An implementation plan is a detailed plan of all the steps you need to take in order to implement or achieve a specific result. If a strategic plan is what you're going to do, the implementation plan is how you're going to actually do it. It's important to have both; implementation with no strategic plan leaves you doing things for no reason like a wind-up cymbal-playing monkey, and strategy with no implementation plan is like daydreaming, because you may have good ideas but you're not making a concrete plan of action in order to accomplish them.
A good implementation plan will lay out every task you have to do at each stage of the process, along with a timeline for ensuring you meet your goals. This provides you with a step-by-step guide of exactly what you need to do in order to implement your strategic plan, and bring it to fruition. A bad implementation plan will kick you in the head.
The spreadsheet template below will help you put together a good implementation plan that lays out the specifics of everything you need to do -- as well as who is going to do it, when it needs to get done, and how it's going so far. And having an organized plan will make sure that your business goals aren't just strategized, but that they get implemented as well.
Any good strategic plan deserves a good implementation plan in order to see it carried out. Strategic plans and implementation plans are best friends. They go to the movies together. They eat ice cream together. One day they're going to get married.
If you plan to upgrade the sound system on all 12 theaters in your multiplex, you should probably have an implementation plan. If you are sad that all your old speakers aren't good enough and plan to go home and cry about it, that's an amp lamentation plan.
Some people think implementation plans are unnecessary for wide-scale computer upgrades, because things will probably go smoothly and people will just be happy to get an upgraded system. These people's names when mentioned to co-workers are often preceded by negative adjectives.
Use this implementation plan template to plan, track, and manage each stage of an implementation project. Gantt and Kanban views help users visualize the progress and status of tasks, and to quickly answer the essential question, "what am I personally responsible for?"
This template also features an "Overall Progress" row and "Days Until Launch" cell to keep teams up to date on their progress and stay aware of deadlines.
Enter the Launch Day at the top of the sheet, and the number of Days Until Launch will automatically count down.
Break the implementation project down into stages, and put each stage of the project into one of the blue parent rows. Use the child rows beneath each parent row to break each stage down into individual tasks, each with their own row.
For every step of the process, select an Owner to be responsible for it, and fill in the Start Date, Deadline, and Duration of that step. Track the progress on that step by selecting a Status tag (Not Started, In Progress, On Hold, Completed), and filling in the Completion Percentage.
For tasks that rely on another task being complete, simply tag the relevant task as a Predecessor. Any additional relevant information can be added as an Attachment or in the Notes field.
Use the Timeline View on the left to see a chart of all tasks and stages plotted across a timeline, where parent stages bracket component tasks, and predecessor tasks are connected by arrows.
Use the Status and Owner views for a Kanban sorting into columns to quickly identify which tasks need attention, from a specific person or overall.
Because good intentions aren't enough.
It's great to strategize about how you're going to improve your business, and have an idea of your goals and the results you're looking for. But if you want to achieve those goals, the best thing you can do is to have a plan for how you're going to get there. Companies with a good implementation plan tend to outperform those that don't have one, because good ideas are helpful, but knowing how to implement those good ideas — and then actually doing it — is what really leads to success.
So this implementation plan example can be useful for laying out exactly how you're going to achieve your strategic plan. And there are many benefits to doing this sort of preparation. Planning out your implementation timeline allows you to identify potential issues before they happen, and make sure everyone knows what they need to do by when, so you can stay on track and on deadline.
More generally, an implementation plan lays out every step of the process to ensure that everyone is on the same page. When everyone knows exactly what is going to be done and when, there are fewer unpleasant surprises, and more opportunities for synergy, alignment, buy-in, and other corporate buzzwords you may be sick of hearing but which still describe good and desirable things for your business that can be achieved through clearly communicating a detailed plan to your team.
Anyone with a complicated project to implement.
Not everything needs an implementation plan. If your current project only contains a few simple steps with no sub-tasks, and you just need to know when things are done and don't need to track completion percentages or a countdown to a launch deadline, you'd probably be fine with a standard To Do List.
But if you've come up with a strategic plan and the process of actually implementing it is going to be a little complicated — whether that's because each step involves a number of smaller tasks, or because it's a company-wide rollout that needs to adhere to a tight time schedule — then it's a good idea to use an implementation plan template like this one to write down and track every step that will be required for your ideas to come to fruition.