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How To Implement Your Business Plan Objectives

Breaking down your business goals into actionable steps is key for success

implement of business plan

What Is a Business Plan Objective?

Be specific and define clear objectives, break down objectives into tasks.

  • Assign Responsibilities/Allocate Resources

Be Mindful of Risks and Create Contingencies

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A business plan is an important tool to help business owners map their path to success. In addition, business plans may be used when applying for loans or seeking outside investment. But a business plan isn’t worth it if you leave it gathering dust. To make a business plan effective, you have to implement your business plan objectives.

Whether you’re a new business owner or a veteran returning for a refresher, here’s a closer look at common strategies to implement on your business plan objectives.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan objective is a specific goal for your business.
  • Making achievable and specific tasks is helpful for successful implementations.
  • Track your results and stay prepared to update your business plan if necessary.

A business plan objective is a specific goal you hope to reach with your business. This may be a number of customers, revenue, or profit goal, among others. There are no right or wrong business objectives, in theory, but it’s important to take the time to pick the best goals for your unique business if you’re going through the work to create business plan objectives.

The SMART framework is a popular way to frame goals, and it can be helpful for creating objectives, too. To qualify, an objective must meet these criteria:

  • Specific : A general goal like “add more customers” could leave you floundering. Pick a specific number of customers. Every objective should have a clear finish line.
  • Measurable : Identify objectives you can measure. For example, you can’t necessarily measure something like “customer loyalty,” but you can measure repeat customers, sales and revenue per customer, and other data points related to loyalty.
  • Attainable : You might dream of turning your startup into a $1-million-per-year business. However, that may not be attainable in your first few years. What’s attainable varies widely by the business but in general, you’ll want to find the middle ground between unrealistic and underachieving.
  • Relevant : Perhaps part of your business growth strategy involves social media. While it may be fun to see your accounts grow, that may not necessarily be relevant to your revenue and profits. Keep goals focused on what’s most important to achieve, which may not include vanity numbers that are more about ego than results.
  • Time-bound : Each objective should have a deadline. If you give yourself unlimited time to get something done, you may never get around to it. With a set due date, you’re giving yourself a little pressure and motivation to hit that goal as planned.

SMART goals are just one method of choosing business plan objectives. You can work to create any objectives you’d like that make the most sense for what you’re trying to achieve.

Even if you don’t follow the SMART goals framework, it’s still wise to be specific and clear when choosing your goals and objectives. Vague and loosely defined goals often set business owners up for failure. Specific and clear business objectives give you and your team, if you have one, a common mission to work toward.

Breaking each objective into smaller tasks can prevent teams from getting overwhelmed and even help you get a clearer picture of what you need to do to prevail. Smaller goals also help you see faster and more frequent successes, which is a good way to stay motivated. An added benefit is an opportunity to foresee any needed resources or roadblocks, such as a need for an outside consultant or a government-issued permit.

Assign Responsibilities and Allocate Resources

Entrepreneurs with “superhero syndrome” think they can do everything themselves and often get burned out in pursuing business goals. Rather than do it all yourself, even if you have the capability, it’s often wise to delegate to others . Employees, freelancers, contractors, and business partners are part of the team. When you can count on others and best utilize their time and skills, you take a wise step to reach your objectives.

Create Milestones and Monitor Progress

Just as it’s a good idea to set smaller goals along the way, it’s also wise to create key milestone moments and monitor progress. You may learn along the way that a certain process can be improved. When a process works well, try to capture and double down on that success. When you stumble or discover inefficiencies, you could have an opportunity.

Monitoring progress helps you know what’s working and what isn’t, so you can adjust goals or methods if necessary.

Not all things go according to plan. If you miss the mark, you could join one of the millions of failed business owners. Stay mindful of risks and if it may be time to pull the plug rather than sink in more money.

Also, you may find successes outside of what you expected. Even the biggest companies pivot to a related product or service when their first idea fizzles. Remember that there’s a lot you can’t control in the business world, so not all business failures should be considered personal failures. Instead, look at them as learning opportunities to draw on in the future.

The Bottom Line

A business plan without clear objectives is at risk of being ineffective. Identify what your objectives are, break them down into small steps, delegate responsibilities, and be comfortable with pivoting when needed and dealing with risk. Taking the proper steps to create realistic objectives isn’t a guarantee that you’ll meet your goals, but it provides the framework to set you up for success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What goes in the objectives section of a business plan.

There is no set template you must follow for a business plan. Business plans can range from a one-page summary to a lengthy, detailed document. If a business plan includes an objectives section, it should include clear and specific goals that help define success for the business.

What is the difference between a goal and an objective in a business plan?

The terms “goal'' and “objective” can be used interchangeably in a business plan. Some businesses may consider objectives as smaller tasks that help reach goals. Regardless of the terminology, goals and objectives are both good for your business’s long-term success.

Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning!

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “ Setting Goals and Developing Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound Objectives ,” Pages 1-2.

Chris Drucker. “ Virtual Freedom Companion Workbook ,” Page 3.

Chamber of Commerce. “ 10 Hugely Successful Companies That Reinvented Their Business .”

Small Business Administration. “ Write Your Business Plan .”

implement of business plan

Healthy Business Manager

Implementing the Plan

You’ve spent the last few months creating your 2022 business plan, and you’re breathing a sigh of relief. Pat yourself on the back for a moment but understand that your job is not done.

You may be able to cross creating your business plan off your to-do list, but don’t shove your hard work into a drawer and forget about it.

If you are at a loss of what to do next, here comes the fun part: implementing it. Follow these five simple steps:

Step 1: Assemble your team

Schedule time with your team to go over the details of your business plan. Talk about the who , what, where, when and how so everyone is “in the know.” Then decide what metrics need to be a priority—such as sales numbers, people numbers, or website traffic—and establish a timeline for accomplishing those goals.

Implement Your Business Plan

Step 2: Break it down into manageable chunks

Big goals can seem overwhelming until you turn them into manageable objectives. Then create an action plan for the first 90 days to identify how you will get them done.

Implement Your Plan with 90-Day Objectives

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Step 3: Delegate responsibilities

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Utilize your team's strengths, especially for those tasks you are not the best at or don’t enjoy doing. Delegating parts of your business plan to others is a great way to get everyone involved, make them feel empowered, and achieve your results faster.

Use Team Strengths to Implement Your Business Plan

Step 4: Measure results

Numbers are powerful. Put systems in place that will measure your goals’ progress. These numbers will help you determine if your goals are on track, how you can do more of what is working well, and what you need to change that is not working.

Measure Results as You Implement Your Business Plan

Credit to photo source.  Add the outside lInk. 

Step 5: Schedule regular business plan reviews

Identify a date on your calendar each week to review the progress of your business plan. During this meeting, everyone will report their metrics, brainstorm ideas, and decide on next steps.

"Good Business Planning is 9 parts execution for every 1 part strategy."

Understand that it is a working document

The only guarantee in business is that there are no guarantees. Just because you crafted a beautiful roadmap doesn’t mean everything will go according to plan. The best part about an actionable business plan is that it is not set in stone. It’s a working document that you can change or modify as situations arise throughout the year.

New Ideas will emerge

New ideas will inevitably present themselves as you work through your goals. But what happens if those ideas conflict with your business plan? Next month’s blog will discuss how to handle these unplanned but good ideas and how to NOT let them derail your business plan.

Tired of Feeling Lost in the Details?

If you’re ready to stop spinning your wheels and start implementing your plan, contact Healthy Business Manager today. We can help you get the year off to a strong, productive start!

Carol Frankenstein OBM

Experienced online entrepreneurs are often stressed and exhausted because they are juggling everything in the business.  I partner with owners to get results by managing operations. 

Bottlenecks are busted so they have the energy to focus on growth. 

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Grow your business. take back your life., certified online business manager for experienced entrepreneurs who want a strong business. this could also be where you add your one-liner..

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Write your business plan

Business plans help you run your business.

A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.

Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.

Pick a business plan format that works for you

There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.

Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.

Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long.

Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as one hour to make and are typically only one page.

Traditional business plan

write traditional plan

Lean startup plan

A lean business plan is quicker but high-level

Traditional business plan format

You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail-oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources.

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Traditional business plans use some combination of these nine sections.

Executive summary

Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.

Company description

Use your company description to provide detailed information about your company. Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific, and list out the consumers, organization, or businesses your company plans to serve.

Explain the competitive advantages that will make your business a success. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location for your store? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths.

Market analysis

You'll need a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market. Competitive research will show you what other businesses are doing and what their strengths are. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions.

Organization and management

Tell your reader how your company will be structured and who will run it.

Describe the  legal structure  of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company (LLC).

Use an organizational chart to lay out who's in charge of what in your company. Show how each person's unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.

Service or product line

Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it benefits your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you're doing  research and development  for your service or product, explain it in detail.

Marketing and sales

There's no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.

Your goal in this section is to describe how you'll attract and retain customers. You'll also describe how a sale will actually happen. You'll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.

Funding request

If you're asking for funding, this is where you'll outline your funding requirements. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you'll use it for.

Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you'd like applied, and the length of time your request will cover. Give a detailed description of how you'll use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.

Financial projections

Supplement your funding request with financial projections. Your goal is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.

If your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. If you have other collateral you could put against a loan, make sure to list it now.

Provide a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly — or even monthly — projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections, and match them to your funding requests.

This is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business.  

Use your appendix to provide supporting documents or other materials were specially requested. Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.

Example traditional business plans

Before you write your business plan, read the following example business plans written by fictional business owners. Rebecca owns a consulting firm, and Andrew owns a toy company.

Lean startup format

You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan.

Lean startup formats are charts that use only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualizing tradeoffs and fundamental facts about your company.

There are different ways to develop a lean startup template. You can search the web to find free templates to build your business plan. We discuss nine components of a model business plan here:

Key partnerships

Note the other businesses or services you’ll work with to run your business. Think about suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners.

Key activities

List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Highlight things like selling direct to consumers, or using technology to tap into the sharing economy.

Key resources

List any resource you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets could include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Don’t forget to leverage business resources that might be available to  women ,  veterans ,  Native Americans , and  HUBZone businesses .

Value proposition

Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market.

Customer relationships

Describe how customers will interact with your business. Is it automated or personal? In person or online? Think through the customer experience from start to finish.

Customer segments

Be specific when you name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody, so it’s important to have a clear sense of whom your business will serve.

List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Most businesses use a mix of channels and optimize them over time.

Cost structure

Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face pursuing it.

Revenue streams

Explain how your company will actually make money. Some examples are direct sales, memberships fees, and selling advertising space. If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.

Example lean business plan

Before you write your business plan, read this example business plan written by a fictional business owner, Andrew, who owns a toy company.

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What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

implement of business plan

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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From Strategy to Execution: How to Create a Sustainable, Repeatable Implementation Plan

By Kate Eby | December 14, 2017

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In this article, you’ll learn the fundamental elements of a strategic implementation process, and how you can create a comprehensive implementation plan. We’ve also included free, downloadable implementation plan templates to get you started. 

Included on this page, you’ll find the components of an implementation plan , how to write an implementation plan , and tools for successful implementation planning .

What Is an Implementation Strategy?

An implementation strategy is based on a strategic plan , which defines the strategy used to accomplish certain goals or make decisions. Organizations can make strategic plans to guide organizational direction, a particular department’s efforts, or any project or initiative.

Implementation strategy is the process of defining how to bring the strategic plan to life. To execute the objectives outlined in the strategic plan, you must define how you will implement each aspect, from funding and personnel to organization and deliverables. Therefore, without an implementation strategy, it can be difficult to identify how you will achieve each of your stated goals and objectives. 

Ray McKenzie

Ray McKenzie is the Founder and Managing Director of Red Beach Advisors . He breaks down the differences between strategy, implementation, and execution: “Implementation planning is the act of developing a tactical plan to complete a strategic initiative. Strategy is the overarching plan to move the organization, department, or project forward. Implementation is the act of putting the strategy into place utilizing resources within an organization or department. Execution is completing the tasks as part of the implementation plan to complete the strategic initiative through resources of the organized team.”

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What Is the Strategic Implementation Process?

The strategic implementation process refers to the concrete steps that you take to turn your strategic plan into action. The implementation tactics you use and steps you take will depend on the specific undertaking, organization, and goals.

A strategic implementation plan (SIP) is the document that you use to define your implementation strategy. Typically, it outlines the resources, assumptions, short- and long-term outcomes, roles and responsibilities, and budget. (Later on, we’ll show you how to create one.) An SIP is often integrated with an execution plan , but the two are distinct. 

The SIP outlines the activities and decisions necessary to turn the strategic goals into reality, and the execution plan is a schedule of concrete actions and activities to achieve goals and drive success. You can consider your strategy “implemented” once you determine that you have the requisite resources to meet your strategic needs, but you haven’t “executed” until you’ve actually taken action and achieved objectives. You can read more about the differences between strategy, implementation, and execution in this article by the Harvard Business Review . 

The strategic implementation process is often compared to the following activities:

Jen Hancock

Jennifer Hancock is the author of several books and Founder of Humanist Learning Systems , an organization that provides online personal and professional development training in humanistic business management, along with science-based harassment training. She describes the difference between organizational and implementation planning: “Organizational planning is the structure of the organization: What work needs to be done? How does it relate to the other work that needs to be done? Who is responsible for getting it done? How are the parts of the organization going to work together to accomplish shared objectives? Implementation planning has to do with specific projects and processes. For instance, an organization may have an HR department — that is, organizational planning. Implementation is when the HR department rolls out a new set of benefits or a new health care plan.”

Organizational Change Management

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  • Strategic Management Process: This is the ongoing effort to manage an organization, including both the decisions and actions that flow from the organizational strategy. Continuous strategic management can inform organizational planning by providing a strategy that outlines the organization’s goals. 
  • Change Management: Change management is how you prepare and manage organizational planning, from the high-level processes and culture down to individual roles. Effective change management involves strategy and careful monitoring so that you can plan for change rather than react to it. 

Change Management Process Template

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  • Differentiated Planning: This is a reordering method that you can use to identify which resources you need based on the frequency with which you typically use them. Separate the items on your reorder list into three categories: routine, regular, and rare. This will give you a rough idea of the different demand levels for each resource, so you don’t have to spend time considering whether or not to restock. Because identifying and accumulating resources is an important component of implementation planning, it’s useful to understand differentiated planning. 

Why Implementation Is Important

Implementation planning largely determines project success because without it, your strategic goals remain unactionable. Therefore, implementation is the necessary step that transforms your strategic plans into action to achieve your goals. 

There are many examples where implementation planning heightens project success. In fact, the Harvard Business Review reported that companies with an implementation and execution plan saw 70 percent greater returns. 

McKenzie says that implementation planning is critical to project success. “This is the stage which allows the planned strategy to be executed,” he says. “The primary benefits to implementation and implementation planning are the abilities to outline the tasks needed to complete the project, identify the personnel and resources needed, and document the timeline for project completion to ensure you’re meeting the strategic goals.”

Hancock agrees. “If you don’t implement your plan — you don’t get anything done,” she says. “So, implementation is crucial. [Even] if you have the best plan in the world, it’s totally irrelevant if you don’t put the plan into action,” she adds.

