget
making. Doing so is likely to be a particularly
effective way to affect the design, adoption, and
execution of strategies and plans.
Often there is a gap between budgeting and planning. A
few suggestions to avoid the gap given that
performance control on the one hand and strategies
and programs on the other are equally important:
1. Have strategic planning preceded the budget cycle.
2. Build a performance budgeting system.
Suggestions on avoiding the gap between
budgeting and strategic planning, con’t
4. Be aware the prior strategic planning efforts can
provide many of the promises needed to try to
influence budgeting in strategic directions.
5. Pick your budget fights carefully.
6. Consider implementing entrepreneurial
budgeting concepts to advance strategic
7. Make sure you have good analysts involved in
the budgeting process.
8. Develop criteria for evaluating budgets for all
programs-preexisting to new.
9. If you can, involve the same people in both
strategy formulation and implementation
Successful implementation of strategies and plans
will depend primarily on the design and use of various
implementation structures that coordinate and
manage implementation activities.
General guidelines are provided in addition to
guidelines for managing communication and
education, personnel, and direct and staged
1. Consciously and deliberately plan and manage
implementation in a strategic way.
2. Develop implementation strategy documents and
action plans to guide implementation and focus
attention on necessary decisions, actions, and
3. Try changes that can be introduced easily and
Process Guidelines: General Guidelines, con’t
4. Use a program and project management approach
5. Build enough people, time, attention, money,
administrative and support serves, and other
resources to ensure successful implementation.
6. Link new strategic initiatives with ongoing
7. Work quickly to avoid unnecessary or undesirable
competition with new priorities.
8. Focus on maintaining or developing coalition of
implementers, advocates, and interest groups intent
on effective implementation of the strategies and
willing to protect them over the long haul.
9. Be sure legislative, executive, and administrative
policies and actions facilitate rather than impede
10. Think carefully about how residual disputes
will be resolved and underlying norms enforced.
11. Remember that major changes, and even minor
ones, entail changes in the organization’s
12. Emphasize learning.
13. Hang in there!
Communication and Education Guidelines
1. Invest in communication activities.
2. Work to reduce resistance based on divergent
attitudes and lack of participation.
3. Consider developing a guiding vision of success
if one has not been developed already.
4. Build regular attention to appropriate
1. As much as possible, fill leadership and staff
positions with highly qualified people
committed to the change effort.
2. Give the strategic planning team the task of
planning and managing implementation or
establish an implementation team that has a
significant overlap in membership with the
3. Ensure access to and liaison with top
administrators during implementation.
4. Give special attention to the problem of easing
out, working around, or avoiding people who
are not likely to help the change effort for
Direct and Staged Implementation Guidelines
1. Consider direct implementation when the situation
is technically and politically simple, immediate
action is necessary for system survival in a crisis, or
the adopted solutions entail some “lumpiness” that
preclude staged implementation.
2. In difficult situations, consider staged
3. Design pilot projects to be effective ( see
4. Design demonstration projects to be effective( see
5. Carefully transfer tested changes to other
implementers ( see steps p.261)
6. When the implementation process is staged, give
special attention to those who will implement the
changes in the early stages.