If you ask managers what frustrates them about the planning process, they will often tell you it’s the lack of execution on the plan. Managers see value in planning and committing the time to planning, but recognize the return on investment is often not realized. This frequently occurs because planning for the execution of the plan often comes at the back end of the process. At this point planning fatigue can set in and people may be anxious to move back into a state of action which can be much more satisfying than planning.
To overcome this frustrating lack of outcomes, it’s important to budget time in your planning process for how the execution will get done. The key is to create timelines around each of the important initiatives that will be tracked and schedule a check-in for those initiatives on at least a monthly basis. It’s important to engage all the individuals who will be involved in getting the work done in the creation of the timelines. You must create a culture of involvment and commitment that motivates people to execute the agreed strategies and minimizes distrust, noncooperation, and even sabotage. Building execution into your business plan makes the process take a bit longer, but in the end it’s time well spent.