What are the MINIMUM Components of an Implementation-Ready Plan?

It’s the beginning of the New Year, and now is the time we see an influx of organizations moving into implementation.

And as we’re currently working with no fewer than 35 teams to move from planning to implementation, we are frequently faced with the questions, “Are we ready to move into implementation?” and “How do we know if our plan is ready?”

While implementing thousands of plans over the last two decades, we’ve developed a short checklist for what we believe are the minimum [and preferred] components of a plan.

Run through this checklist to make sure you have these core elements in place! If you can, also knock down as many of the preferred elements before rolling out your plan.

Elements of a Complete Plan

The Absolute Minimum:

Strategic Foundation

  •  Mission
  •  Core Values

Strategic Direction

  •  Vision
  •  Strategic Objectives/Priorities


  •  Organization Goals
  •  2 to 3 Annual Initiatives/Goals

Better to Also Have:

  •  SWOT
  •  Customer Segments
  •  Competitive Advantages
  •  Strategic Issues
  •  Org-Wide Strategies


  •  Action Items

Bonus Section: Ensuring Your Plan is Actionable

One of our big priorities is ensuring our clients create focus through agile, actionable plans. The best strategies have action, giving specific direction to each of your teams to achieve short- and long-term objectives.

When we transition our clients from plan creation to implementation, we always review each plan to ensure every goal stack and action plan fulfills these requirements.

Are Your Goals Impactful?

  • Stated as clear outcomes of what you want to achieve.
  • Clear measure of success (KPI) that is quantifiable with an identified data source.
  • Each goal has 2 to 3 supporting initiatives—how the goal will be achieved.

Are Your Goals and Actions Implementation-Ready?

  • Owners (and potentially contributors) assigned.
  • Start and end dates (following the plan structure) are set.
  • A clear measure of performance (% complete or quantitative) is included.
  • An end-of-year target is set.
  • Incremental targets (monthly or weekly—at least quarterly) are included.

Review Your Plan. Do it!

Review your plan using these checklists! We promise the exercise will be worthwhile, and you might avoid some major roadblocks if you address some of the issues before you roll into implementation. Good luck, and happy reviewing!

One Comment

  1. Gilbert Mkoji says:

    very insightful articles

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