The first step to implementing strategy is to set Short Term Objectives. The goal with them is to take the Strategy – a 5 year or longer plan – and to break it down into goals that you can accomplish in a year or less. Doing this helps you have an organized way to get your plan in motion, it also creates some real ways that your staff can be involved. They might have a challenge seeing their role in a multi-year plan, but they can see what they can do to help things that you want to do in the next six months. This process is also where your strategy gets turned into tactics, specific steps that are put in place towards implementation.
Control, in this context, doesn’t refer to making things happen, but rather monitoring things as they happen to ensure that your plans are in line and that the results are what you are looking for. Some of the major types of control activity include:
Premise Control – where you monitor to ensure that the premises on which you based your strategy are still valid. If you made assumptions about consumer demand, prices, availability of raw material, etc., those are premises on which your strategy rests. By using premise control, you are looking to be sure that the foundation of your strategy is still solid.
Strategic Surveillance – here you are looking at events in the marketplace to see if events might be occurring that would affect your strategy and plans.
Implementation Control – this is where you are looking to be sure that your plans are being implemented on time and in line with your vision. It also includes looking to see if your strategy needs adjustment. If you are running way ahead of your plans, things might need to be accelerated. If you are running way behind, you may need to change your mode of implementation – or your plans themselves.