Fiona Adler

Fiona Adler writes about entrepreneurship at DoTheThings.com and is the Founder of Actioned.com , a productivity tool for individuals and teams. With an MBA, multiple business successes, and a family living in a foreign country, she enjoys pushing the envelope to get the most out of life and loves helping others do the same. Adler explains that implementation is often more crucial than the strategy itself. She says, “In my opinion, implementation is far more important than strategic planning. After all, it doesn't matter if you have the best plan in the world. All that really matters is what you end up doing!”

The practice of implementation planning is also important in some of today’s organizational shifts. Most notably, implementation plays a part in the current shift from reactionary to strategic companies — in other words, organizations that plan for change and adaptation rather than react to it. Additionally, implementation supports the movement toward employee-oriented organizations, which it does by valuing communication, encouraging mutually-supported goals, and emphasizing accountability. Implementation planning is necessarily a human (and team) endeavor and making it a part of your daily processes helps ensure collaboration, trust, and transparency among project team members all the way up to C-suite management. 

What Is the Implementation Plan of a Project?

Implementation plans are commonly used for discrete projects, technology deployment within a company, and inventory planning. You can also create an implementation plan for personal use if it will help you organize and take actionable steps toward your goal(s).

A project implementation plan is the plan that you create to successfully move your project plan into action. This document identifies your goals and objectives (both short and long-term), lists the project tasks, defines roles and responsibilities, outlines the budget and necessary resources, and lists any assumptions. A project implementation plan sometimes includes a rough schedule, but teams usually set the hard timeline in the execution plan. 

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into each component of an implementation plan and show you how to write your own. 

Components of an Implementation Plan

The following are the key components of and questions that drive a successful implementation plan:

  • Define Goals/Objectives: What do you want to accomplish? The scope of these goals will depend on the size of your undertaking.
  • Schedule Milestones: While task deadlines and project timelines will be formally set in the execution plan, it’s a good idea to outline your schedule in the implementation phase.
  • Allocate Resources: One of the core purposes of an implementation plan is to ensure that you have adequate resources (time, money, and personnel) to successfully execute. So, gather all the data and information you need to determine whether or not you have sufficient resources, and decide how you will procure what’s missing.
  • Designate Team Member Responsibilities: Assign roles. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must define who will execute each individual task, but you should create a general team plan with overall roles that each team member will play. 
  • Define Metrics for Success: How will you determine whether or not you are successful? What data (whether quantitative or qualitative) will you use to measure your results, and how will you accrue the necessary data?
  • Define How You Will Adapt: Make a plan for how you will adapt, if necessary, to changes in your plan. Be sure to consider factors outside your control that could significantly alter the schedule or success of your project, and create emergent strategies ahead of time, so you don’t get derailed down the road — doing so helps build a culture of flexibility, agility, and fast action. 
  • Evaluate Success: In addition to defining your metrics for success, decide how often you will evaluate your progress (e.g., quarterly reviews). 

In the following section, we’ll break down each element of a successful implementation plan to show you how to write one yourself. 

How to Write an Implementation Plan

Implementation plans are split into sections. Each section should be detailed, combining the information from your strategic plan and incorporating the necessary research and data to make your objectives actionable. Here’s how to write each component in an implementation plan:

  • Introduction: The introduction of your implementation plan explains the purpose, vision, and mission statement of your project or initiative. You should identify the high-level risk areas, include any assumptions, and describe how you will identify the value stream in your proposed work. 
  • Management Overview: In this section, you describe how implementation will be managed. This includes who is managing it, the underlying roles and responsibilities, and key points of contact. You should identify the strategy director, who is the person that develops and steers the strategy (this may or not be the same person who is leading implementation). 
  • Major Tasks: This is where you list and describe the specific tasks, actions, and targets in implementation. You should also note the status of any tasks that are already in progress. 
  • Implementation Schedule: You do not need to create a detailed, inflexible task schedule in your implementation plan — we’ll talk later on about how to create a schedule in the execution plan. At this stage, it’s appropriate to simply list the task order and predicted phase durations to roughly outline and allot for all the many moving pieces. 
  • Security and Privacy: Discuss the privacy features and considerations of the software tools, processes, or information that you may use in implementation. Address security issues and how to handle sensitive information (personal data, medical history, financials, etc.). 
  • Implementation Support/Resources List: Describe the various tools, activities, and departments that you require to support successful implementation. These might include hardware or software tools, facilities, and additional external human resources or services.
  • Documentation: In this section, you must attach any other documentation that supports your implementation plan. This could include your strategic plan, confirmation of adequate materials and resources, and a history of past successful projects. 
  • Monitoring Performance: Define the metrics by which you will measure success. How and when will you review your progress? 
  • Acceptance Criteria: How will you define implementation “completion?” This differs from performance monitoring because rather than defining metrics for milestones and appropriate implementation, here, you describe how you will know when you have buy-in from management on your implementation plan. 
  • Glossary: Define any key terms used in your implementation plan. 
  • References: Indicate where you received your information, or list people who support your plan.
  • Project Approval: If you need management’s approval before moving into execution, this section provides space for official signoff. 

To make it easy, you can also use a template to write your implementation plan. This will ensure that you don’t overlook any steps or sections and also provide a professional layout that you can use to deliver to management, clients, or other stakeholders. Download the template for free, and edit the fields to fit the needs of your specific project  — for example, for enterprise resource planning (ERP) . 

implement of business plan

‌ Download Project Implementation Plan Template - Word

Software deployment is another common category of initiative that merits an implementation plan. Use the following template to create a software and systems implementation plan. 

implement of business plan

‌ Download Software Systems Implementation Plan Template - Word

Implementation Planning Best Practices

Although you should include all the detailed aspects listed above in your implementation plan, simply having all these components will not ensure success. Instead, you should focus on the process of implementation and foster the following behaviors within your team:

  • Create a Designated Implementation Team: An implementation team is the team responsible for ensuring successful implementation of a particular initiative. While it’s possible to move through implementation without creating a specific, organized body to oversee the processes, doing so heightens your chances of success. 
  • Create a Shared Vision among All Team Members: Establish “why” you are making strategic changes so that team members have both a greater understanding of the root cause and a deeper connection to their work. Ensure individual compliance, so people don’t feel like their voices went unheard. Adler emphasizes, “Involve the people who will actually be implementing the change during the planning phase. Ideally, the idea will even come from them. This inclusion greatly increases the buy-in and commitment that the team has to actually getting the project implemented.”
  • Choose a Strong Team Leader: The team leader should coach and educate team members along the way and seek out guidance from past implementation plan leaders to improve upon existing implementation processes within the organization. Adler explains that there can be multiple team leaders with slightly different responsibilities: “Each initiative needs a team. The team includes a ’champion,’ someone who is ultimately responsible for getting the thing done. They should also have a ’management sponsor,’ someone that can help the team get through any blocks they might have,” she says.
  • Define Actionable Goals: Stay specific, define current issues, and identify root causes. Methods for defining current problems include brainstorming, surveys, and new member information forms. You can also use the note card method: Ask each team member to answer three questions anonymously ( What is the single biggest issue facing our team?, What will be the most important issue in five years?, What is the best way for our team to be involved in these issues? ), separate the cards into piles with similar answers, and count which answers are the most common within the group. Use the highest ranking similar answers to stimulate discussion of how to proceed. 
  • Create an Action-Oriented Plan: Regardless of the size or predicted duration of your goals, create a plan focused on incremental action (rather than on continual planning). Small steps add up, so stay positive and focus on the future. That said, Hancock reiterates that your plan must be realistic: “Make sure your plan is reality-based,” she says. “You need to know what problem you really should be solving so that you don’t end up solving proxy problems (problems you think are your problem but really aren’t — an example of this is praying for rain when your real problem is that you need water on your field). You need to know what is really going to impact your problem so that you don’t pray for rain, which doesn’t affect anything. And, finally, you need to know what you really need to do to get the work done. What resources do you need? Do you have the resources you need? Can you get the resources you need? If not, your plan won’t work” she continues.
  • Value Communication: The team leader should not only value others’ input, but also make active participation an expectation. Open, honest communication keeps processes transparent and helps generate new ideas. 
  • Continually Monitor Incremental Success: Perform analysis and hold regular progress meetings to analyze your development. Closely monitoring your progress enables you to make adjustments before crisis hits and allows you to adapt before processes or expectations become solidified. Additionally, treating incremental milestones as successes helps foster a culture where employees feel valued for their contributions. Adler explains, “Building a culture where employees expect that projects will be successfully implemented is important. Celebrate successes and reference previous projects frequently.”
  • Involve the Correct People at the Correct Times: This includes defining when and why it is appropriate to involve upper management. As McKenzie says, “Include the critical stakeholders that are part of the project. The beginning of planning should only include the decision makers and not every team member that is part of the project. Outline the critical tasks that are needed first. Once the tasks are outlined, dictate the personnel who will be responsible for the tasks. Once you identify the personnel, then bring in the additional resources to find what other tasks are needed to complete the larger tasks. To draft a proper implementation plan, it is imperative to include the critical stakeholders to outline the initiative.”
  • Publicize Your Plan: While you don’t necessarily want every stakeholder’s input at all times during implementation planning, you do want to maintain transparency with other teams and management. Make your plan available to higher-ups to keep your team accountable down the line.

Difficulties in Implementation Planning

While implementation planning is critical to successful execution, there are several hurdles:

  • Unless you are disciplined about moving into the execution phase, you can get stuck in planning and never get your project off the ground. 
  • In any project, you may struggle to gain buy-in from key stakeholders. 
  • It can also be difficult to break down every goal into an actionable step. If you keep your goals tangible, you can more easily identify targeted actions that will move you toward them. 
  • No matter how well you plan, all projects have a high propensity for failure. Don’t get discouraged, though — dedicated, strategic implementation planning will raise the likelihood of project success. 

Although the above hurdles can be time-consuming and tedious, they are investments that will help you create a culture of trust. Because implementation is an ongoing team effort, you can’t afford to lack buy-in and commitment from any member of your team or direct stakeholders. So, communicate often and honestly, and prioritize teamwork when implementing your strategic plan. 

Still, even though inclusion and teamwork are key to a successful strategy, McKenzie reiterates that implementation planning won’t work if too many people are involved. “Implementation planning often gets derailed due to the input from various people that are not involved in the project,” he says. “There needs to be a clear line between the implementation team who is responsible for the execution and final project completion and the customers, internal or external, who are the recipients of the project. The customers can outline their requirements, but the implementation, tasks, and deliverables should be guided by the implementation team,” he concludes.

Adler explains that another common mistake is taking on too much at once. “It takes a lot of work to get something significantly new implemented,” she notes. “For this reason, the fewer initiatives the business takes on simultaneously, the greater the chances of success. Each initiative will take its team members away from their 'normal' work to some degree, and the business needs to be able to support this. If there are six things the business wants to implement, it is better to take on one or two at a time than to try to tackle all six at once,” she points out.

Tools for Successful Implementation Planning

While the implementation plan itself is a relatively low-tech document, software tools can help you track and manage your progress. From Gantt charts to advancements in information and communication technology, you’ll find popular implementation planning tools and their benefits below.

A Gantt chart is a graphical bar chart that you can use as a project timeline, and many software programs exist that allow you to create these online charts. As you move from implementation to execution, a Gantt chart can help you track individual task progress, see relationships among tasks, and identify critical or at-risk tasks. 

Basic Gantt Chart Template

Download Basic Gantt with Dependencies Template 

Excel | Smartsheet

You can use a PERT (program evaluation and review technique) chart to forecast project duration by creating a timeline for individual tasks and identifying dependent tasks. PERT requires you to forecast three separate timetables — the shortest possible, the most likely, and the longest possible — which forces you to stay flexible in your planning, so you can adapt your schedule as factors inevitably change over the course of a project. 

When you have successfully implemented your plan, you’re ready to move to project execution. Execution planning and monitoring is outside the scope of this article, but below you’ll find more helpful templates to move your project toward successful completion. 

action plan template

Download General Action Plan Template

implement of business plan

Download Project Timeline Template

Project Charter Template

Download Project Charter Template 

Excel | Word | Smartsheet

Advancements in information and communication technology (ICT) have led to the development of cloud-based software that allows for anytime, anywhere access and multiple users. This technological capability is especially helpful for group work, in which multiple team members need to access a certain file simultaneously while also avoiding version control issues. For example, organizations commonly use cloud-based software to create a project management system or performance management system.

Using software to manage your implementation plan can provide the following benefits:

  • Drive Accountability: By creating a single record of project progress, you build transparency (both in team members and processes) and reliability. 
  • Keep Everyone up to Date: All users can access the most current information, which, in turn, cuts out unnecessary communication or erroneous double-work. 
  • Improve Flexibility: Project management software can help you identify bottlenecks and potential problems early on, so you are able to adapt in anticipation. If you are attempting Agile project management, flexibility is crucial. 
  • Support Organizational Commitment: Using a software tool often provides the transparency necessary to get executives to support your project. Once they have visibility into processes and progress, they will be more likely to grant the buy-in you need to procure resources and succeed.

When deciding which tool to use, consider the following:

  • Buying Tools vs. Developing Software Internally: This will depend on the capabilities and availability of your in-house developers as well as on your budget. Additionally, consider whether or not you have the bandwidth to engage with a vendor and maintain the relationship over time. 
  • Open Source vs. Free vs. Subscription: Open source software provides a great opportunity for organizations with limited budgets and development resources to build on top of the existing open platforms. There are also many free programs available (not open source). However, be wary that free options may have limited functionality. For organizations with larger budgets and a greater need for powerful functionality, most paid platforms bill on a subscription basis.
  • Usability Requirements: Consider your team’s skill level. While you might be drawn to a tool with fancy functionality, it will be pointless (and perhaps even detract from project success) if it is too difficult for your team to use or learn. 

Ultimately, software tools are a fantastic way not only to elevate the accuracy of tracking project metrics and progress, but also to save time, build flexibility, and stimulate communication among your team. 

Improve Implementation Efforts with Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

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Prepare a business plan for growth

Planning is key to any business throughout its existence. Every successful business regularly reviews its business plan to ensure it continues to meet its needs. It's sensible to review current performance on a regular basis and identify the most likely strategies for growth.

Once you've reviewed your progress and identified the key growth areas that you want to target, it's time to revisit your business plan and make it a road map to the next stages for your business.

This guide will show how you can turn your business plan from a static document into a dynamic template that will help your business both survive and thrive.

The importance of ongoing business planning

What your business plan should include, drawing up a more sophisticated business plan, plan and allocate resources effectively, use targets to implement your business plan, when and how to review your business plan.

Most potential investors will want to see a business plan before they consider funding your business. Although many businesses are tempted to use their business plans solely for this purpose, a good plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan.

A business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business. It is a tool that can help you attract new funds or that you can use as a strategy document. A good business plan reveals how you would use the bank loan or investment you are asking for.

Ongoing business planning means that you can monitor whether you are achieving your business objectives . A business plan can be used as a tool to identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow. A business plan will also ensure that you meet certain key targets and manage business priorities.

You can maximise your chances of success by adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date. This should include regular business planning meetings which involve key people from the business.

To find out more, see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth .

If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray. Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months.

The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.

Defining your business' purpose in your business plan keeps you focused, inspires your employees and attracts customers.

Your business plan should include a summary of what your business does, how it has developed and where you want it to go. In particular, it should cover your strategy for improving your existing sales and processes to achieve the growth you desire.

You also need to make it clear what timeframe the business plan covers - this will typically be for the next 12 to 24 months.

