Strategy and plans do not fail in formulation; they fail in implementation. Time and time again, my clients prove this statement.
Although I am an expert in helping clients select the best ERP system to meet their objectives (and have developed a proprietary process for just this process – ACE), system implementations go awry during implementation. I also happen to be an expert at significant change initiatives in complex organizations (whether merger and acquisitions or culture change) – undoubtedly, they go off the rails during implementation; not formulation. Thus, it is quite critical to consider the value of implementation.
Because these initiatives are core to success, it is worth thinking about what has the most impact on results. The problem with implementation is that it requires hard work and leadership. There aren’t short cuts on this path to success. For example, when going through a merger, acquisition or selling the business, it is important to think through how you’ll handle issues that arise. If there is one certainty with these types of projects, it is that issues will arise. If you haven’t figured out how to address them so that the team aligns with the path forward, damage will be done. Synergies will disappear. Margins will decline. Morale will drop. Customers might hit the road. Thinking through how to handle these scenarios in a way that aligns with “what you said you’ll do” and the company philosophy is important.
If nothing else, consider “thinking before you act” when it comes to implementation. It is easy to slide to the 80% fail rate to meet expectations. You must be on your toes, proactive and fully understanding the value of implementation for success to consider following you.