The 5 Key Strategies for Implementing Strategic Initiatives
Resource acquisition is an extremely important cost component in implementing strategic initiatives in organizations. When a company plans to expand, for example, expenses could consist of buying additional land, building or equipment, and/or more employees. A retailer might choose to open its own independent distribution system instead of relying on an outside distribution company to do the work. Similarly, when planning to implement an integrated communications strategy, one must carefully consider how many personnel and/or equipment will be required and the amount of money that will be spent.
Implementing initiatives is not limited to large-scale commercial or manufacturing applications. Small organizations can also implement several initiatives at the same time to achieve several project management goals. For example, a small community may want to improve its recreational activities. Community builders who implement these programs can use one or more of the following strategies to reach their multiple objectives:
Comprehensive integrated operations management. To implement this strategy, a city manager first conducts a comprehensive review of its current operations management practices. Based on this review, the community manager determines the most critical areas that need improvement. These areas are then targeted for improvement through implementing strategic initiatives in all of the areas identified in the operations management review.
Human resources strategy. In implementing strategic initiatives, a community development director can improve the hiring practices of its human resources department. The human resources department handles the personnel requirements for a range of community projects, such as after-school programs, after-school sports, and after-school education initiatives. These projects typically involve recruiting high-quality people with both advanced skills and availability. A human resource strategic plan may then be developed to ensure that the best candidates are available for these positions. This plan can include metrics to track progress over time and a strategy for collecting and analyzing data from recruits in order to create better hiring decisions.
Creating an efficient communication process. To implement this strategy, a community development director can make communication more efficient by streamlining the entire communication process. Many community development initiatives fail because communications are not effectively communicated between project leaders and project staff. To reduce communication related costs, project managers can establish a single point of contact that is accountable for communication to all employees. By eliminating multiple avenues for communication, the project team will be able to save money on multiple channels that are used for communicating strategic initiatives to employees.
New Product Development. When implementing strategic initiatives, it is important to make sure that the new products that are to be released have strong market potential. A strategic planning team can look at the products that are being developed, identify opportunities for new product sales, and create a marketing plan. Once these products are developed, they can be released to the marketplace for customer testing. This allows new managers to focus on generating new business rather than managing resources to release a bad product.
Customer challenges identified through risk management. Another effective method of implementing strategic initiatives is to identify potential customer challenges and threats before the products are released to the marketplace. Analysis performed during the risk management process helps senior management to evaluate the risks that face the company during specific periods of time, which can help them to determine what course of action to take to manage these risks. These assessments can be very detailed and may involve looking into internal and external controls as well as external risk factors. Once these risks are understood, the company can take steps to mitigate these risks before they become problematic.
Piloting a pilot program. When implementing strategic initiatives, it is often necessary to first test the concept in a small segment of the organization before deploying it to other locations. A piloting approach helps to reduce risk in areas where implementation has not been successful, such as the pilot program for a new product line. In this approach, management uses a small number of employees to assess the business model, generate new business and gather data to help the company develop a strategy to address the pilot’s results. The piloting program typically involves a few hours of the employee’s time and allows managers to make quick decisions and learn more about the business before committing to the initiative. In most cases, this is the best approach because it allows managers to evaluate the pilot program without committing to large-scale deployment until company data and needs are understood and measured.