The plan needs to include:

  • The marketing aims and objectives , for example how many new customers you want to gain and the anticipated size of your customer base at the end of the period. To find out about marketing strategy, see our guide on how to create your marketing strategy .
  • Operational information such as where your business is based, who your suppliers are and the premises and equipment needed.
  • Financial information , including profit and loss forecasts, cash flow forecasts, sales forecasts and audited accounts.
  • A summary of the business objectives, including targets and dates.
  • If yours is an owner-managed business, you may wish to include an exit plan . This includes planning the timing of your departure and the circumstances, e.g. family succession, sale of the business, floating your business or closing it down.

If you intend to present your business plan to an external audience such as investors or banks, you will also need to include:

  • your aims and objectives for each area of the business
  • details of the history of the business, including financial records from the last three years - if this isn't possible, provide details about trading to date
  • the skills and qualifications of the management involved in your business
  • information about the product or service, its distinctiveness and where it fits into the marketplace

If your business has grown to encompass a series of departments or divisions, each with its own targets and objectives, you may need to draw up a more sophisticated business plan.

The individual business plans of the departments and separate business units will need to be integrated into a single strategy document for the entire organisation.

This can be a complex exercise but it's vital if each business unit is to tread a consistent path and not conflict with the overall strategy.

This is not just an issue for large enterprises - many small firms consist of separate business units pursuing different strategies.

To draw up a business plan that marries all the separate units of an organisation requires a degree of co-ordination. It may seem obvious, but make sure all departments are using the same planning template.

Objectives for individual departments

It's important for each department to feel that they are a stakeholder in the plan. Typically, each department head will draft the unit's business plan and then agree on its final form in conjunction with other departments.

Each unit's budgets and priorities must be set so that they fit in with those of the entire organisation. Generally, individual unit plans are required to be more specific and precisely defined than the overall business plan. It's important that the objectives set for business units are realistic and deliverable. However complex it turns out to be, the individual business unit plan needs to be easily understood by the people whose job it is to make it work. They also need to be clear on how their plan fits in with that of the wider organisation.

The business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business so that the objectives set in the plan can be met.

Once you've reviewed your progress to date and identified your strategy for growth, your existing business plan may look dated and may no longer reflect your business' position and future direction.

When you are reviewing your business plan to cover the next stages, it's important to be clear on how you will allocate your resources to make your strategy work.

For example, if a particular business unit or department has been given a target, the business plan should allocate sufficient resources to achieve it. These resources may already be available within the business or may be generated by future activity.

In practice this could mean recruiting more office staff, spending more on marketing or buying more supplies or equipment. You may want to provide funds through current cash flow, generating more profit or seeking external funding. In general, it is always better to fund future growth through revenue generation.

However, you should do some precise budgeting to decide on the right level of resourcing for a particular unit or department. It's important that resources are prioritised, so that areas of a business which are key to delivering the overall aims and objectives are adequately funded. If funding isn't available this may involve making cutbacks in other areas.

A successful business plan should incorporate a set of targets and objectives.

While the overall plan may set strategic goals, these are unlikely to be achieved unless you use SMART objectives or targets, i.e. S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R ealistic and T imely.

Targets help everyone within a business understand what they need to achieve and when they need to achieve it.

You can monitor the performance of employees, teams or a new product or service by using appropriate performance indicators . These can be:

  • sales or profit figures over a given period
  • milestones in new product development
  • productivity benchmarks for individual team members
  • market-share statistics

Targets make it clearer for individual employees to see where they fit within an organisation and what they need to do to help the business meet its objectives. Setting clear objectives and targets and closely monitoring their delivery can make the development of your business more effective. Targets and objectives should also form a key part of employee appraisals, as a means of objectively addressing individuals' progress.

Once you've drawn up your new business plan and put it into practice, it needs to be continually monitored to make sure the objectives are being achieved. This review process should follow an assessment of your progress to date and an analysis of the most promising ways to develop your business. To find out more about these stages see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth .

This process is called the business plan cycle . In some businesses, the cycle may be a continuous process with the plan being regularly updated and monitored. For most businesses, an annual plan - broken down into four quarterly operating plans - is sufficient. However, if a business is heavily sales driven, it can make more sense to have a monthly operating plan, supplemented where necessary with weekly targets and reviews.

It's important to keep in mind that major events in your business' target marketplace (e.g. competitor consolidation, acquisition of a major customer) or in the broader environment (e.g. new legislation) should trigger a review of your strategic objectives.

Regardless of whether or not there are fixed time intervals in your business plan, it must be part of a rolling process, with regular assessment of performance against the plan and agreement of a revised forecast if necessary.

Original document, Prepare a business plan for growth , © Crown copyright 2009 Source: Business Link UK (now GOV.UK/Business ) Adapted for Québec by Info entrepreneurs

Our information is provided free of charge and is intended to be helpful to a large range of UK-based (gov.uk/business) and Québec-based (infoentrepreneurs.org) businesses. Because of its general nature the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and should never be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice. We cannot guarantee that the information applies to the individual circumstances of your business. Despite our best efforts it is possible that some information may be out of date.

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A Manager’s Guide to Successful Strategy Implementation

Team members discussing business strategy implementation

  • 16 Jan 2024

To address business challenges and concerns, organizations must constantly monitor, evaluate, and adjust their strategic initiatives . When it’s time to implement a new strategy, it’s typically up to managers to do so.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is Strategy Implementation?

According to the online course Strategy Execution , strategy implementation is the process of turning plans into action to reach business goals and objectives . In other words, it’s the art of getting stuff done.

Your organization’s success rests on your ability to implement decisions and execute processes efficiently, effectively, and consistently. Yet, that’s often easier said than done.

“If you've looked at the news lately, you've probably seen stories of businesses with great strategies that have failed,” says Harvard Business School Professor Robert Simons, who teaches Strategy Execution . “In each, we find a business strategy that was well formulated but poorly executed.”

You can learn a lot from failed strategies , and understanding how to implement a successful one is vital to leading change. Here are steps you can take to effectively roll out your business strategy .

4 Steps in the Strategy Implementation Process

1. handle tension.

Making tough choices isn’t easy, and you need to manage any tension that arises with change.

In strategy implementation, tension often exists between innovating to grow your business and controlling internal processes and procedures.

For example, leaders at ride-hailing company Uber have faced challenges in balancing growth and control. While Uber has transformed the transportation industry, its need to expand has led to several instances of misconduct due to insufficient internal controls .

You can manage tension and find balance by designing and implementing levers of control , which comprise:

  • Belief systems : Organizational definitions you communicate and reinforce to provide direction to employees
  • Boundary systems : Negatively phrased statements that tell employees what behaviors are forbidden
  • Diagnostic control systems : Formal information systems that help monitor organizational outcomes
  • Interactive control systems : Formal systems managers use to involve themselves in subordinates' decisions that impact strategic uncertainties

These levers help create opposing forces throughout strategy implementation that continuously balance each other. While half of them (belief systems and interactive control systems) promote innovation and inspiration, the others (boundary systems and diagnostic control systems) establish boundaries and threats of punishment when employees cross the line.

To ensure your strategy execution succeeds , use the power of tension when designing management control systems.

2. Align Job Design to Strategy

No matter how well-formulated your business strategy is, it can’t succeed without your team. To prime employees for success, it’s essential to design jobs with strategy in mind.

Job design is structuring jobs’ components to enhance organizational efficiency. Its common elements include task allocation, job development, and feedback and communication.

“Job design is a critical part of strategy execution,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “If individuals don't have the resources they need and aren’t accountable in the right way, they won’t be able to work to their potential.”

According to Simons, you can use the Job Design Optimization Tool (JDOT) to design or test jobs by analyzing their balance of demands and resources.

The tool prompts you to consider:

  • What resources do employees have to get the job done?
  • What measure will we use to evaluate their performance?
  • Who must they influence to achieve their goals?
  • How much support can they expect when reaching out for help?

By answering these questions and ensuring they align with your strategy, employees can directly support your initiatives.

Strategy Execution | Successfully implement strategy within your organization | Learn More

3. Inspire Employee Buy-In

Even if you position employees for success through effective job design, you must still gain their buy-in for strategic goals . According to a Gallup survey , organizations with strong employee engagement experience 10 percent greater customer loyalty and 23 percent higher profitability.

You can garner their support by communicating your organization’s core values —its purpose that impacts what employees should do and how they should act.

According to Strategy Execution , effective core values possess two attributes:

  • Inspiration: They make employees proud of where they work.
  • Guidance: They ensure employees know whose interests to prioritize when making difficult decisions.

Communicating your organization’s core values doesn’t just help bolster support for strategic initiatives; it also provides employees with a purpose to improve performance and workplace accountability .

Another useful tool is ranking systems.

“Ranking systems—which are quite common in practice—have really good features that managers can use to stimulate performance,” says HBS Professor Susan Gallani in Strategy Execution .

Ranking systems provide clear measures—like leadership capabilities—for employees to determine their ownership in your business strategy. Gallani says establishing such measures helps eliminate unknowns that create anxiety.

“What the ranking system does—it takes that shock away,” Gallani says in Strategy Execution . “Everybody's compared at the same level, and that's good because it really highlights the individual contribution of different workers and points out who did better and who did worse.”

By implementing ranking systems, achievement-driven employees can be more likely to invest in your business strategy.

Related: How to Get Employee Buy-In to Execute Your Strategic Initiatives

4. Manage Risk

Even if you take these steps when implementing your business strategy, your initiatives can still fail.

“Competing successfully in any industry involves some level of risk,” Simons says in Strategy Execution . “But high-performing businesses with high-pressure cultures are especially vulnerable. As a manager, you need to know how and why these risks arise and how to avoid them.”

Engaging in risk management —the systematic process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating threats or uncertainties that can affect your organization—is crucial to long-term success.

Three types of pressures that make you vulnerable to risk are:

  • Information management

Business risks aren’t always obvious, making it critical to identify unexpected events or conditions that could impede your organization’s business strategy .

“I think one of the challenges firms face is the ability to properly identify their risks,” says HBS Professor Eugene Soltes in Strategy Execution .

For example, the automotive industry heavily relies on semiconductors. However, due to an unexpected disruption in manufacturing priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies had to navigate production during a semiconductor shortage .

By understanding your strategy’s vulnerabilities, you can prevent failures because of unanticipated events and protect your organization from challenges like increased market competition, evolving technologies, and shifting customer needs .

How to Formulate a Successful Business Strategy | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

Learn How to Oversee Strategy Implementation

Implementing strategy successfully is challenging.

By taking an online strategy course , such as Strategy Execution , you can draw insights from real-world business examples and build the strategy execution skills and knowledge to achieve your organization’s objectives.

Do you want to improve your strategy implementation? Explore Strategy Execution —one of our online strategy courses —and download our free strategy e-book to take the first step toward doing so.

This post was updated and republished on January 16, 2024. It was originally published on February 25, 2020.

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The Business Planning Process: 6 Steps To Creating a New Plan

The Business Planning Process 6 Steps to Create a New Plan

In this article, we will define and explain the basic business planning process to help your business move in the right direction.

What is Business Planning?

Business planning is the process whereby an organization’s leaders figure out the best roadmap for growth and document their plan for success.

The business planning process includes diagnosing the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, improving its efficiency, working out how it will compete against rival firms in the future, and setting milestones for progress so they can be measured.

The process includes writing a new business plan. What is a business plan? It is a written document that provides an outline and resources needed to achieve success. Whether you are writing your plan from scratch, from a simple business plan template , or working with an experienced business plan consultant or writer, business planning for startups, small businesses, and existing companies is the same.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

The best business planning process is to use our business plan template to streamline the creation of your plan: Download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template and finish your business plan & financial model in hours.

The Better Business Planning Process

The business plan process includes 6 steps as follows:

  • Do Your Research
  • Calculate Your Financial Forecast
  • Draft Your Plan
  • Revise & Proofread
  • Nail the Business Plan Presentation

We’ve provided more detail for each of these key business plan steps below.

1. Do Your Research

Conduct detailed research into the industry, target market, existing customer base,  competitors, and costs of the business begins the process. Consider each new step a new project that requires project planning and execution. You may ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your business goals?
  • What is the current state of your business?
  • What are the current industry trends?
  • What is your competition doing?

There are a variety of resources needed, ranging from databases and articles to direct interviews with other entrepreneurs, potential customers, or industry experts. The information gathered during this process should be documented and organized carefully, including the source as there is a need to cite sources within your business plan.

You may also want to complete a SWOT Analysis for your own business to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential risks as this will help you develop your strategies to highlight your competitive advantage.

2. Strategize

Now, you will use the research to determine the best strategy for your business. You may choose to develop new strategies or refine existing strategies that have demonstrated success in the industry. Pulling the best practices of the industry provides a foundation, but then you should expand on the different activities that focus on your competitive advantage.

This step of the planning process may include formulating a vision for the company’s future, which can be done by conducting intensive customer interviews and understanding their motivations for purchasing goods and services of interest. Dig deeper into decisions on an appropriate marketing plan, operational processes to execute your plan, and human resources required for the first five years of the company’s life.

3. Calculate Your Financial Forecast

All of the activities you choose for your strategy come at some cost and, hopefully, lead to some revenues. Sketch out the financial situation by looking at whether you can expect revenues to cover all costs and leave room for profit in the long run.

Begin to insert your financial assumptions and startup costs into a financial model which can produce a first-year cash flow statement for you, giving you the best sense of the cash you will need on hand to fund your early operations.

A full set of financial statements provides the details about the company’s operations and performance, including its expenses and profits by accounting period (quarterly or year-to-date). Financial statements also provide a snapshot of the company’s current financial position, including its assets and liabilities.

This is one of the most valued aspects of any business plan as it provides a straightforward summary of what a company does with its money, or how it grows from initial investment to become profitable.

4. Draft Your Plan

With financials more or less settled and a strategy decided, it is time to draft through the narrative of each component of your business plan . With the background work you have completed, the drafting itself should be a relatively painless process.

If you have trouble writing convincing prose, this is a time to seek the help of an experienced business plan writer who can put together the plan from this point.

5. Revise & Proofread

Revisit the entire plan to look for any ideas or wording that may be confusing, redundant, or irrelevant to the points you are making within the plan. You may want to work with other management team members in your business who are familiar with the company’s operations or marketing plan in order to fine-tune the plan.

Finally, proofread thoroughly for spelling, grammar, and formatting, enlisting the help of others to act as additional sets of eyes. You may begin to experience burnout from working on the plan for so long and have a need to set it aside for a bit to look at it again with fresh eyes.

6. Nail the Business Plan Presentation

The presentation of the business plan should succinctly highlight the key points outlined above and include additional material that would be helpful to potential investors such as financial information, resumes of key employees, or samples of marketing materials. It can also be beneficial to provide a report on past sales or financial performance and what the business has done to bring it back into positive territory.

Business Planning Process Conclusion

Every entrepreneur dreams of the day their business becomes wildly successful.

But what does that really mean? How do you know whether your idea is worth pursuing?

And how do you stay motivated when things are not going as planned? The answers to these questions can be found in your business plan. This document helps entrepreneurs make better decisions and avoid common pitfalls along the way. ​

Business plans are dynamic documents that can be revised and presented to different audiences throughout the course of a company’s life. For example, a business may have one plan for its initial investment proposal, another which focuses more on milestones and objectives for the first several years in existence, and yet one more which is used specifically when raising funds.

Business plans are a critical first step for any company looking to attract investors or receive grant money, as they allow a new organization to better convey its potential and business goals to those able to provide financial resources.

