Strategic implementation is putting in place the planned or formulated strategy into action. Strategy Control is monitoring the implemented strategy and then making changes in the strategy as per requirement of the environment.     

Normally, we fail to distinguish between strategy formulation and strategy implementation. But it is crucial to realize the difference between the two because they both require very different skills. Also, a company will be successful only when the strategy formulation is sound and implementation is excellent.

Forward and Backward linkages: -

Forward Linkages: -

A strategy formulation requires changes in the organization for implementation. The changes can be in the form of:

Organization Structure

Leadership style

Flexibility to adapt new technologies, innovation etc. 

Backward linkages:

Similarly, the formulation process is also affected by factors related with implementation. Organizations should adopt those strategies which can be implemented with the help of the present structure of resources combined with some additional efforts.

It is to be noted that while strategy formulation is primarily an entrepreneurial activity, based on strategic decision making the implementation of strategy is mainly an administrative task based on strategic as well as operational decision making.

Issues in Strategy Implementation

Implementation of strategies is not limited to formulation of plans, programs and projects. Projects would also require resources. After that is provided it would be essential to see that a proper organizational structure is designed, systems are installed and functional policies are devised so that plans may work.

Given below are some issues in strategy implementation which are to be considered.

  • Project implementation
  • Procedural implementation
  • Resource allocation
  • Structural implementation
  • Functional implementation
  • Behavioral implementation

It should be noted that the sequence does not mean that each of the above activities are necessarily performed one after another. Many activities can be performed simultaneously. But the transition from strategy formulation to strategy implementation requires a shift in responsibility from strategists to divisional and functional managers. Sometime this transition may create problems, particularly all the activities are not communicated smoothly. Therefore, it is essential that divisional and functional managers be involved as much as possible in strategy formulation activities.

Managers and employees through-out an organization should participate early and directly in strategy implementation decisions. Their role in strategy implementation should build upon prior involvement in strategy formulation activities. The rationale of objectives and strategies should be understood clearly and communicated through-ought the organization. Major competitor’s accomplishments, products, plans, actions and performance should be apparent to all organizational members. Major external opportunities and threats should be clear and managers and employee’s questions should be answered, top-down flow of communication is essential for developing bottom-up support. 

Finally, to conclude organizations can also go for certifications like ISO 9001 for Quality management and ISO 27001 for information security processes and various other standards for which the organizations have to undergo a process of audit to rectify their processes, this can be just one small part of their strategic initiatives which will lead to continual improvement of their work processes.