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by Nicholas Morpus | Published on May 18, 2022
Image source: Getty Images
Whether you’re starting a new business, creating a new team, or trying out a new marketing strategy, you can’t dive right in and throw money at the first solution you stumble upon.
Strategic project planning is the cornerstone of a successful venture, just like every other business decision you make. You need an implementation plan to help you navigate the treacherous waters of undertaking a new strategic decision.
An implementation plan supports a strategic action plan process for all kinds of business operations and practices, whether you’re executing a new marketing plan or introducing a new software platform to your organization.
The implementation plan dictates the actions and methods you’ll use to turn your strategy into reality.
Building your strategic implementation plan may seem daunting the first time but don’t worry, I’ve laid out the six implementation plan steps.
The first step is envisioning and determining what the final outcomes will be. Whether it’s the adoption of a new software tool or a change in your team management strategy. Start with the endgame in mind.
Here are a few questions you need to answer about these outcomes:
Keep in mind the answers to these questions may shift as your implementation progresses. Just think of your answers as a springboard for the process.
Tips for brainstorming your desired outcomes
To help the process along, I’ve come up with a couple of tips to help you structure your outcomes.
While it’s too early to start delegating individual responsibilities, it’s important to establish an overall owner for this implementation process. This owner will take charge of tracking team productivity, assign individual tasks, and steer the implementation when the team veers off course.
Tips for assigning the implementation to an owner
One of the hardest decisions you’ll make during this entire process is choosing someone to lead the planning and execution of your implementation strategy. Here are a few tips to help you make that choice.
It’s time to ensure you understand all of the pitfalls before you proceed with your implementation plan. You don’t want to work halfway through the process before you realize you didn’t plan out buffer days to handle scope creep or additional panic funding in the budget.
This is why it’s crucial to conduct a risk assessment before committing to this implementation.
Tips for conducting a risk assessment
Developing your risk assessment is your best defense against issues that might derail your entire implementation strategy. Here are a couple of tips for identifying and mitigating those risks.
Budgeting. Everybody’s favorite project pastime (except mine). The key to a helpful implementation plan budget is to make all items and expenditures easy to measure and track.
Keep everything organized using spreadsheets or interactive budget tools offered by many project management platforms, such as Mavenlink or monday.com.
The two most pressing questions of this phase are:
Tips for creating a budget
Creating a budget is intimidating, but with the help of a few tips, you’ll be filling out your line items with ease.
Your implementation has an owner, and so should every task in the process. These owners are responsible for executing said tasks in your plan and reporting back progress to the overall manager. These owners are also responsible for handling the respective risks associated with these tasks.
Tips for delegating your tasks
Your tasks are specific to the type of implementation plan you put together, so I will leave that to you. Instead, I want to focus on giving you a couple of pointers for delegating your tasks.
You’ve gathered foundational information and now it’s time to take that and construct your plan. Like any well-crafted narrative, your implementation project schedule will include a beginning, middle, and end.
The beginning includes all of your initiation actions (setup, delegation, etc.), the middle consists of all your execution actions and progress tracking, and the finale includes all of your assessments and last-minute quality control.
You’ll want to make sure the scheduling decisions you make lead to the quickest and most cost-effective implementation without sacrificing quality. Use tools and strategies such as the work breakdown structure and critical path method to plan out the most efficient handling of tasks.
Tips for developing your schedule
This may be your first time putting together an implementation plan. If so, these tips will help you map out your process.
You don’t have to create your implementation plan all by yourself in spreadsheets and Word documents. You’ll find lots of project management software options out there well-suited to help you plan, manage, execute, and evaluate your implementation strategy.
To make it easy for you, I’ve listed three options that’ll cover all of your needs.
Mavenlink is the perfect “do everything” project management software for enterprise-level users. It’s a simple, powerful tool that’ll provide you with every function you need to plan and carry out strategy implementation and project steps, from task dependencies to budget reports.

Mavenlink is a powerful and “by the book” project management tool that’ll handle anything you throw at it. Image source: Author
Mavenlink is far better suited to enterprise-level users due to its pricing but if you can afford this platform, it is well worth the money. I’d especially recommend this software option to users looking for an experience that’ll show them the ropes of project management software.
Scoro is fantastic for many reasons. It’s easy to navigate (although learning some functions involves a learning curve), it offers nearly every project management feature you could ask for, and the report selection is extensive.
I want to focus on that last benefit because Scoro gives you some of the best reporting options I’ve ever seen.

Scoro offers detailed and actionable dashboards. Image source: Author
While the execution actions of your implementation strategy are important, tracking your progress is the key to ensuring and showing that success. Scoro gives you all kinds of report options that’ll help you measure activity, budgets, and even the “success rates” of tasks.
I’d recommend Scoro to users who are dealing with complicated implementation plans with many moving parts that require consistent attention.
When it comes to a combination of ease of use and versatility, monday.com is second to none. It is one of the easiest project management tools I’ve ever used and I would recommend this platform for nearly any user of any experience level.
Unlike the other two options, monday.com relies on its customizability to provide you with all kinds of features you’d use to plan out your implementation strategy.

monday.com’s user interface is very simple to learn and pleasant to use. Image source: Author
Using what it calls a “board” system, you are able to track your implementation plan tasks, delegate responsibilities, create dependencies, measure success through reports, and even create budgets.
This is the perfect tool for anyone looking to step away from the traditional project software experience and try something new.
Project management and business strategy are about more than planning. Growing your business requires solid execution and thorough after-the-fact evaluation.
That’s why we at The Ascent want to help you every step of the way with countless guides, from project management basics and best practices to detailed software reviews and alternatives pieces.
We regularly post and update our content to reflect the constant changes you’ll face while completing projects (even when dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic), so be sure to stay up to date on everything we have to offer.
Nicholas Morpus is the product management software expert for The Ascent, with experience working in the B2B space.
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