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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink business plan consultants can create your business plan for you.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Use This Simple Business Plan Template

How to Create and Implement a Business Plan

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  • Business Planning & Strategy
  • Creating a Business Plan
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Why Is It Important for Entrepreneurs to Develop Financial Plans for Their Companies?

How to start a candy store business, how to start a women's clothing retail business.

  • How to Start a Novelty Business
  • How to Reset Your Computer Back a Day

When you begin writing a business plan, it may feel like you're writing a recipe for success, but in fact, it's an exploratory document guiding you into the unknown. You won't know whether your estimates are correct until you begin implementing the plan. The better your plan is, the more likely your implementation will be a success.

Writing a Realistic Business Plan

Too often, aspiring entrepreneurs go with their gut and leap at what they believe will be a profitable opportunity, only to have their plans crash and burn. According to Entrepreneur , some of the main reasons businesses fail is because they don't:

  • Offer value to the marketplace
  • Connect with their target audience
  • Maximize on sales conversions
  • Compete well enough against competitors
  • Accurately estimate costs

Eliminate these problems by writing a realistic business plan based on solid research and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Find out what people are currently paying for similar products, what the competitors offer, and identify where the most likely place in the market is for your company.

If you don't know what your costs will be, start getting estimates and include those in your business plan. If you don't know what digital ads will cost in your market, start running test ads as soon as you have a product you can sell and then update your business plan with those important details.

Business Plan Implementation Example

Suppose you want to open a vintage clothing store. You research the local market and discover there is a demand but no retailers in your area. After some preliminary research, you realize that there is a Value Village five miles away where people can buy used clothing for less than you could sell it because of your expenses, even if you got your clothing for free.

After more research, you decide to place your store in the center of a high-income neighborhood, where you can hand-select clothing of vintage brands and sell it at premium prices in a boutique. Ironically, most of your starting inventory comes from items you've purchased from that Value Village. Other items can be purchased from church bazaars and yard sales in neighboring communities, where your clients are reluctant to go shopping.

Without having done the research, you would most likely have been trying to compete with an established leader in your market, which is one of the major causes of business failure. Instead, you've discovered a new market, and you're able to leverage your competitor's weakness to capture the new market, reselling discount used clothing in a curated boutique setting at premium prices to people who refuse to walk into a discount store.

Plan for Change

You may see an open opportunity in your market today, that doesn't mean it will be open six months from now. If you see a new coffee shop open in your neighborhood and it begins to thrive, you'll most likely soon see two or three competitors open nearby. If you start selling widgets with free shipping, you should expect your competitors to start offering free shipping too.

As the U.S. Small Business Administration notes, you should review your business plan monthly and compare what is happening with what you were expecting when you wrote the plan. If things have changed, consider whether you need to revise your plan.

Even if things are going badly, it's not always necessary to scrap your plan. Perhaps you launched your business at a bad time, or your implementation needs to be modified to put things on track. On the other hand, if business is booming, you may need to modify your plan to account for your low estimates by investing more in product inventory, finding faster suppliers, or hiring additional staff.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration: How to Know When to Change Your Business Plan
  • Entrepreneur: 10 Reasons Why 7 Out of 10 Businesses Fail Within 10 Years
  • SCORE: Business Plan Templates

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines and online publications including About.com, Re/Max and American Express.

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1.1: Chapter 1 – Developing a Business Plan

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  • Page ID 21274

  • Lee A. Swanson
  • University of Saskatchewan

Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter, you will be able to

  • Describe the purposes for business planning
  • Describe common business planning principles
  • Explain common business plan development guidelines and tools
  • List and explain the elements of the business plan development process
  • Explain the purposes of each element of the business plan development process
  • Explain how applying the business plan development process can aid in developing a business plan that will meet entrepreneurs’ goals

This chapter describes the purposes, principles, and the general concepts and tools for business planning, and the process for developing a business plan.

Purposes for Developing Business Plans

Business plans are developed for both internal and external purposes. Internally, entrepreneurs develop business plans to help put the pieces of their business together. Externally, the most common purpose is to raise capital.

Internal Purposes

As the road map for a business’s development, the business plan

  • Defines the vision for the company
  • Establishes the company’s strategy
  • Describes how the strategy will be implemented
  • Provides a framework for analysis of key issues
  • Provides a plan for the development of the business
  • Helps the entrepreneur develop and measure critical success factors
  • Helps the entrepreneur to be realistic and test theories

External Purposes

The business plan provides the most complete source of information for valuation of the business. Thus, it is often the main method of describing a company to external audiences such as potential sources for financing and key personnel being recruited. It should assist outside parties to understand the current status of the company, its opportunities, and its needs for resources such as capital and personnel.

Business Plan Development Principles

Hindle and Mainprize (2006) suggested that business plan writers must strive to effectively communicate their expectations about the nature of an uncertain future and to project credibility. The liabilities of newness make communicating the expected future of new ventures much more difficult than for existing businesses. Consequently, business plan writers should adhere to five specific communication principles .

First, business plans must be written to meet the expectations of targeted readers in terms of what they need to know to support the proposed business. They should also lay out the milestones that investors or other targeted readers need to know. Finally, writers must clearly outline the opportunity , the context within the proposed venture will operate (internal and external environment), and the business model (Hindle & Mainprize, 2006).

There are also five business plan credibility principles that writers should consider. Business plan writers should build and establish their credibility by highlighting important and relevant information about the venture team . Writers need to elaborate on the plans they outline in their document so that targeted readers have the information they need to assess the plan’s credibility. To build and establish credibility, they must integrate scenarios to show that the entrepreneur has made realistic assumptions and has effectively anticipated what the future holds for their proposed venture. Writers need to provide comprehensive and realistic financial links between all relevant components of the plan. Finally, they must outline the deal , or the value that targeted readers should expect to derive from their involvement with the venture (Hindle & Mainprize, 2006).

General Guidelines for Developing Business Plans

Many businesses must have a business plan to achieve their goals. Using a standard format helps the reader understand that the you have thought everything through, and that the returns justify the risk. The following are some basic guidelines for business plan development.

As You Write Your Business Plan

1. If appropriate, include nice, catchy, professional graphics on your title page to make it appealing to targeted readers, but don’t go overboard.

2. Bind your document so readers can go through it easily without it falling apart. You might use a three-ring binder, coil binding, or a similar method. Make sure the binding method you use does not obscure the information next to where it is bound.

3. Make certain all of your pages are ordered and numbered correctly.

4. The usual business plan convention is to number all major sections and subsections within your plan using the format as follows:

1. First main heading

1.1 First subheading under the first main heading

1.1.1. First sub-subheading under the first subheading

2. Second main heading

2.1 First subheading under the second main heading

Use the styles and references features in Word to automatically number and format your section titles and to generate your table of contents. Be sure that the last thing you do before printing your document is update your automatic numbering and automatically generated tables. If you fail to do this, your numbering may be incorrect.

5. Prior to submitting your plan, be 100% certain each of the following requirements are met:

  • Everything must be completely integrated. The written part must say exactly the same thing as the financial part.
  • All financial statements must be completely linked and valid. Make sure all of your balance sheets balance.
  • Everything must be correct. There should be NO spelling, grammar, sentence structure, referencing, or calculation errors.
  • Your document must be well organized and formatted. The layout you choose should make the document easy to read and comprehend. All of your diagrams, charts, statements, and other additions should be easy to find and be located in the parts of the plan best suited to them.
  • In some cases it can strengthen your business plan to show some information in both text and table or figure formats. You should avoid unnecessary repetition , however, as it is usually unnecessary—and even damaging—to state the same thing more than once.
  • You should include all the information necessary for readers to understand everything in your document.
  • The terms you use in your plan should be clear and consistent. For example, the following statement in a business plan would leave a reader completely confused: “There is a shortage of 100,000 units with competitors currently producing 25,000. We can help fill this huge gap in demand with our capacity to produce 5,000 units.”
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What Is Implementation Planning? And How to Write Your Plan

Discover what goes into implementation planning, why it’s important in project management, and how to build your implementation plan.

[Featured Image] A project manager in a yellow sweater uses their laptop and a whiteboard to work on implementation planning.

What is implementation planning?  

Implementation planning is a process in project management that entails creating step-by-step instructions for completing projects. The purpose of this process is to inform members of a project team of the concrete actions and individual tasks required to achieve the team’s strategic goals.

What is an implementation plan? 

An implementation plan is a written document that outlines a team’s steps to accomplish a goal or project. Having such a document enables team members and key stakeholders to understand all aspects of a project before executing it. 

Although you may find implementation plans that differ from one project to another, there are several components you may find in common, including:

Project objectives 

Scope statement 

Risks analysis 

Resources and tools list 

Outline of deliverables 

Implementation strategy 

Implementation schedule

Team roles and responsibilities 

Implementation plan metrics

Benefits of creating an implementation plan

Creating an implementation plan for your project means you have an actionable roadmap for the whole project and a mechanism to hold team members and stakeholders accountable, simplify communication, and offer transparency.

Strategic plan vs. implementation plan

Implementation plans are sometimes referred to as strategic plans, but there is an important distinction between these two terms. A strategic plan details the strategies you’ll use to complete a project, while an implementation plan details the step-by-step actions you’ll take to complete a project.  

How to write an implementation plan 

Before you start writing your implementation plan, there are several things you’ll need. Be sure to get an official clearance from decision makers and stakeholders for the project to be launched. In addition, the project team will need to have conducted thorough research into the key resources the team will need and the time tasks will take to complete. 

With this preparation behind you, follow the steps below to build your implementation plan.  

1. Define your project goals.

A project goal refers to what a project team will accomplish beyond the tangible outcomes or deliverables. Think of it as what a project outcome or deliverable can enable for others. For example, your project goal might be to develop software that makes it easier for business owners to reach customers. 

2. Define outcomes and deliverables.

Along with goals, you will need to define the project’s outcomes and deliverables. These are the expected results of every step you take to complete a project or the final product. Examples of outcomes and deliverables include the construction of a building, the development of a software program, and the launch of a new product line. 

You’ll also need to define KPIs (key performance indicators) that will determine how your project is measured and monitored at every phase.  

3. Assess potential risks. 

Every project carries with it some risks that may affect the outcome. It’s important to know project risks before you launch the project and implement the steps to complete it. Risks might include unforeseen delays, costs, or even changes in the industry the project affects.  

4. Set tasks and due dates.

Work with team members to determine the specific tasks and subtasks that must be completed for the project to come to fruition. Start by breaking the project goal, outcomes, and deliverables into actionable steps and lining them up in the order in which they need to be completed. Then, determine the actual deadlines for each step. 

5. Assign team member roles and responsibilities. 

Once you have established the individual project tasks and deadlines, the next step is to work with your team to assign member roles and responsibilities. Take team members’ strengths and experience into account when assigning tasks, as well as their availability during the project’s duration. 

6. Assemble your implementation plan. 

Now that you have all the components of your implementation plan, the final step is to assemble them into a coherent document that includes the following: 

Project objectives

Scope statement

Implementation strategy

Risks analysis

Resources and tools list

Outline of deliverables

Implementation schedule 

Team roles and responsibilities

Implementation planning key takeaways

Remember: The implementation planning process can enable team members to understand all aspects of a project before executing it, as well as simplify communication among team members and stakeholders, and offer transparency.

Follow these best practices to get the most out of your project management process:

Make use of tools and software for project management, such as Gantt charts and PERT charts . 

When in doubt about a particular aspect of your project, conduct additional research and consult subject matter experts. 

Centralize communication using your project management tool so that everyone receives project updates and announcements at the same time.  

Learn project management with Coursera

Taking online courses can be a great way to learn more about project management and explore career options. 

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

  • 11.4 The Business Plan
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
  • 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
  • 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Review Questions
  • Discussion Questions
  • Case Questions
  • Suggested Resources
  • 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
  • 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
  • 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
  • 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
  • 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
  • 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
  • 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
  • 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
  • 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
  • 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
  • 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
  • 5.3 Competitive Analysis
  • 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
  • 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
  • 6.3 Design Thinking
  • 6.4 Lean Processes
  • 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
  • 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
  • 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
  • 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
  • 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
  • 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
  • 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
  • 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
  • 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
  • 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
  • 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
  • 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
  • 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
  • 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
  • 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
  • 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
  • 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
  • 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
  • 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
  • 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
  • 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
  • 11.2 Designing the Business Model
  • 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
  • 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
  • 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
  • 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
  • 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
  • 13.2 Corporations
  • 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
  • 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
  • 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
  • 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
  • 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
  • 14.1 Types of Resources
  • 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
  • 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
  • 15.1 Launching Your Venture
  • 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
  • 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
  • 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
  • 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
  • A | Suggested Resources

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different purposes of a business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a full business plan

Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.

As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Business Plan Overview

Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.

Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.

The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.

Purposes of a Business Plan

A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.

Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.

A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.

You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.

Link to Learning

Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.

If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.

Types of Business Plans

The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.

Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary

As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.

A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.

In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.

Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.

The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.

Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .

Are You Ready?

Create a brief business plan.

Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.

  • These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
  • Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?

Full Business Plan

Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.

Executive Summary

The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.

Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.

Business Description

This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.

Industry Analysis and Market Strategies

Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.

Operations and Management Plan

In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.

Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.

Marketing Plan

Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.

Financial Plan

A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.

Entrepreneur In Action

Laughing man coffee.

Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.

A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.

Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.

  • You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
  • Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
  • What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?

What Can You Do?

Textbooks for change.

Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?

Work It Out

Franchisee set out.

A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.

  • What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
  • Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?

This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.

  • 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
  • 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” Foundr.com . July 12, 2015. https://foundr.com/4-startup-case-studies-failure/
  • 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestreptalks/2017/02/15/inventor-of-the-cut-buddy-paid-youtubers-to-spark-sales-he-wasnt-ready-for-a-video-to-go-viral/#3eb540ce798a
  • 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6902-business-plan-competitions-entrepreneurs.html
  • 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf
  • 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2019-RBPC-Competition-Rules%20-Format.pdf
  • 54 Foodstart. http://foodstart.com
  • 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018. https://givingcompass.org/article/hugh-jackman-journey-to-starting-a-social-enterprise-coffee-company/

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  • Authors: Michael Laverty, Chris Littel
  • Publisher/website: OpenStax
  • Book title: Entrepreneurship
  • Publication date: Jan 16, 2020
  • Location: Houston, Texas
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Project management

Implementation plan: What to include and 5 essential steps

Ben Brigden - Senior Content Marketing Specialist - Author

A project plan or project implementation plan is a key strategic document that keeps teams on track throughout a project, indicating how a project is expected to run along with who’s responsible for what. It’s an extremely valuable planning tool — one that can be the difference between project success and project failure.

It’s also a fairly comprehensive document, and if you’ve never built one before, the concept can feel a bit overwhelming.

In this post, we’ll give you a five-step plan for building and implementing a project plan. First, we’ll walk you through what a project implementation plan looks like, why you should create one for every project, and what each plan should include.

  • What is a project implementation plan?

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A project implementation plan is a document that defines how a project will be executed. Implementation plans outline the project's goals, scope, and purpose, as well as listing the resources (including team members) necessary for a successful project.

Project implementation plans are sometimes called “strategic plans” because they lay out the strategy proposed for a project. But we like the longer name because it conveys more than just strategy: It suggests a process going into action, and it answers the question of how a team will arrive at a goal.

