7 Steps to Implement Your Plan

7 Steps to Implement Your Plan

At this time of year our thoughts often turn to making plans for the New Year. Much is said about setting a goal. I’d like to focus on how to make sure your goal is planned and achieved. Follow our 7-step process to lead and engage your team and include it on your leadership and management tool-kit.

1. Tune in. Make sure each of your team is aware of the task and on your frequency. Everyone needs to understand the task ahead. Don’t make assumptions that everyone is up to speed.

2. Set objectives. Be clear with all of your team on what is to be achieved. State what success will look and feel like. Set a time frame. Ask and listen to your team so you can identify what their own personal objectives are for completing the task – i.e. what’s in it for them. This is a key part of employee engagement. 

3. Gather information. Ensure that your team collects all the data you need to plan your task. This information can include feelings as well as facts. If assumptions have to be made then use these too, making sure of course that they are stated as such. Make sure that you use the talents in your team to best effect e.g. who is best equipped to tackle which element of the task. Invite your team to share their ideas and opinions too - another way to increase levels of employee engagement in your team..

4. Make a decision. The next step is to weigh up all of the options and decide which way to go. Use techniques such as cost vs benefit analysis. When and where appropriate invite your team to take part in the decision-making process. Either way ask your team for their levels of commitment to what has been decided.

5. Create the plan. Discuss and agree an implementation plan. Identify the resources, people and timescales needed to complete the task and reach the objectives set. Where necessary, document the plan so that it can be monitored and reviewed. Create a contingency plan too – it’s always beneficial to have a plan B.

6. Take action. Implement the plan and monitor its progress. Keep team members and key stakeholders informed of progress. Adjust the plan according experience.

7. Review. Once the task has been completed then review how well the task has been achieved. Determine the cost vs benefit analysis by considering the hard measures (i.e. facts and figures) and soft measures (i.e. less tangible aspects such as feelings and confidence levels) against the costs of planning and implementing the task. Look for lessons learnt so these can be applied in the future and celebrate success in the most appropriate way.

Clearly steps 1 to 5 are all about preparation and planning. Step 6 is for action and step 7 is for overall review. Resist all temptations to leap in and take action without completing these important steps first. The investment to provide leadership to engage your team will be worth it.

Paul Beesley
Director and senior consultant
Beyond Theory

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