” Strategy is defined as the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise, and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out those goals ”
Analyzing the definition, it becomes obvious that strategy implementation is somewhat complex. Therefore, the successful implementation of a strategy would be how well the various components in carrying it out are successfully integrated and interact.
To identify significant problems encountered in implementing a new strategy in a business, a critical look at the components to be applied in implementing the strategy would be a good pointer. These are considered below: Organizational structure and design; and strategy implementation; translating the strategy into organizational action by using the structure of the organization will also be dependent on the type of structure in use in the organization. This is so because the needs of a multinational organization are different from those of a small business. It is also possible that the extent of devolution or centralisation can influence strategy implementation.
The next aspect in strategy implementation – resource planning sets out resources and competences need to be created. It deals with the identification of resources needed and how those resources will be deployed and controlled to create the competences needed to implement the strategies successfully. This resource configuration is dependent on: protecting unique resources ie where a strategy depends on the uniqueness of a particular resource such as patent; and it must be protected; by legal means; fitting resources together, (mix resources to create competence) business process re-engineering (to create a dynamic improvement in performance) and exploiting experience by learning and improving continuously to improve competency.
One of the major problems of strategy implementation as a result of resource planning is a failure to translate statements of strategic purpose, such as gaining market share into critical factors that will make the purpose achievable and extremely achieved. This a critical success factor analysis can be pursue as a start in resource planning. For example a definite timable might be needed for an organization trying to introduce, say a new product for Christmas. A detailed examination of the timing has to be done if production and its marketing would be a success; as well as the allocation of funds for this undertaking. The problem here is that due to the non-uniformity in the times needed for the various activities, it is difficult to know where to start.
Critical path analysis is recommended for strategies which have detailed planning of implementation. Another problem envisaged is the conflict involving some departments on the allocation of funds especially where money is involved in the implementation of the new strategy.
The next component in the implementation stage of the strategy is the management of strategic change. It is widely accepted that strategic change builds on four underlying concessions:
1.There is a clear view within an organization of the strategy to be followed.
2.Change will not occur unless there is a commitment to change
3.The approach to managing strategic change is likely to be context dependent.
4.Change must address the powerful influence of the paradigm and cultural web on, the strategy being followed by the organization.
There are two types of change – incremental change-which specifically builds on the skills, routines and beliefs of those in the organization, so that change is efficient and likely to win their commitment, and transformational change – which requires the organization to change its paradigm over time. It could have a change in routine (” the way of doing things around here ”. It could also be a change in strategy that will necessitate the change. resource planning which does affect the day-to-day operations of members of the organization; people’s behaviors and perceptions may not have changed.
To effect a successful strategy implementation, management must also adopt appropriate styles to manage the change processes. For example, it there is a problem in managing change based on misinformation, or lack of information, education and communication style will be used. This involves the explanation of the reasons for and means of strategic change. Collaboration or participation involving those who will be affected by strategic change in the identification of strategic issues; intervention, direction and coercion styles.
In conclusion, it could be expedient to point out that just as there are numerous definitions of strategy, its implementation style might differ and so might its attendant problems and solutions. Neverheless, since implementation involves the controlling of others behaviors and sometimes perceptions and culture, most problems would be human-related and probably possible solutions would be dependent on management style and behavior of the leadership in terms of structure and availability and allocation of resources.