A project implementation plan serves as a critical reference point throughout the project's lifecycle, ensuring everyone is on the same page and everything is on the right track. It's a vital document for guiding decision-making, mitigating risks, and ultimately ensuring the successful completion of the project from start to finish.

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The Teamwork.com guide to project management

Get best practices, tips, and methodologies to enhance your project management approach with our free guide.

  • Why every project should start with an implementation plan

Why start each project with an implementation plan? Simple: because you want the project to succeed, and you want an objective way to know if it succeeded.

Starting each project with an implementation plan accomplishes quite a bit for most teams and businesses, primarily because it creates a shared sense of vision and understanding and points toward a clearly defined goal.

Most teams realize these four benefits (and plenty more) when they create a thorough and functional project implementation plan:

It creates an actionable roadmap of the scope of work

Projects run the gamut from extremely simple to lengthy and complex. The more complicated and interconnected the project, the greater the chance for confusion.

Whatever the level of complexity, chaos ensues when team members aren’t clear on what to do, when to do it, or why they’re doing it.

A project implementation plan is the antidote to this kind of chaos because it shows all parties what the path forward looks like (the roadmap ) — as well as what is and isn’t on that path (the scope of work).

It makes goals and communication transparent to all stakeholders

When all parties understand the goals of a project, you lessen confusion around those goals. There may still be disagreement on how to best achieve a goal, but there’s no confusion about what the team is aiming to accomplish.

Also, a central, accessible document containing all relevant aspects of a project creates a single source of truth for teams, managers, executives, vendors, customers, and more. When anyone and everyone associated with a project is working from the same playbook, teams and businesses enjoy clearer, more focused, and more transparent communication .

It holds your team members accountable

Around 70% of businesses report having at least one failed project in the last year. We’ve all been part of a project where no one seemed accountable for problems or even total project failure. Of course, no one likes taking the blame and finding a scapegoat isn’t always terribly productive. Still, if you have a team member or business unit that’s consistently failing to deliver, you want to know.

A strong project implementation plan makes clear who’s responsible for what within a project. It gives project managers and team leads a stronger understanding of task accountability, helping to hold team members accountable for their work.

And most of the time, better accountability comes with better results!

It helps your entire team stay on the same page

You’ll never completely eliminate scope creep (something that occurred within more than a third of projects in 2021), nor should you. Parameters for various deliverables or even the entire project can and do change over the course of a project, and sometimes a change in scope is clearly the right decision.

But not all scope creep is good. Especially with longer or more complex projects, it’s common for team members to lose focus on the top-level goals — not to mention the specific steps needed to reach those goals.

This loss of focus is preventable, though, as is the scope creep that grows from it. A project implementation plan keeps the big-picture goals and the steps required to meet them in focus. When a change in scope is warranted, it should be documented within or alongside the implementation plan.

  • Essential components of a great implementation plan

Most well-designed implementation plans contain these essential items, though it’s important to note that implementation plans vary widely, just like the projects they’re attached to.

These elements comprise a solid foundation for your next implementation plan. Start with these, but feel free to add additional elements that make sense for your industry or project type.

1) Scope statement

The scope statement outlines the scope of the project — essentially, what work will be performed in the project (and what work would be considered out of scope).

2) Project milestones, goals, and key objectives

Project goals are the high-level outcomes the project aims to achieve. Key objectives are the steps or intermediate outcomes that will occur throughout the project in support of the project goals. Project milestones are the points of measurement along the way, usually significant or tangible in some way.

Examples of milestones across a few industry contexts include wireframe completed, beta launch, copy drafted, or the completion of a phase, segment, or function that’s part of the whole.

3) Detailed resource plan

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A project’s resource plan indicates which human resources are involved along with their time or workload commitment. You should also include materials and equipment (typically, only what’s beyond the standard stuff every employee already has) needed for successful project completion.

4) Estimated implementation timeline

A key element of any implementation plan is a concrete timeframe for the project (and its implementation). These dates are rarely perfect at the outset of a project, but they provide a goal to work toward and give stakeholders some context for what they’re signing off on.

Most project teams use project management software for creating project timelines , often in the form of a Gantt chart.

5) Implementation plan milestones

Your implementation plan may benefit from its own set of internal milestones, separate from the broader project milestones. These internal milestones are more useful on highly complex projects with multiple levels of approval and numerous departments supplying information.

Implementation plan milestones could look like these: initial stakeholder information gathered, plan drafted, plan discussed and feedback incorporated, final sign-off by all stakeholders.

6) Implementation plan KPIs & metrics

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Your key performance indicators (KPIs) or other metrics reveal how well the team is accomplishing the implementation plan. Establish measurable indicators, state what they are within the plan itself, and then track them over the course of the project.

Here, a quality project management tool is essential if you want to succeed with measurements that span the length of a project.

  • 5 easy steps to create your project implementation plan

Now you know what needs to go into your project implementation plan — but how do you actually create one and get the implementation process started?

We know this process can seem daunting at first, and it does take some upfront work. But the process doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Follow these five easy steps to create an implementation plan that helps keep your project and your team on track. Then, as future projects arise, use these questions as a template of sorts to create a quality implementation and management plan for each one.

Teamwork.com’s project management template is an easy way to start building your plan today.

  • 1) Define your goals and milestones

Before you can create a plan for how to get where you want to go, you need to spend some time deciding where you want to go .

So, before you start building out any other part of a project implementation or action plan, start by devoting time to the what and the where:

What are you trying to accomplish? (Project-level goals)

What needs to happen to reach those goals? (Project objectives)

What are the intermediate steps or milestones that demonstrate progress along the path toward the project’s goals? (Project milestones)

Once you establish goals, objectives, and milestones — and achieve buy-in from key stakeholders and project team members on those goals and milestones — you’re ready to proceed to step two.

  • 2) Conduct research by interviewing, surveying, or observing

Research is one key element of a successful implementation plan. In many project contexts, this research looks like interviewing or surveying various stakeholders, subject matter experts, department leaders, and so on — gathering the information necessary to build your implementation strategy.

Sometimes observation is a key strategy as well: Watching what another team (or vendor or external organization) does or has done on a similar project can provide valuable insights.

  • 3) Brainstorm and map out potential risks

Every project has inherent potential risks. Some of these can be foreseen, while others seem to come out of nowhere. Take the pandemic as one example of the latter category. Yes, businesses should have business continuity and disaster management policies in place, but few — if any — businesses had a concrete plan of action lined up for a global pandemic.

So, there are risks you can’t plan for and could never predict. But there are plenty of risks that, with a little bit of brainstorming and planning, should be easy to discover. These are the ones you need to target as you perform a risk assessment.

Map out the known risks, along with potential impacts and mitigation strategies for each one. Some risks are entirely avoidable so long as you take appropriate risk management actions. Others may not be completely preventable, but having a plan in place will greatly reduce their impact.

  • 4) Assign and delegate essential tasks

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Every good implementation plan will include a work plan or action plan that lists out the tasks within the project to a certain level of granularity. These tasks eventually get plugged into a calendar or schedule of some sort, often within project planning software suites like Teamwork.com .

No matter what method or platform you’re using, at this stage, you need to map out or schedule these tasks. As a part of this step, make sure you assign and delegate tasks to specific resources (or, at minimum, specific departments or work groups).

This step is key to successful project execution, as it assigns responsibility and accountability for every task included in the plan, bringing clarity to who’s doing what and when.

  • 5) Finalize your plan and allocate resources

Next up is allocating resources. You already assigned tasks to people (or departments) in the previous step, so what do we mean here that’s any different?

Put simply, there’s a difference between putting on paper that “Sam will handle task 35” (assigning tasks) and actually making sure that Sam has the capacity to handle task 35 (allocating resources).

In step 4, all you really did was determine who’s doing what. Now, during resource allocation, you make sure that your assignment plan is achievable. Resource allocation means assigning tasks to resources that are actually available. In other words, you need to make sure task 35 doesn’t land on Sam’s desk the same day as 10 other tasks.

Last, once everything else about your plan has been crafted, vetted, and approved, it’s time to finalize the plan. Usually, this involves sending out the completed plan for a final round of approvals.

Once approved, the project implementation plan becomes a single source of truth for the team and other stakeholders. So make sure to store the plan in a central, accessible location. ( Teamwork.com is a great place for this , if you ask us!)

  • Create an effective project plan with Teamwork.com

Creating a project implementation plan requires careful planning and attention to innumerable details, but the results are worth the investment. Increase your project success rate, productivity, morale, and more by keeping teams focused on the right shared outcomes.

We’ve hinted at this a few times already, but project implementation planning (along with all the other documents and documentation you need to prepare to get a project off the ground) is infinitely easier when you use the right tools.

Teamwork.com is a powerful all-in-one platform for client work — including complete operations control and project management — that gives you a central location to store project data, robust yet flexible templates, and visibility into current and past project data. Teamwork.com can cut down on the detail work and keep your information organized in a digestible, more user-friendly way, ultimately empowering you and your teams to achieve better work for your clients, be more profitable, and stay on track.

See more of what Teamwork.com can do for your business now — get started now for free, view our comprehensive pricing plans , or book a demo today.

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  • Implementation plan

Implementation plan template

Taking your business goals from “not started” to “accomplished” can feel overwhelming. Luckily, an implementation plan template can break down your goal into manageable, achievable steps. Learn how to create one.

Sign up to create your own template.


Recommended apps.

Let’s say you want to renovate your bathroom. How would you go about it? You probably wouldn’t jump right in without a plan in place—that’s a recipe for flooded floors and an expensive repair. Instead, you’d likely think through all the actions you need to take to turn your old bathroom into an updated one before getting started.

Business goals are a lot like that. To achieve them, you need a detailed understanding of the steps that will take you from start to finish. Depending on your goal, planning out all the steps can feel like a big task. That’s where implementation plan templates come in.

[product ui] Implementation plan project in Asana, spreadsheet-style project view (List)

What is an implementation plan?

You should create your project implementation plan during the planning phase , before kicking off your initiative (aka the project or plan of action designed to achieve your specific goal). To learn more about how to build out an implementation plan, read our article on creating an implementation plan .

What is an implementation plan template?

An implementation plan template is a reusable resource you can use as a starting point to identify what steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Digital implementation plan templates help you view and track every step you need to take to achieve your goal—and because they’re reusable, you can use them to map out a process for accomplishing similar goals down the line. And that means less work about work —always a win in our book.

How to use an implementation plan template

Once you’ve created your baseline implementation plan template, using it is easy. You can simply duplicate the template at the start of every initiative and then fill out the information needed to achieve that specific goal.

To get you started, let’s take a look at what to include in your basic implementation plan template.

What to include in an implementation plan template

Your baseline implementation plan template will serve as a roadmap for all your similar goals going forward. That reusability is key—so think about how to build out your baseline template in a way that will easily duplicate across initiatives. Typically, this means including repeatable steps or phases in your baseline template that can scale across initiatives. 

The easiest way to do this is by separating the template into phases (such as research, planning, and execution). Once you’ve identified the project phases, you can add in more detail that you’ll use to track progress across your specific goals. 

Here’s some basic information you can include in your implementation plan template:

The owner for each task or action item

The action’s start date and deadline

The duration of the action

Action status

Action priority

Action progress 

Then, once you’ve kicked off a specific initiative, you can duplicate the template and add in goal-specific information. Plus, you can add dependencies to any tasks that depend on each other for completion and set milestones to mark specific points along the goal’s timeline (such as when you complete a goal phase). With an implementation plan template, you’ll achieve your goals in no time. 

Integrated features

Custom fields . Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization. 

Timeline View . Timeline View is a Gantt-style project view that displays all of your tasks in a horizontal bar chart. Not only can you see each task’s start and end date, but you can also see dependencies between tasks. With Timeline View, you can easily track how the pieces of your plan fit together. Plus, when you can see all of your work in one place, it’s easy to identify and address dependency conflicts before they start, so you can hit all of your goals on schedule. 

Milestones . Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal. 

Dependencies . Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well. 

Dropbox . Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Dropbox file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane.

Google Workplace . Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

Zoom . Asana and Zoom are partnering up to help teams have more purposeful and focused meetings. The Zoom + Asana integration makes it easy to prepare for meetings, hold actionable conversations, and access information once the call is over. Meetings begin in Asana, where shared meeting agendas provide visibility and context about what will be discussed. During the meeting, team members can quickly create tasks within Zoom, so details and action items don’t get lost. And once the meeting is over, the Zoom + Asana integration pulls meeting transcripts and recordings into Asana, so all collaborators and stakeholders can review the meeting as needed.

Miro . Connect Miro and Asana to streamline workflows and see the full picture of every project, all in one place. Embed Miro boards into Asana project briefs, allowing team members to interact, view, comment, or edit directly from within Asana. Or, attach an existing or new Miro board to any Asana task, automatically inviting task collaborators to view, comment, or edit the board. 

Benefits of a digital implementation plan template 

Static implementation plan templates—like those created in Excel—are a helpful way to see your timeline and tasks at a high level, but they lack the functionality needed to really hit your goals. In contrast, digital implementation plan templates created in a project management tool let you track and manage everything—from communication to goal progress and any potential roadblocks—all in one place. 

Here are a few other benefits of using a digital implementation plan template: 

Increase goal success by breaking down your high-level goal into actionable, achievable steps at the start of the initiative. 

Track goal progress in different views, including Kanban boards and Gantt charts .

Easily monitor and manage every phase of your project.

See which team members are responsible for what and buy when. 

Quickly view any upcoming or overdue milestones, so you can adjust timelines and work accordingly. 

Monitor the progress and status of each action item or deliverable .

Easily collaborate and communicate with your project team as well as internal and external stakeholders. 

Why should you use an implementation plan template?

An implementation plan template can help you achieve your business goals by outlining every step you need to take to accomplish a given initiative. When created in a project management tool , a digital template also serves as a reusable baseline for similar initiatives, saving you time and helping you create a streamlined process for achieving goals. 

What should you include in your implementation plan template?

Since your template will serve as a guide for future goals, the baseline template should include any information you’ll want to duplicate and include for similar undertakings. This will likely include information such as goal phases; the status, duration, and priority of action items; and the progress and stage for each action item.

When should you create an implementation plan for your goal?

You should create an implementation plan at the beginning of your goal process, when you’re still defining your business goals, conducting your risk assessment , and assigning responsibilities. To learn more about how to create an implementation plan for a specific goal, check out our article on building an implementation plan from scratch.

What’s the difference between an implementation plan and a strategic plan?

Strategic plans and implementation plans go hand-in-hand. A strategic plan outlines at a high level what strategies you’re going to take to achieve a business goal. An implementation plan, on the other hand, is a step-by-step action plan that includes the exact actions you’ll take to accomplish the goal. Think of it this way: A strategic plan includes what you’re going to do and why (typically outlined by your company’s vision and mission statements). An implementation plan outlines how you’re going to accomplish those goals, as well as when you’re planning to move forward with the necessary steps and who will help you achieve them. 

Create an implementation plan template with Asana

See how an implementation plan template can help you achieve your business goals.

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Implementation Plan: What is it & How to Create it? (Steps & Process)

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Organizations are successful because of good implementation, not good business plans ~Guy Kawasaki

Planning is necessary to map out what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. However, without the execution of those plans, you won’t get anywhere. The implementation of an idea is how you start your journey towards achieving your goals and eventually reach your destination.

