Large or small, one of the great challenges in business is FTI – Failure to Implement.
We all know the feeling; we decide with the best of intentions to start over and set about making a plan. Then something inevitably happens, and we sacrifice the ‘important’, like our planning and action list, for what we believe is ‘urgent’ and quite often we end up back on the hamster wheel where we started.
So, what does it take to actually get stuff done? A good place to start is to think about the biggest roadblock to implementation which for most of us is that we are easily distracted. We get caught up by the day to day operations of running our business and this overwhelm causes us to lose sight of the key things needed to get stuff done:
- What’s most important right now?
- Putting first things first
- Deciding what we really need to do to get underway
- Determining how we allocate the required resources
So, having tempered our distractions and developed our plan we might be feeling pretty good about the process. However, this is really where the implementation work starts. It’s not enough to make the plan and stick it in your top draw. It’s essential to allocate roles, responsibilities and time frames to the action items. Look at the strengths of your team, what they are good at and whether you have the right people in the roles?
Yes, put someone’s name against each item but for this to work effectively you must have the buy in from your team. It is essential to take the time to explain your plan and your desired objectives to help people see their part in the process. Without your team’s buy in, they won’t understand what you are trying to achieve, and the fear of change is likely to kick in and work against your planning efforts. This step of allocating responsibility is also the beginning of your accountability framework and a key factor in assessing your progress towards your objectives.
Many businesses use 90-day time frames with agreed objectives and actions, and these are assessed and set again for the next 90 days. These 90 day timeframes are long enough to allow for progress but short enough to keep momentum and for a cadence of accountability to develop within the business.
Along the way, it is essential to monitor your performance and that is where your key performance indicators or KPIs are essential. These are the measures of the key activities in your business that allow you to know if you are on track. Keep these KPIs simple so that you are not spending more time reporting and measuring than you are doing. KPIs may not always be financial so look for the key activities that drive revenue creation but make sure they link directly to your major goals and objectives. Monitoring these KPIs over time and sharing the progress with your team is a further step in building a mindset of accountability and achievement within your business.
To summarise where we are so far:
- Document your plan
- Allocate roles & responsibilities
- Explain your objectives to your team
- Monitor performance using KPIs
- Review and re-set every 90 days to build your accountability framework
While there have been libraries written about creating plans, there has been very little written about implementation and this article provides just a snapshot of some of the tactics available to help you get stuff done. To learn more, we have a series of short videos where our panel of business experts will share more insights for planning, implementation and accountability, including:
- How to get stuff done in your business
- The 90-day plan
- How to get more rhythm in your reporting
- Get more focus in your day
- How to effectively prioritise
- Tips for performance and goal setting