To develop an implementation plan is useful in the view of the fact that there will be a reference point in monitoring the project. The implementation plan will ensure the project is run in an efficient and effective manner (Bryson, 2004). It is useful to be able to settle on the time frame of the project; train and educate the providers of the services, and share all the roles and responsibilities among the actors in the project. In addition it is used to give formal and written objectives and referrals, communication protocols and the policies, rules and regulations. Above all it is very useful in gauging the performance of the project in a logical and rational way (Bryson, 2004).
For an effective and efficient plan it must be written perfectly to the guidelines requested by the organization. It must be succinct; this does not mean that the plan should hide details. But, the details given should be concise and clear with all information involved being understandable and able to be implemented. The plan should not have numerous jargons and difficult vocabulary words, instead it should be in a simple and clear language that is easy to understand and make out. When many jargons are used they will make it hard for the reader and implementers to read and understand and thus may even mess on the plans. Any jargons used should be explained in writing instead of the writer assuming the reader knows them (Bryson, 2004).
The plans should also make sense and never be abstract; they must be logical explaining a clear view of the writer and be developed in a proposal as per the organizations guidelines. They should include the inputs of the organization and the objectives to be achieved if followed to the letter. To develop it the writer must look at what is around and whatever is happening in the organization, how the organization is affected and the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities the organization presents. In achieving this, an environmental scan needs to be carried out (Howe, 1997).
The organizations mission, vision, values, goals and objectives must be identified as the first step which will guide the plans. Identify the possible ways to achieve the goals and objectives, and then plan strategically. The required outputs must be accounted for about how they are to achieve the expectations and the output to be delivered. The outputs also need to be explained about how they will convey the outcomes sought. The assumptions of the plans and the possibility of working of the plan with the assumptions at play must be quoted and clearly outlined.
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A clear time line and the phases of the project must be outlined; that must be interdependent from other plans, regulations and policies (Howe, 1997). The plan must not contravene any code of ethics or regulations of the organization or any other laws of the state. The must be very clear on the path forward making sure the knowns and the unknowns are clearly explained and factored in the plans.
This section seeks to answer certain questions such as;
- What the project aims to achieve?
- Why it is important to achieve the goals and objectives of the plan?
- How the project monitors will know if the goals and objectives are achieved or not? (Bryson, 2004).
Most of the answers and information to the above questions will be obtained from the proposal developed before the implementation plan; which is the initiation phase of the project. The project definition will give a straight forward framework to identify the expectations, goals and objectives, time and budget. In essence the topics to be covered include;
- The accepted process objectives
- The context and environment of the process; that will encompass the need or problem that is being solved is outlined. Any related previous, past or current processes and the core ideas and research process that will shape the outcomes of the implementation plan.
- The date of approval and other legislations and policies that is relevant to the plan.
- The process solution, the method to solve the problems and achieve the goals and objectives; a brief statement on the output achievement and the desired outcomes (Bryson, 2004).
The measurable benefits that are expected to come from the plan; this should include the persons to benefit and how they are to benefit. It should accurately explain;
- intended beneficiaries of each objective including all assumptions, exclusions, constraints
- The delivered benefits by the specific processes; i.e. direct benefits and indirect benefits. And the discretion or procedure for sharing the benefits if there are any conflicts.
The objectives set must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Time Framed, and Agreed. On the other hand, the plan to be implemented needs to be Focused, Appropriate, Balanced, Robust, Integrated and cost effective (Howe, 1997).
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This section will seek to identify whether the policy goals and objectives are already achieved and the method used to achieve them. A clear and concise method to monitor and evaluate the policy must be outlined in this section. The performance indicators i.e. quantitative and qualitative need to be identified to evaluate the progress making sure they don't interfere with the policy plans.
It seeks to identify the executive participation in the project and their commitment to the plans. It also gives the managers of the process; those accountable; relevant partnerships; and the rules and regulations in the decision making process.
This section outlines all the project details critically. All the measurable factors, products and services, inputs, outputs and results are clearly described. The implementation plan should be given at this stage where all the goals and objectives are stated and how they are to be achieved (Bryson, 2004). In addition, the budget must be outlined and how the plans will be fixed to the existing budget.
The plan also requires the resources needed so as to effectively and efficiently achieve the desirable outcomes.
The schedule involves what the project is to deliver and the when it is to achieve that. This gives a framework that ensures the project is implemented on time, on budget and to the expectations. In this section the major phases of implementing the project are determined that will help in the process implementation (Howe, 1997). The logical sequences of events are described with the time they are to be attained and the context and concepts to be applied. The implementation schedule will give a clear direction to the remaining part of the project since it will contain a breakdown of the work to be done; that outlines activities, tasks, responsibilities, and time frame.
The schedule will help to identify the activities that will run concurrently, those that will overlap, and those to run sequentially. It will also explain the relationship and interdependence of the tasks and implementers. This is very important especially where uncertainties are identified in the project. In essence the schedule should contain the; project phase, deliverables in each phase, main activities in the deliverables, the major blocks to the plans, the persons or departments responsible for each activity, and any interdependence or relationships in the tasks.
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This is a very long-winded and objective section. It gives to detail of the activities in the implementation schedule. For instance, it describes each activity or task, outcomes, and resources and the staff to work on them. This section depends on the complexity and nature of the project and thus there is no specific format to be followed. It may be numerous pages for a complex project, and may also be presented in forms or tree diagrams to easily understand the structure of the project.
The budget entails the allocation and sharing of the funds available to the various tasks and phases. The budget will be based on the availability of the funds and though they may be shared on paper they must be made available physically. This section aims at controlling the costs of the project so that the expenditure does not exceed undesired limits. It guards against over or underspending and saves on cost (Howe, 1997). All cost must be included in the budget such as; administrative, technology costs, managing costs, salaries and wages among others.
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Includes the non financial resources needed in the project such as transport and accessibility. Such resources should also be outlined to ensure the project runs smoothly and effectively. Most are associated with critical resources which are either aligned to an activity or phase.
The project is always prone to risks which must be managed. In this section all the potential risks are outlined. The possible ways or reducing the risks is also identified so that in case they occur they may not derail the project's success but rather be attended to effectively (Bryson, 2004). Risks may be from; changes in the circumstances or new developments; refining of the project further; changing the project scope; and possible omissions that may be discovered. This should be done regularly to cushion the project from collapse.
The whole project needs to have assurance on the quality it provides; the integrity should not be compromised either on time or costs (Howe, 1997). The project therefore will need to be monitored and evaluated to ensure all the objectives are achieved.