For businesses, an implementation plan plays a crucial role in the development and execution of an idea, project, or methodology. In fact, the  Harvard Business Review reported  that companies with an implementation and execution plan saw 70 percent greater returns than those who don’t have one. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Let’s first quickly understand what is an implementation plan, how do you make one, and how to execute it successfully? Read on…

What is an Implementation Plan? (Definition)

The implementation plan facilitates the execution of a plan, idea, model, design, specification, standard, algorithm, or policy by presenting clear implementation steps that need to follow. Thus, an implementation plan is the documented steps you need to take to successfully achieve your implementation pursuits.

Implementation plans are usually made to support the strategic plan created by an organization. Now, what is a strategic plan you ask? Well, a strategic plan is a document defining the strategy by which your team will accomplish certain goals or make decisions. Strategic plans are made to guide a business decision, a new business venture, or an upcoming project or initiative.

An employee implementing actions required for project work

Therefore, the goal of the implementation plan is to effectively implement company strategy and lay down the step-by-step process of bringing the project to success.

What are the Benefits of an Implementation Plan?

An implementation plan puts organizational resources to use and develops a tactical plan to execute the strategic initiative. It thus plays a huge role in the success of your overall strategic plan. Even if you have the greatest, iron-clad plan or strategy, it’s totally pointless if you don’t put the plan into action. Here are some of the many benefits of an implementation plan:

1. Provides Clarity

Writing an implementation plan gives you better clarity of thought and improves your own understanding of the project. When you are forced to think things through, you are better able to document as well as communicate the plan to team members, upper management, and get everyone on board.

2. Keeps Everyone on Track

Your implementation plan lays down exactly what tasks need to be done, how to do them, who needs to do them, keeping everyone on board, and removing any sort of confusion or doubts. When everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are, it’s easier to stay on track and keep everyone accountable.

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3. Improved Cooperation

Working on projects requires the cooperation and collaboration of many employees. The better the cooperation amongst team members, the better the synergy and the overall execution.

Employees co-operating with each other

Read more:  How to Create a Strategic Process Improvement Plan?

4. Increased Buy-In

When you have a solid implementation plan that is well researched, documented, and presented, you ensure buy-in from all key stakeholders of your organization. When upper management is on board, it’s easier to get resources allocated to your project and ensure smooth project execution.

6 Key Components of an Implementation Plan

Every implementation plan comprises of some key components that need to be analyzed and thought-through before communicating the plan with your team:

1. Outline Goals/Objectives:  Start with defining the goals and objectives of the implementation plan. What do you want to accomplish? What is the project scope ? Why are these goals important? How do these goals fit into the overall organizational vision and mission?

2. Assign Responsibilities:  Assigning roles and responsibilities provides a clear picture of what needs to be done and by whom. The clearer you define these responsibilities, the easier it will be to keep people accountable.

3. Implementation Schedule:  Schedules help track, communicate, and keep an eye on progress for your project, keeping all stakeholders in the loop with what’s going on.

4. Resource Allocation:  One of the main purposes of an implementation plan is to make sure that your team has access to enough resources in order to execute the plan effectively and without any hiccups. Make sure you know exactly what you need, how much you already have, and how you will procure what’s needed.

5. Define Metrics:  How will you determine project success? Every implementation plan must identify KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to establish how it will measure success and failure. This also allows you to measure progress and celebrate milestones to keep the team excited.

6. Contingency Plan :  Planning for challenges is as important as planning for success. Make a plan for how your team will navigate rough waters in case you go over budget, don’t have enough resources, or are approaching deadlines. This way you won’t get off-track when challenges arise, and you will be able to steer clear of them easily.

Now that you know the key components of an implementation plan, it’s time to put this knowledge to use and learn how to write an implementation plan for yourself…

Read more:  How to Create an Effective Operational Plan for Your Business?

How to Write an Implementation Plan? Follow these Steps and Processes:

Okay Folks, it’s time to get into the ‘how’ of the implementation plan and create a solid document. When creating such a document, you need to be more detailed and thorough, explaining everything clearly to all team members who will be viewing this document.

Steps for creating implementation plan

Make sure you include the following steps in your implementation plan:

Step 1. Introduction

Kickoff your implementation plan with a brief introduction, outlining the vision, mission, and purpose of your project or initiative. You can additionally include how this project ties up with the overall organizational mission and lay down all the assumptions or limitations of your project.

Step 2.  Team Members Involved

In this segment, you can describe the team involved in the implementation of the project. Include the names, roles, and responsibilities of key project stakeholders, and key points of contact.

Step 3.  Tasks

This is an important area in your implementation plan as here you need to describe the key tasks and steps involved in the implementation of the strategy. If you have already begun with a task, note down the status and progress of the task in this section.

Step 4.  Implementation Schedule

An implementation schedule outlines project timeframes and milestones. Schedules keep everyone on track with task progress and help to keep everything on time and under budget.

Step 5.  Resource Management

Describe the resources needed (people, time, money, equipment, software, departmental help, etc.) to support successful implementation. Think through this section thoroughly to ensure smooth project implementation, and support fair asset allocation.

Step 6.  Additional Documentation

In this segment, you can attach any other documentation that supports your implementation plan. This could include proof of successful past project executions or a PDF of your strategic plan.

Step 7.  Define Metrics

Without specifying success metrics, you will never know if you are on the right track or are even executing the right strategy. Define the metrics you will use to measure success and how and when will you review your progress.

Step 8.  Project Approval

If you need upper management’s approval before kicking off implementation, add some space for a formal signoff.

Read more:   Change Management Plan: What, Why, and How to Write?

Use a Documentation Tool like Bit to Create a Robust Implementation Plan

The key to successful planning and implementation is…*drumroll*… DOCUMENTATION. This is exactly why all smart project managers use documentation tools like Bit.ai to create a solid, interactive, and visually appealing implementation plan for their team.

What the heck is Bit.ai? Well, it’s an all-in-one document collaboration platform designed for the modern-day workplace. Using Bit, your team can collaborate in real-time and create implementation plans and all other documents – under one single roof!

Bit.ai: Document collaboration tool

1. Pre-Built, Beautiful & Fully Responsive Templates: Okay, you’ve created the implementation plan for your team to understand their goals and responsibilities. But, what if the plan itself looks dull and poorly formatted? Your team members won’t understand a thing, and that’s for sure.

You might not have the time to pay attention to the presentation aspect but don’t worry, because Bit does the formatting and designing for you! Bit.ai has over 90 fully responsive and gorgeous templates . Just pick one, insert your content and let Bit handle the rest.

Few documents templates you might be interested in:

  • SWOT Analysis Template
  • Business Proposal Template
  • Business Plan Template
  • Competitor Research Template
  • Project Proposal Template
  • Company Fact Sheet
  • Executive Summary Template
  • Operational Plan Template
  • Pitch Deck Template

2. Rich Embeds:  What if you could embed all your important files – in one single document? We’re talking about those charts, excel sheets, presentations, and the other files that you created while brainstorming the strategies.

Won’t that make your implementation plan so much more comprehensive? And your team won’t have to jump through different files to get information! Luckily, Bit lets you embed over 100 rich media integrations ! That means you can create media-rich and interactive, modern workplace documents!

3. Real-time collaboration : If your team members work on the implementation plan together and take inputs and ideas from one other, it is bound to be perfect! Luckily, Bit.ai helps you with that.

It allows you and your team to collaborate on a Bit document in real-time using @mentions, highlight features, and comments. Every document comes with a separate comment stream!

4. Organized Workspaces & Folders:  An implementation plan isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” thing. You’ve to customize it for every project that your company undertakes. This is exactly why you need to use Bit! On Bit, you can create infinite workspaces around projects, teams, departments, and clients to keep all your work organized.

There’s nothing like Bit.ai out there when it comes to creating documents like implementation plans! With a FREE account for up to five members, there’s no reason why you should not give this super cool platform a try!

Watch the video below to learn more or sign up for a FREE account and start exploring yourself!

What are You Waiting For?!

Without implementation plans, your strategic initiatives will never see the light of the day. Good implementation planning lays the foundation for successful project execution.

It creates a blueprint which your team can follow to successfully execute projects and measure their progress along the way. With tools like Bit, creating such documentation is easier than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free account and start creating your implementation plan today!

Further reads:

How to Create a Procurement Management Plan: Step by Step Guide

Business Development Plan: What Is It And How To Create A Perfect One?

Risk Management Plan: What, Why, and How to Write?

Cost Management Plan: What, Why, and How?

How to Create a Product Plan the Right Way?

How to Create a Project Management Communication Plan?

What is a Marketing Plan and How to Create One for Your Business?

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Bit.ai is the essential next-gen workplace and document collaboration platform. that helps teams share knowledge by connecting any type of digital content. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can work visually and collaborate in real-time while creating internal notes, team projects, knowledge bases, client-facing content, and more.

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What Is an Implementation Plan? (Template & Example Included)


What Is Project Implementation?

Project implementation, or project execution, is the process of completing tasks to deliver a project successfully. These tasks are initially described in the project plan, a comprehensive document that covers all areas of project management. However, a secondary action plan, known as an implementation plan, should be created to help team members and project managers better execute and track the project .

What Is an Implementation Plan?

An implementation plan is a document that describes the necessary steps for the execution of a project. Implementation plans break down the project implementation process by defining the timeline, the teams and the resources that’ll be needed.

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Implementation Plan Template

Use this free Implementation Plan Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

Implementation Plan vs. Project Plan

A project plan is a comprehensive project management document that should describe everything about your project including the project schedule, project budget, scope management plan, risk management plan, stakeholder management plan and other important components. An implementation plan, on the other hand, is a simplified version of your project plan that includes only the information that’s needed by the team members who will actually participate in the project execution phase, such as their roles, responsibilities, daily tasks and deadlines.

Project management software like ProjectManager greatly simplifies the implementation planning process. Schedule and execute your implementation plan with our robust online Gantt charts. Assign work, link dependencies and track progress in real time with one chart. Plus, if your team wants to work with something other than a Gantt chart, our software offers four other project views for managing work: task lists, kanban boards, calendars and sheets. Try it for free today.

ProjectManager's Gantt chart is great for monitoring implementation plans

Key Steps In Project Implementation

Here are some of the key steps that you must oversee as a project manager during the project execution phase . Your project implementation plan should have the necessary components to help you achieve these steps.

1. Communicate Goals and Objectives

Once you’ve outlined the project goals and objectives, the next step is to ensure that the team understands them. For the project to succeed, there must be buy-in from the project team. A meeting is a good way to communicate this, though having project documents that they can refer to is also viable.

2. Define Team Roles and Responsibilities

The project manager will define the roles and responsibilities and communicate them to the project team . They should understand what they’re expected to do and who they can reach out to with questions about their work, all of which leads to a smooth-running project.

3. Establish the Success Criteria for Deliverables

The project deliverables need to meet quality standards, and to do this there must be a success criteria for handing off these deliverables. You want to have something in place to determine if the deliverable is what it’s supposed to be. The measurement is called a success criteria and it applies to any deliverable, whether it’s tangible or intangible.

4. Schedule Work on a Project Timeline

All projects require a schedule , which at its most basic is a start date and an end date for your project. In between those two points, you’ll have phases and tasks, which also have start and finish dates. To manage these deadlines, use a project timeline to visually map everything in one place.

5. Monitor Cost, Time and Performance

To make sure that you’re keeping to your schedule and budget, you need to keep a close eye on the project during the execution phase. Some of the things you should monitor are your costs, time and performance. Costs refer to your budget , time refers to your schedule and performance impacts both as well as quality. By keeping track of these metrics, you can make adjustments to stay on schedule and on budget.

6. Report to Project Stakeholders

While the project manager is monitoring the project, the stakeholders, who have a vested interest in the project, are also going to want to stay informed. To manage their expectations and show them that the project is hitting all its milestones, you’ll want to have project reports , such as project status reports. These can then be presented to the stakeholders regularly to keep them updated.

Free Implementation Plan Template

Many of the key components listed above are included in our implementation plan template . Use this Excel file to define your strategy, scope, resource plan, timeline and more. It’s the ideal way to begin your implementation process. Download your template today.

Implementation plan template for Excel

What Are the Key Components of an Implementation Plan?

There’s no standard one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating your implementation plan. However, we’ve created an implementation plan outline for your projects. Here are its components.

  • Project goals & objectives: The project goal is the ultimate goal of your project, while the objectives are the key milestones or achievements that must be completed to reach it.
  • Success criteria: The project manager must reach an agreement with stakeholders to define the project success criteria.
  • Project deliverables: Project deliverables are tangible or intangible outputs from project tasks.
  • Scope statement: The scope statement briefly describes your project scope, which can be simply defined as the project work to be performed.
  • Resource plan: Create a simple resource plan that outlines the human resources, equipment and materials needed for your project.
  • Risk analysis: Use a risk assessment tool like a SWOT analysis or risk register. There are different tools with different levels of detail for your risk analysis.
  • Implementation timeline: Any implementation plan needs a clear project timeline to be executed properly. You should use an advanced tool such as a Gantt chart to create one.
  • Implementation plan milestones: You need to identify key milestones of your implementation plan so that you can easily keep track of its progress.
  • Team roles & responsibilities: The implementation plan won’t execute itself. You’ll need to assign roles and responsibilities to your team members.
  • Implementation plan metrics: You’ll need KPIs, OKRs or any other performance metrics you can use to control the progress of your implementation plan.

How to Write an Implementation Plan

Follow these steps to create an implementation plan for your project or business. You can also consider using project management software like ProjectManager to help you with the implementation process.

1. Review Your Project Plan

Start by identifying what you’ll need for the execution of your implementation plan:

  • What teams need to be involved to achieve the strategic goals?
  • How long will it take to make the strategic goals happen?
  • What resources should be allocated ?

By interviewing stakeholders, key partners, customers and team members, you can determine the most crucial assignments needed and prioritize them accordingly. It’s also at this stage that you should list out all the goals you’re looking to achieve to cross-embed the strategic plan with the implementation plan. Everything must tie back to that strategic plan in order for your implementation plan to work.

2. Map Out Assumptions and Risks

This acts as an extension to the research and discovery phase, but it’s also important to point out assumptions and risks in your implementation plan. This can include anything that might affect the execution of the implementation plan, such as paid time off or holidays you didn’t factor into your timeline , budget constraints, losing personnel, market instability or even tools that require repair before your implementation can commence.

3. Identify Task Owners

Each activity in your implementation plan must include a primary task owner or champion to be the owner of it. For tasks to be properly assigned, this champion will need to do the delegating. This means that they ensure that all systems are working as per usual, keep track of their teams’ productivity and more. Project planning software is practically essential for this aspect.

4. Define Project Tasks

Next, you need to finalize all the little activities to round out your plan. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are the steps or milestones that make up the plan?
  • What are the activities needed to complete each step?
  • Who needs to be involved in the plan?
  • What are the stakeholder requirements?
  • What resources should be allocated?
  • Are there any milestones we need to list?
  • What are the risks involved based on the assumptions we notated?
  • Are there any dependencies for any of the tasks?

Once all activities are outlined, all resources are listed and all stakeholders have approved (but no actions have been taken just yet), you can consider your implementation plan complete and ready for execution.

Implementation Plan Example

Implementation plans are used by companies across industries on a daily basis. Here’s a simple project implementation plan example we’ve created using ProjectManager to help you better understand how implementation plans work. Let’s imagine a software development team is creating a new app.

