“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
In the world of project management, it is quite common for managers to invest too much time and effort into solely creating plans and not enough time on implementing those plans. While time is often of the essence in any project, an equal balance is crucial.
Developing strategic plans is an accomplishment within itself; however, the job of a project manager is to constantly achieve goals and reach benchmarks. Nothing symbolizes the achievement of attaining goals more than the results of actual implementation. However, like Karen Davis, CDCG’s President & CEO, once said “Strategic plans don’t implement themselves,” or in layman’s terms and for the love of clichés, “Actions speak louder than words.”
No matter how great the project manager may be, she or he can’t do it alone. Therefore, to be successful in the implementation phase, certain key essentials are needed: (1) The right people must be ready to use their skills and abilities to implement various elements of the plan; (2) Sufficient time and money must be allocated to the project; (3) Management must communicate and be ready for meetings with monthly updates; and (4) The tools and resources necessary to track progress must be in place.
Without a doubt, bringing projects into fruition is an important step, when linking the planning stage to the final achievement of strategic goals. A good project manager knows he or she must break down larger strategies into smaller components in order to put each project into action all in a timely manner. Making “pretty” plans that sound and look good on paper isn’t enough. As project managers, we, at CDCG, know that we must ensure that those plans turn into action steps.