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Transform into a strategic plan

No matter how strong the design of the strategy, it will only achieve its goals if it is effectively implemented. The reality is that the majority of strategies fail to get implemented. It's therefore critical to turn the list of solution options into an implementable plan. This process includes the following steps:

  • Assign roles and responsibilities
  • Define change processes and how they will be implemented.
  • Identify resource allocations and, where necessary, prepare a resource mobilisation plan
  • Identify timelines
  • Construct a results framework and monitoring and evaluation arrangements
  • Prepare the strategic plan document

 

Download the file "Example of an implementation planning worksheet" to support your work.

 

Roles and responsibilities

When identifying those who are to be responsible for implementing aspects of the strategic plan, it is important to consider whether they have the appropriate competencies to carry out the role (or how they can be supported in acquiring those competencies) and also whether they have the appropriate level of authority with the organisation as well as the time to carry out the responsibilities, particularly if this will be additional to their regular job.

 

Change processes

The importance of managing change has already been discussed in terms of the assessment and strategic planning process, and hopefully by this stage there is a good foundation for the ongoing change management process. It is important to plan the necessary change process during the ongoing implementation of the transformation. This will include identifying agents who will bring about the change for each reform as well as harnessing coalitions for change.

 

Download the file "How to assess change readiness" to support your work.

 

Resources and timelines

Ideally resources should have been identified to support the strategy prior to initiating the strategic planning process and the assessment. Regardless of the source, at this point it will be necessary to allocate the overall budget to the specific activities and to justify the investment either within the organisation or to external funders.

 

When doing the allocation it is important to cost in, not only the funding required for the implementation, but also for the independent sustainability of the initiative i.e. the cost of the one-time intervention plus the ongoing costs of maintaining the new situation in the future.

 

The costs for shorter-term initiatives can be determined through activity-based budgeting. This starts from planned activities and budgets the estimated, quantifiable inputs. Costs associated with more long term solutions are more complicated. If these cannot be accurately projected, the costing exercise should probably be limited to costing actual, planned activities to avoid questioning the credibility or legitimacy of the costs.

 

If the exercise reveals insufficient funds for all the proposed activities then either a plan needs to be made to mobilise additional resources, or the plan may need to be adjusted to fit within the available resource envelope. Based on the assessment results and strategic planning so far, a proposal can be prepared for mobilizing additional resources.

 

The temptation is often to assign all initiatives with high priority and aggressive timeframes, but it is important to ensure the plan is realistic in terms of what is truly achievable as well as to sequence activities appropriately with clear milestones.

 

 

Results framework

The importance of identifying a few high level indicators, with baselines and targets relating to the Strategic Goals, was mentioned above. In addition, indicators for the initiatives included in the plan need to be identified and this takes place on two levels:

  • The change in the performance, stability and adaptability of the procurement system or of the organisation. These are called outcomes.
  • The results of activities which are called outputs.

Indicators for both outcomes and outputs are needed to monitor progress and each indicator needs a baseline and target. The baseline data is used as the starting point for measuring progress: the targets may be either short-term or long-term with interim milestones.

 

Download the file "Illustrative Results Framework" to support your work. 

 

A monitoring and evaluation plan based on these outcomes, outputs and indicators should be developed and should include the following:

  • How the data is to be collected (methods).
  • The frequency of the measurement
  • Who is responsible for collecting the data/reporting
  • Resources required for monitoring
  • Risks and assumptions for carrying out of the monitoring.

Regardless of the type of indicators selected, they should be SMART. The availability of indicator data, or lack thereof, as well as the cost of gathering it, may mean that certain indicators should be reconsidered. Where possible, the monitoring should be incorporated into existing monitoring frameworks.

 

The ultimate objective of a functioning monitoring and evaluation system is to verify progress on a regular basis and to provide key decision-makers with a basis for informed decision-making, and adjusting existing strategies, plans, and measures accordingly.

 


Prepare strategic plan document

Last, but definitely not least, all this information should be compiled into a document. Once a draft has been prepared this should be circulated to key stakeholders for comment and feedback before being finalised.

 

Download the file "Example Table of Contents for a Procurement Transformation Strategic Plan" to support your work.

 

Attention should be given as to how the Strategic Plan is going to be communicated to key actors and stakeholders. This should be part of the change process defined in the document.

 

Options for a quick strategy formulation

In some circumstances it may be desirable to adopt a more simple approach to the strategy formulation, for instance, in situations where the scale of the assessment is small, or where time or resources are limited.

 

Steps for a quick strategy formulation:

  • Start with a column listing the gaps and root causes that were identified in the assessment process.
  • In the next column identify initiatives to address the root causes. This can be done in a team brainstorming process.
  • Review the overall list of initiatives for similarities, overlaps and inconsistencies and streamline into a coherent plan.
  • For each of the initiatives identify outcome and output indicators, with baselines and targets.
  • Thereafter add columns for roles and responsibilities, timeframes, priorities and sequencing, as well as costing.
  • Review the overall plan to ensure that it is realistic and achievable.

Download the file "Example of an implementation planning worksheet" to support your work.


Tools

Tools and resources for strategic planning.

 

See the file collection for all resources in this toolkit.

Files

Example of an implementation planning worksheet

How to assess change readiness

Illustrative Results Framework

Example Table of Contents for a Procurement Transformation Strategic Plan

Toolkit for Capacity Development

Public Procurement Capacity Development Guide

Procurement Capacity Assessment and Strategy Formulation in Malawi: A Case Study

See all files →
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