  • Project goal: Create a new app
  • Project objectives: All the project deliverables that must be achieved to reach that ultimate goal.
  • Success criteria: The development team needs to communicate with the project stakeholders and agree upon success criteria.
  • Scope statement: Here’s where the development team will document all the work needed to develop the app. That work is broken down into tasks, which are known as user stories in product and software development. Here, the team must also note all the exceptions, which means everything that won’t be done.
  • Resource plan: In this case, the resources are all the professionals involved in the software development process, as well as any equipment needed by the team.
  • Risk analysis: Using a risk register, the product manager can list all the potential risks that might affect the app development process.
  • Timeline, milestones and metrics: Here’s an image of an implementation plan timeline we created using ProjectManager’s Gantt chart view. The diamond symbols represent the implementation plan milestones.
  • Team roles & responsibilities: Similarly, we used a kanban board to assign implementation plan tasks to team members according to their roles and responsibilities.

Benefits of an Implementation Plan for the Project Implementation Process

The implementation plan plays a large role in the success of your overall strategic plan. But more than that, communicating both your strategic plan and the implementation of it therein to your team members helps them feel as if they have a sense of ownership within the company’s long-term direction.

Increased Cooperation

An implementation plan that’s well communicated also helps to increase cooperation across all teams through all the steps of the implementation process. It’s easy to work in a silo—you know exactly what your daily process is and how to execute it. But reaching across the aisle and making sure your team is aligned on the project goals that you’re also trying to meet? That’s another story entirely. With an implementation plan in place, it helps to bridge the divide just a little easier.

Additionally, with an implementation plan that’s thoroughly researched and well-defined, you can ensure buy-in from stakeholders and key partners involved in the project. And no matter which milestone you’re at, you can continue to get that buy-in time and time again with proper documentation.

At the end of the day, the biggest benefit of an implementation plan is that it makes it that much easier for the company to meet its long-term goals. When everyone across all teams knows exactly what you want to accomplish and how to do it, it’s easy to make it happen.

Implementation Plan FAQ

There’s more to know about implementation plans. It’s a big subject and we’ve tried to be thorough as possible, but if you have any further questions, hopefully we’ve answered them below.

What Is the Difference Between an Action Plan and an Implementation Plan?

The main difference between an action plan and an implementation plan is that an action plan focuses exclusively on describing work packages and tasks, while the implementation plan is more holistic and addresses other variables that affect the implementation process such as risks, resources and team roles & responsibilities.

What Is an Implementation Plan in Business?

A business implementation plan is the set of steps that a company follows to execute its strategic plan and achieve all the business goals that are described there.

What Is an Implementation Plan in Project Management?

Implementation plans have many uses in project management. They’re a planning tool that allows project managers to control smaller projects within their project plan. For example, they might need an implementation plan to execute risk mitigation actions, change requests or produce specific deliverables.

How to Make an Implementation Plan With ProjectManager

Creating and managing an implementation plan is a huge responsibility and one that requires diligence, patience and great organizational skills.

When it comes to a project implementation plan, there are many ways to make one that’s best suited for your team. With ProjectManager , you get access to both agile and waterfall planning so you can plan in sprints for large or small projects, track issues and collaborate easily. Try kanban boards for managing backlogs or for making workflows in departments.

A screenshot of the Kanban board project view

Switching up the activities after a milestone meeting with stakeholders? You can easily update your implementation plan with our software features. Add new tasks, set due dates, and track how far along your team is on their current activities.

Implementation plans are the backbone of an organization’s strategic overall plan. With ProjectManager, give your organization the project management software they need to gain insight into all resources needed, view activities on their lists and collaborate with ease. Sign up for our free 30-day trial today.

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

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implement of business plan

Technology Strategy: Implementing the Right Plan for Your Business

Technology plays a pivotal role in the success of businesses. But it's more than just having the latest gadgets or software. It's about having a plan.

This is where technology strategy comes into play. It's like a roadmap that guides a business in using technology to achieve its goals.

Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, understanding and developing a technology strategy can significantly impact your success.

What is Technology Strategy?

Technology strategy is a detailed plan that outlines how technology should be used to support an organization's overall business strategy. It's not only about choosing the right software or hardware. It's about aligning technology decisions with the business's objectives, culture, and processes to drive growth, efficiency, and competitive advantage.

A well-defined technology strategy takes into account current resources, future needs, and how technology can help bridge that gap over time.

Why is Tech Strategy Development Important?

Developing a technology strategy is crucial for several reasons. First, it ensures that all technology investments are aligned with the business's goals, preventing wasteful spending on unnecessary or incompatible technology.

It also helps businesses stay ahead of the curve by anticipating and planning for technological advancements. A solid tech strategy can improve operational efficiency by optimizing processes and systems, enhancing customer experiences, and fostering innovation.

In essence, without a technology strategy, businesses risk falling behind their competitors and missing out on opportunities for growth and improvement.

Benefits of Developing a Technology Strategy and Framework

There are many advantages to establishing a strong tech strategy for your business.

Aligns Technology with Business Goals

A technology strategy ensures that every tech investment and decision directly supports the overarching goals of the business. This alignment helps in efficiently using resources and avoiding the trap of chasing after the latest tech without a clear purpose.

Increases Operational Efficiency

By identifying the right technology tools and processes, a technology strategy can streamline operations, reduce costs, and increase productivity. It’s like finding the best route on a map to get to your destination faster and using less fuel.

Enhances Customer Experience

Customers expect fast, reliable, and convenient services. A technology strategy can help businesses understand and implement the tech solutions that meet these expectations, leading to happier customers.

Drives Innovation and Growth

With a solid strategy, businesses can better identify and seize opportunities for innovation. It’s like having a telescope that helps you see further into the future. You can spot new trends and technologies that can drive growth.

Improves Risk Management

Technology comes with risks such as cybersecurity threats and compliance issues. A technology strategy includes plans for managing these risks, protecting the business and its customers.

Selecting the Right Technology Strategy for Your Business

Choosing the right technology strategy involves understanding your business’s unique needs, goals, and challenges. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Assess Your Current Technology: Look at what technology you’re currently using and how well it’s serving your needs. This is your starting point.
  • Define Your Business Goals: Clearly articulate where you want your business to go. Your technology strategy will be the bridge to get there.
  • Identify Gaps and Opportunities: See where your current technology is lacking and where new technology could open up opportunities.
  • Consider Your Budget: Know how much you’re willing to invest in technology. This will help narrow down your options.
  • Get Input from Different Departments: Technology affects everyone in your business, so get insights from various teams to understand their needs and challenges.

Examples and Importance of Technology Strategy in Business

  • E-commerce Optimization: An online retailer develops a technology strategy that focuses on mobile shopping experiences, leveraging cloud computing for scalability during high-traffic periods. This strategy directly leads to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Data Analytics for Customer Insights: A service company uses data analytics technology to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences. By tailoring services and marketing efforts based on these insights, the company enhances customer engagement and loyalty.
  • Cybersecurity Measures: With cyber threats on the rise, a financial institution implements a technology strategy centered around advanced cybersecurity measures. This not only protects sensitive customer data but also builds trust in the brand.
  • Remote Work Technology: A technology strategy that includes cloud-based collaboration tools and secure remote access solutions enables a business to offer flexible work options. This approach can lead to higher employee satisfaction and productivity.

Tech Strategy Tips

  • Keep It Flexible: Like a tree that bends in the wind, your tech strategy should be flexible enough to adapt to changes. Technology evolves fast, and what’s cutting-edge today might be outdated tomorrow.
  • Involve Your Team: Your strategy shouldn’t be a secret document. Share it with your team. Their insights and feedback can make your strategy even stronger, like adding more players to your team to make it unbeatable.
  • Focus on Training: Just having the tech isn’t enough. Make sure your team knows how to use it. Think of it as giving them a map to navigate the tools and technologies you’re implementing.
  • Measure Success: Set clear goals and figure out how you’ll measure success. It’s like setting up signposts along your journey to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

Steps for Implementing an Information Technology Strategy

Implementing an information technology (IT) strategy involves a series of well-planned steps to ensure that your business’s technological resources align with its overall objectives. Let’s break down these steps into more detail to understand how to navigate through the process effectively.

1. Define Your Strategic Objectives

Start by identifying what you want to achieve with your IT investments.

Are you looking to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experience, or drive innovation? Setting clear, measurable goals provides direction and purpose for your technology strategy.

  • Clarify Vision and Goals: Define the long-term vision of your organization and how technology can support achieving this vision. Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
  • Align With Business Objectives: Ensure that your IT strategy directly supports the broader business objectives. This alignment ensures that every technology investment contributes to the overall success of the company.

2. Conduct a Current State Assessment

Understanding your current technological capabilities, infrastructure, and resources is crucial. This step involves evaluating your existing IT environment to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis).

  • Technology Audit: Perform an in-depth review of your current technology tools, platforms, and systems. Assess their performance, scalability, security, and how well they meet your current needs.
  • Skill and Resource Evaluation: Assess the skills of your current IT team and other employees who use technology in their roles. Identify any gaps in skills or resources that need to be filled to meet your strategic objectives.

3. Plan Your Technology Needs

With a clear understanding of where your technology currently stands and where you need it to go, you can begin planning your specific technology needs. This involves identifying the technologies that will address your strategic objectives and fill gaps identified in your assessment.

  • Technology Selection: Research and identify the technologies (software, hardware, platforms) that align with your strategic goals. Consider emerging technologies and trends that may offer competitive advantages.
  • Infrastructure and Architecture Design: Plan the infrastructure and architecture needed to support the new technology. This includes considerations for scalability, reliability, and security.

4. Develop a Budget

Every aspect of your IT strategy will have cost implications. Developing a comprehensive budget helps allocate resources efficiently and ensure the strategy is financially viable.

  • Cost Analysis: Estimate the costs associated with acquiring new technologies, upgrading existing systems, hiring or training staff, and ongoing maintenance and support.
  • Funding and Investment Plan: Identify sources of funding for your IT initiatives. This may include capital investments, operational budgets, or external financing.

5. Create an Implementation Timeline

Developing a realistic timeline for your IT strategy is essential for ensuring smooth implementation. Break down the strategy into manageable projects or phases, and assign timelines to each.

  • Prioritize Initiatives: Not all projects can or should be tackled at once. Prioritize your technology initiatives based on their impact on your strategic objectives and the resources available.
  • Set Milestones: Establish key milestones for each project phase. Milestones help in tracking progress and ensuring that the implementation stays on schedule.

6. Implement the Technology

With planning out of the way, you move into the execution phase. Implementation involves deploying the selected technologies according to the plan and timeline you’ve set.

  • Project Management: Use project management methodologies to oversee the implementation process. Ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and meet the specified requirements.
  • Change Management: Implementing new technology often requires changes in business processes and roles. Develop a change management plan to support employees through the transition, ensuring they are trained and comfortable with new systems.

7. Train Your Team

Training is a critical step that ensures your team can effectively use the new technologies and processes.

  • Develop Training Programs: Create comprehensive training programs that cover how to use new technologies and how they integrate into business processes.
  • Ongoing Support and Education: Technology and business needs evolve, so provide ongoing education and support to help your team keep up with changes.

8. Monitor, Evaluate, and Adjust

After implementation, continuously monitor the performance of your IT initiatives against your strategic objectives. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and feedback to evaluate success.

  • Performance Monitoring: Regularly review the performance of new technologies and their impact on business processes and objectives.
  • Iterative Improvement: Be prepared to make adjustments based on performance data and feedback. An effective IT strategy is flexible and can evolve to meet changing business needs.

Navigating the Future with a Solid Tech Strategy

Having a technology strategy is like having a map for a road trip. It shows you where you’re going, the best route to get there, and what you’ll need along the way. With a good strategy, you can make sure your business uses tech in the smartest way possible, keeping you on the path to success.

The world of technology is always changing, and so should your strategy. Team up with Makios to make sure your tech strategy is modern and sufficient for your business needs. Get in touch with us today!

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Build an ERP Business Case in 5 Steps with Template

Natalie Gagliordi | Content Strategist | February 26, 2024

implement of business plan

In This Article

What Is an ERP Business Case?

Why building a business case for modernizing erp is important, 5 steps to build a business case for a new erp, erp made easier than ever with oracle, erp business case faqs.

“Our current ERP is OK. Why fix what isn’t broken?”

It’s a common question from business leaders and frontline employees who are hesitant about a major IT system overhaul or just don't realize the benefits they're missing out on. But industry momentum continues to build for shifting finance operations from legacy on-premises software to newer applications that can better meet today’s business requirements. Companies and institutions are rethinking or expanding their business models and strategies and implementing new technologies with the capabilities to support those new approaches. When companies decide to replace a core application, such as ERP, the choice these days is most often to a cloud-based application. Since ERP is so central to day-to-day operations, however, many executives only see the risk in making any change. With a well-defined ERP business case, you can open the eyes and ears of key business leaders who must approve such a move and win over the staff who will use the systems every day.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is software that organizations use to oversee their daily business operations, covering functions such as accounting, procurement , project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. An ERP business case is a presentation-style document that thoroughly outlines the rationale, justifications, and expected benefits of implementing a new ERP system within an organization. Most companies have an ERP system (or multiple applications) in place to run these functions, so the business case centers on the reasons to migrate from the existing on-premises systems to the cloud. The reasons for making a change should tie directly to the company’s strategy and the capabilities needed to execute on that strategy. The business case serves as the roadmap for stakeholders and decision-makers to evaluate and approve the investment in a new ERP solution.

An ERP business case is crucial for gaining approval and funding for an ERP project, since the business case provides key decision-makers with a clear understanding of the anticipated benefits, costs, risks, and strategies associated with implementing a new ERP system. Having a business case helps focus the team on what’s important and the reasons why the transformation is being done. Having this focus increases the level of commitment to making it work. It’s also valuable for getting employees excited about a better software system—or at least willing to give it a fair chance.

When an organization starts seriously considering implementing a new ERP system, the leadership usually creates a project team, and that team’s first job is to build an ERP business case. When companies decide to replace a core application, such as ERP, the choice most often is a cloud-based application. The business case provides the chance to dive deep into how new ERP software will provide business capabilities needed to execute on the company’s strategy and to quantify the value of those capabilities. The business case might link new software capabilities such as artificial intelligence to better forecasts that help improve business performance. It might show how a cloud-based ERP reduces the costs of frequent upgrades, making it easier and more cost effective to access new IT capabilities. By explaining and showcasing value versus cost, the team moves closer to deciding whether to pursue the project, including finding the right ERP solution and securing approval from leadership.

Key Takeaways

  • The ERP business case is the first step in providing executives and corporate stakeholders with the context for why a new ERP system is needed.
  • An ERP business case thoroughly dissects the cost-benefit evaluation and potential ROI of implementing a new system.
  • The ERP business case should offer a high-level overview of the ERP project and then also detail how the new system will be implemented, including timelines, phases, and the resources required.

Creating an ERP business case requires cross-functional collaboration to pinpoint all the needs for a major new software system, the benefits it would bring, and the justification for the investment. Here are the core steps to create an ERP business case.

1. Assess Current Software Against Upcoming Needs

When building a cloud ERP business case, start by grounding the effort in the company’s strategy and the capabilities needed to execute on that strategy. Look to your future needs. Then, identify gaps between those capabilities and the current state of your organization's ERP systems and related business processes. If possible, benchmark yourself against some peers to identify areas of opportunity. There are numerous potential benefits to upgrading technology, but you won’t achieve many of those benefits if you don’t understand where, how, and why you’re falling short. You don’t want to migrate an ineffective process to a new ERP system. Providing context for why a new ERP system is needed helps stakeholders understand what the transformation effort will look like given your current state.

