Implement the Plan Through a Planned Sequence of Steps
- Secure agreement to the overall framework of the plan by all officials who will be charged with responsibilities for implementation.
- Set up the sequence of implementation steps, with key persons responsible and target dates for each step.
- Develop implementation instructions: rosters of who should be notified with contact information, checklists, organizational charts, etc.
- Set up periodic briefings and educational workshops (anticipating changes in leaders) for:
- Key public officials
- Other community leaders
- Larger community (how to use system and conflict resolution skills)
- Conduct simulation exercises to test the plan and demonstrate its effectiveness to the larger community.
- Schedule regular meetings to update the plan.
WHY TAKE THIS STEP?
Planning is a crucial beginning and it must be followed by implementation. One of the biggest risks of creating any planning document is that the plan sits on a shelf. The initiators need to create an implementation plan that describes how the plan will be implemented along with establishing a system to ensure that regular updates occur. The implementation plan should detail actions that will be taken, by whom, and by when as a means of creating accountability. Defined periodic discussions to assess and refine the plan are important, too. When an implementation effort is designed with immediate actionable steps and achievements are celebrated, it creates a sense of positive movement that influences people to stay engaged.
ONE GREAT RESOURCE
- Chapters 11-14, Nancy H. Rogers, Robert C. Bordone, Frank E.A. Sander, & Craig A. McEwen, Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes (2013).
MORE DETAIL ON THESE STRATEGIES
If planners have engaged the right people in the planning process and developed a plan inclusive of the points in this document, there should be little resistance. Still, these kinds of processes have lots of moving parts and the people who need to be involved must be kept in the loop through regular communication. Planners should establish a system to ensure that there are regular opportunities to assess progress and make updates to the implementation activities as they are needed. Problems encountered along the way will need to be addressed and new circumstances taken into account. Plans will need to be updated. As leaders turn over, new leaders will need to be engaged and trained. The convening team plays a critical role: providing the committed leadership that will be needed for the effort and building the relationships that will be central to achieving a successful ongoing collaboration.