The biggest problem I’ve noted with strategy is not formulation, but implementation. Companies develop a great strategy and then fail to communicate it or aren’t sufficiently aggressive in pursuing it. Here is a checklist of questions you can ask to assess the implementation aspect of your strategy.

  1. Have the intent, mission, vision and strategy been communicated throughout the company?
  2. Have clear objectives and responsibilities been assigned all up and down the organization so everyone knows what their tasks are within the new strategy?
  3. Have leaders and managers with key responsibilities conducted their mission analysis to properly determine their distinctive roles and missions within the company?
  4. Has a full implementation plan with milestones and metrics been created at all levels of the organization? Have key execs and managers’ terms of reference or performance review process been suitably modified to incorporate these?
  5. Is there a customer communication plan in place and have you assessed the initial impacts on them?
  6. Are your organizational structure, processes, and systems well aligned with the new strategy and goals? What measures and plans do you have to assess and modify these as you implement the strategy?
  7. Do all of your people, especially execs and managers, have the requisite skills to do the planning and operations to execute on this strategy? Do you have plans to provide this?
  8. Do you have a regular review process in place with weekly/bi-weekly (if needed), monthly, quarterly meetings?
  9. Have you conducted a quarterly after action review to assess progress and, more important, to identify lessons learned as you make the planned changes?
  10. Is your initial assessment that the strategic changes you’ve undertaken are working? What are you and your senior leadership team doing to adjust and assess as you implement?
  11. How are your customers reacting to the changes? Are they enthusiastic, blasé, engaged and willing to help, hindering?
  12. How is your entire company and management team reacting? Are they fully engaged and onside, or are there areas where they don’t want to cooperate or get on board?
  13. Are there key execs or managers who need specific coaching to help them raise their performance in line with their goals and missions?
  14. Have you looked at your competitors’ reactions? Have you considered how you can shape the competitive landscape to your advantage?
  15. What plans do you have in place to look at the next 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and beyond?

© 2013 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.

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