Perform an existing system assessment

Working with various business stakeholders, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your current software and processes. For example, are you using the latest technologies, and can you regularly add new capabilities as they emerge and become available? Do this assessment by different functions, such as finance, planning, and procurement. The idea is to figure out the pain points, determine where the inefficiencies exist, and spell out how these limitations affect the organization.

implement of business plan

Audit current business processes

Conduct a thorough review of business processes and workflows to identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas for improvement, such as time-consuming system updates and manual tasks.

List current process costs

Estimate the operational costs associated with the existing ERP system, including software licensing, hardware, training, consulting, personnel, ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and other associated expenses.

Outline existing process inefficiencies

Identify and document the current pain points, inefficiencies, and limitations in existing systems and processes, such as missing or hard-to-access data, overly manual tasks, or a lack of real-time data.

Add up the cost of on-premises ERP-related inefficiencies

Quantify the financial impact of inefficiencies related to the current on-premises ERP system, such as manual maintenance and disruptive downtimes, or other system limitations such as a lack of flexibility and the need for customizations.

2. Determine ERP requirements and estimated costs

This step will determine whether a new ERP system will address the capability gaps you identified in Step 1. It’s important to establish clearly defined goals and objectives that your organization aims to achieve with cloud ERP. This step outlines what the new ERP system will address or improve within the company compared to the on-premises ERP.

Figure out functional requirements

Perform a comprehensive analysis of existing systems to determine the functional requirements and features the new ERP system must have to support business processes and meet organizational objectives.

List required features and modules

Identify what benefits you’re interested in and specify the essential features and modules needed in the ERP system to improve business processes and add capabilities, such as advanced forecasting using machine learning and AI capabilities .

Perform functional gap analysis

Identify any gaps between the current system’s capabilities and the functionality of the proposed cloud ERP system. Look for product roadmaps to assist you in this process on company websites.

Create an implementation and deployment plan

For stakeholders to act on a proposed ERP business case, they need to see a plan detailing how the replacement ERP system will be implemented, including timelines, phases, resources required, along with potential challenges and mitigation strategies.

implement of business plan

Estimate ERP costs for more than five years

Forecast the total costs associated with implementing, licensing, and maintaining the ERP system over an extended period.

3. Calculate return on investment

To determine if a new ERP is the right decision, you want to provide a detailed analysis of the potential return on investment (ROI). Typically, this analysis is based on comparing gains—such as increased revenue, better cash flow, increased staff productivity, lower capital costs, and lower support costs—against the implementation and ongoing subscription costs. It will compare the new system’s total cost of ownership versus the cost of keeping and maintaining the existing system. It usually leans heavily on industry benchmarks, analyst studies, and business process maturity models to assess a range of conservative and likely models for the returns and costs. The plan also should provide an estimated timeframe for how soon the new system will be in place and when expected benefits will be achieved. You want stakeholders to understand what success looks like and how you’ll measure that success going forward.

Address critical business needs first

Highlight how the ERP system addresses critical capability gaps listed in the assessment phase, such as the need for process automation, embedded analytics, machine learning, and collaborative capabilities to improve the accuracy and speed of decision-making.

Showcase improved business operations

Demonstrate how the new ERP system can help improve operational efficiency and enhance productivity. Efficiency gains can come from standardizing, simplifying, and automating disjointed business processes. Cite metrics that these changes can improve, such as on-time delivery to customers or reduced days sales outstanding.

Demonstrate lower overall costs

Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) is one potential value for moving to a cloud-based ERP, which reduces maintenance costs and eliminates upgrades, freeing IT staff to focus on more value-adding initiatives. It also eliminates the capital expense for hardware refreshes and data center facility operations. Additional savings can result from simplifying and automating business processes.

implement of business plan

Provide a strategy for realizing and measuring savings

Detail strategies and plans to realize the anticipated cost savings through the ERP implementation. You want to create key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks to track against once your organization is live and using the solution so you can quantify the ROI.

Build an ERP funding plan

Outline a funding plan detailing the financial resources required for the ERP implementation project, including the cost of the software, personnel requirements, system integrator support, and other expenditures.

4. Create an Implementation and Deployment Plan

A primary concern for business leaders and employees will revolve around whether an ERP overhaul will be disruptive. If moving to a cloud-based ERP, they’ll want to know how you’ll manage the downscaling of your on-premises systems while ramping-up your cloud applications. Employees will be eager to understand how it will change their day-to-day jobs, while executives will want to know potential risks that could slow operations. In this section, you want to address those concerns while showcasing the project’s feasibility and offering a realistic timeframe. Accountability is key: Show how you’ll track results and what will happen if they’re not being achieved.

Create a staffing plan

Develop a plan outlining the necessary people, skills, and roles required for the ERP project. Will you need to bring in the expertise and capacity of a system integrator? Consider how you’ll staff any training needed to support key people working on new systems.

Find ways to minimize business downtime

Present strategies to minimize disruptions during the transition to the new system, ensuring continuity in operations and reducing the risk of data loss, downtime, and rework during the migration. For example, map out in detail the rollout by regions and functions of new ERP capabilities. Be clear on when the legacy systems will be shut down and when and how (and how much) data will move over. Likewise, establish a testing plan for integrations with existing applications, databases, and third-party systems to avoid issues that may disrupt the flow of data.

Showcase the plan to minimize implementation risks

Identify and assess the potential risks associated with the ERP implementation, along with strategies to mitigate these risks, such as extensive testing, mock go-lives, and ensuring that all hardware, software, and networks are compatible and updated to support the new ERP system.

Be realistic about timelines

Set realistic timelines for implementation, considering the complexities and potential challenges. Map out the rollout phases, such as by geographies, business functions, or other factors. In the case of cloud applications, the implementation time is often shorter than conventional, on-premises systems required, but being realistic about the timing and the required change management is critical to establishing credibility and managing expectations.

Show accountability

Define your approach for tracking achievement of benefits, who is responsible for them, and what actions teams can take if the benefits aren’t being achieved.

5. Present your business case

Once you’ve established the purpose of the ERP implementation, the anticipated benefits and costs, and the plan to deliver those benefits, it’s time to take your business case to stakeholders. At this stage, you’re not pitching a detailed step-by-step implementation strategy, though you do have that in place and ready to dive into if questioned. Rather, you want to distill that exhaustive data, analyses, and plans into a high-level overview that clearly communicates to executives the need, benefits, costs, risks, and strategies for the ERP migration.

Know your audience

As you present the ERP business case to decision-makers, such as C-level executives or a review board, anticipate the questions or concerns they may have, and try to tailor the presentation to address their priorities and interests.

Use data visualization

Leverage data visualization tools to illustrate the benefits, cost savings, and ROI of implementing the new ERP system.

implement of business plan

Don’t skip over the financials

Yes, you’re giving a high-level view of the project. But you do need to provide detailed financial projections, cost-benefit analyses, and a breakdown of the expected ROI to support your case. The chief executive and other C-level decision-makers need hard financial data to justify this type of investment.

Download the ERP Business Case Template (DOC)

Crafting a realistic and practical cloud ERP business case demands a thorough understanding of your company’s current state and future needs and the ability to clearly demonstrate the potential benefits cloud ERP can bring to the organization.

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP fully integrates financial management, procurement, performance management, and supply chain and manufacturing on one platform to give holistic insights across the entire business with real-time data. By automating processes that used to be manual, Oracle Cloud ERP helps finance teams respond quickly to fast-changing business conditions. It also supports collaboration within the application suite for instant data sharing and problem solving and offers built-in, standardized best practices that encourage process efficiency. With Oracle Cloud ERP, your IT team is no longer focused on hardware support and costly upgrade cycles and instead can focus on helping the organization get the most out of your capabilities. Quarterly updates deliver the latest innovations so you’ll never have to worry about software obsolescence or enduring another disruptive upgrade. For companies working on their ERP replacement strategy, Oracle Business Value Services can help them define and articulate the business case. Oracle also offers financing options that can help companies manage the upfront project costs.

What is a business case for ERP? The business case for ERP serves as the strategic and economic justification of an ERP implementation, providing stakeholders with the benefits, costs, and risks of the new system.

How do you write an ERP business case? Writing an ERP business case involves cross-functional participation to deliver a deep understanding of the need for and benefits of implementing a new ERP system.

What are use cases of ERP? Use cases are documents that detail how employees or other software applications will interact with the new ERP system, explaining how the software should be used to meet particular goals and perform business tasks.

implement of business plan

See real-world examples of companies’ planning strategies around finance, marketing, workforce, and more.

Design a plan to implement a business strategy throughout an...

Design a plan to implement a business strategy throughout an organization.

Using Analytic Tools for Strategic Decision-Making

To start this assessment, your organization is (Zillow).

  • Analyze the details, latest annual report, latest news, review competitor information, etc. about your chosen organization (Zillow) .
  • You may also want to visit the websites for your chosen organization (Zillow) and its competitors for more information and observation.

You submitted a strategic plan for an innovative new product idea to the C-level executives of your organization. Congratulations! It was approved, and you have been promoted to the chief strategy officer position in your chosen organization. The C-level executive committee was very impressed with your strategic plan. Now it is time to implement your strategy. Develop a strategy implementation plan to share with your management team that will be responsible for executing the strategy for your innovative new product idea in your chosen market. Use the following criteria to develop the strategy implementation plan for your innovative new product idea.

Assessment Requirements: In this assessment, you will develop a strategic implementation for your chosen organization. Address each of the following inquiries in your deliverable using the template:

Implementation Strategy

  • Discuss how to manage the value chain of your organization in the implementation of your strategy.
  • Explain the ideal organizational design of your organization to ensure the successful implementation of your strategy.

Strategy Team Structure

  • Choose the optimal organizational structure type for the team implementing your strategy.
  • Determine and explain the structure (hierarchical or flat) and why it would produce the best results to implement your strategy.

Strategic Initiative Projects

  • Finish off a balanced scorecard chart. Use it to identify and prioritize projects per category.
  • Generate a list of strategic initiatives and prioritize them as projects for your management team to implement.
  • Develop a timeline depiction indicating project completion milestones.
  • Identify one strategic initiative that is critical to the overall success of your strategy. End explain why it is the most important project to focus attention, efforts, and resources on.
  • Complete the project scope form for your chosen strategic initiative to demonstrate project planning to your management team.

Resource Allocation

  • Explain the importance of resource allocation and resource management to the success of your strategy.
  • Explain the process of carrying out a resource audit to your management team and include why it is important.
  • Develop a resource management checklist for your chosen strategic initiative to demonstrate resource allocation to your management team.
  • Explain the role of information systems and technological resources in the execution of your strategic initiative project.
  • Based on the results of your resource planning, develop a budget proposal for your strategic initiative.
  • Concisely explain your budget proposal.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Explain the purpose of key performance indicators and how they work.
  • Design five key performance indicators to manage the implementation of your strategy.
  • Concisely explain the key performance indicators and how they will collectively ensure competitive advantage is achieved.

Continuous Improvement Process

  • Consider adopting an existing continuous improvement philosophy such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, EFQM, etc. Explain it thoroughly, specifically addressing who, what, why, when, where, and how the continuous improvement philosophy will be employed to ensure competitive advantages are achieved.
  • Explain how problems and challenges will be analyzed and solved.
  • Explain how to create the right environment for continuous improvement within your organization to ensure competitive advantages are achieved.

Culture & Performance

  • Define the purpose of your organizational culture and how it contributes to the successful implementation of your strategy.
  • Explain how each category of the cultural web in your organization will impact the successful implementation of your strategy.
  • Explain how conflicts to the organizational culture will be handled.
  • Design an incentive and reward plan to promote effective and efficient strategy implementation.

Conclusion Remarks

  • Develop closing remarks to your management team that encourage collaboration and inspire innovation and entrepreneurship in the effort of implementing your strategy for your innovative new product idea that increases the competitive advantage of your organization which is (Zillow) .

Answer & Explanation

Implementation Strategy:

Successfully Implementing the Strategy: Utilize cross-functional teams to ensure alignment and collaboration across departments. Establish clear communication channels and provide adequate training and support for employees to adapt to the new strategy effectively.

Managing the Value Chain: Streamline processes, leverage technology for automation where possible, and establish partnerships with key suppliers to optimize the value chain. Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of each stage of the value chain to identify areas for improvement.

Ideal Organizational Design: Adopt a flexible organizational structure that promotes agility and innovation. Implement a matrix structure to facilitate cross-functional collaboration while maintaining clear lines of authority and accountability.

Strategy Team Structure:

Management Team Structure: Form a strategy implementation team consisting of representatives from various departments, including marketing, operations, finance, and technology. Assign a dedicated project manager to oversee the execution of the strategy.

Organizational Structure Type: Opt for a flat organizational structure to encourage faster decision-making and empower employees to take ownership of their roles. This structure fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation, essential for successful strategy implementation.

Strategic Initiative Projects:

Balanced Scorecard: Prioritize projects based on their alignment with strategic objectives, feasibility, and potential impact. Develop a balanced scorecard to track progress and ensure focus on key initiatives such as product development, marketing campaigns, and customer experience enhancements.

Critical Strategic Initiative: Focus on enhancing the customer experience as a critical strategic initiative. This initiative is vital for gaining a competitive edge in the market and requires dedicated resources and attention to ensure successful implementation.

Resource Allocation:

Importance of Resource Allocation: Efficient resource allocation is crucial for maximizing the ROI of strategic initiatives. Conduct a resource audit to identify available resources and allocate them based on project priorities and strategic objectives.

Resource Management Checklist: Develop a resource management checklist outlining key resources required for each project, including personnel, funding, and technology. Regularly review resource allocation to ensure alignment with project goals and adjust as needed.

Key Performance Indicators:

Managing Performance: Implement a performance management system to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and drive continuous improvement. Regularly review key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the effectiveness of strategy implementation.

Key Performance Indicators: Design KPIs focusing on areas such as customer satisfaction, market share, product adoption rates, and operational efficiency. These KPIs provide actionable insights into the success of the strategy and enable timely adjustments as needed.

Continuous Improvement Process:

Continuous Improvement Philosophy: Adopt the Kaizen philosophy to foster a culture of continuous improvement. Encourage employees at all levels to identify and implement small, incremental changes to processes and procedures to drive efficiency and innovation.

Problem Analysis and Solution: Utilize root cause analysis techniques such as fishbone diagrams and 5 Whys to identify the underlying causes of problems and challenges. Implement corrective actions and measure their effectiveness to prevent recurrence.

Culture & Performance:

Organizational Culture Impact: Foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and adaptability to support the implementation of the strategy. Promote open communication, celebrate successes, and encourage experimentation to drive cultural change.

Incentive and Reward Plan: Design an incentive and reward plan that recognizes and rewards employees for their contributions to strategy implementation. Incorporate both monetary and non-monetary rewards to motivate and engage employees effectively.

Conclusion Remarks:

In closing, I encourage our management team to embrace collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship as we embark on implementing our strategy for the innovative new product idea. By working together and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, we can overcome challenges and achieve our goal of enhancing the competitive advantage of our organization (Zillow) in the market. Let's stay focused, agile, and committed to delivering exceptional results for our customers and stakeholders.

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