It is common to adjust a plan once the work of implementing a decision begins. Throughout the implementation of the decision, there may be situations and issues that the decision maker did not consider initially.
During the implementation phase, decision makers should be aware that they may be persuaded by pressures from stakeholders and employees to change the decision that they have made or to reconsider their decision.
A person or group that affects or can be affected by an organization's actions.
After all of the alternatives have been analyzed and one has been selected, it is time to implement the decision. Three essential actions to implementing a decision are: developing a plan, communicating with stakeholders, and executing the plan (which includes assessing outcomes and making adjustments as needed).
Developing a Plan
A decision is reached with a certain objective in mind. Once it is made, managers identify the steps needed to reach that objective. These can include listing necessary actions and activities, considering required financial and other resources, and making a schedule for completing the work. The more thought that goes into developing a plan, the less likely it is that important factors will be overlooked.
Communicating with Stakeholders
An implementation plan requires the involvement of different people, and the consequences of decisions affect various stakeholders. For these reasons it is important to have a plan for communicating important information related to the decision and its implementation. This usually involves talking with employees, but may also mean letting customers or suppliers know about the decision and any effects it may have on them.
Executing the Plan
Accomplishing the decision's objective requires completing the steps outlined in the implementation plan. Once this work is underway, managers assess progress and may identify areas for improvement. Circumstances can change or new issues might arise that had not been thought of during the planning process. These may require additions to, or other changes in, the plan. Because most decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty, as time passes what was once unknown can become known. Where estimates were incorrect or the unexpected happens, adjustments need to be made to the implementation plans. If the new facts are significant enough, it can even require reconsideration of the decision.
During the implementation phase, decision makers should be aware that they may be persuaded by pressures from stakeholders and employees to change their decision, or to reconsider. A few of these pressures include coercive pressures and normative pressures. Coercive pressures come from the social sanctions that can be applied if one does not act in socially legitimate ways. Normative pressures arise from broad social values, and they concern what people think they should do. Both coercive and normative pressures will likely be felt by the decision maker during the implementation of the decision, especially if the decision is an unpopular one. However, the decision maker should fall back on the analyses that originally brought them to the decision and strive not to be swayed by these pressures.