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A key factor that separates the most successful enterprises from the ones that are struggling to stay afloat is the quality of their strategic implementation plan. In other words, in business, an idea is only as valuable as its implementation. Therefore, the next time you’re skimming through what seems like the perfect business plan proposal, keep in mind that only the implementation plan can tell you how feasible the project in question really is. Our implementation plan template can be a great asset in the day-to-day job of any project manager. On this page you’ll find the answer to the most frequently asked questions about this project management tool, as well as a practical template that you can download, customize and use for free.
A project implementation plan is best defined in the context of strategic planning. To be more precise, strategic planning prescribes, in broad strokes, the guidelines for accomplishing goals or reaching decisions within the organization. The follow-through of these goals and decisions is defined in the strategic implementation plan. It’s a breakdown of generic tasks into actionable steps in an easy-to-understand timeline format, so that everyone involved has a clear picture of the expected deliverables.
The most common implementation plan example includes solutions for project requirements like:
This makes the project implementation timeline the most popular solution for presenting the implementation plan to stakeholders. Ideally and, of course, depending on the size and complexity of your project, you may want to use one that features more comprehensive items like:
By this point, the purpose of the project implementation plan template within the overall business strategy should be quite evident. Let’s explore some of the added benefits organizations stand to reap by creating a rock solid implementation plan:
Whether we’re talking about a software implementation plan template, technology implementation plan template, construction implementation plan template or anything else for that matter, project managers can use our project implementation template to help all team members quickly see what they are expected to deliver, when, and what steps and tasks they need to complete. This significantly minimizes delays caused by miscommunication. In addition, this timeline template can be used to show relationships between activities, track individual task progress as the project moves forward, or identify at-risk tasks.
Here are 3 tips to help you start making timelines for your project implementation plans:
The position of a task or milestone on your timeline can be used as a coding element. For example, if certain tasks or milestones are at risk or require paying extra care, they can be positioned above the timeband. It will help keep the implementation timeline tidy.
We believe you should stick with a simple implementation plan template as much as possible. To do so, staying organized is key and the little trick above may not cut it. No worries, there are many ways to keep related tasks and milestones together. For example, grouping them into swimlanes and even sub-swimlanes, using colors and shapes as coding, etc.
Granted, a large percentage of the items on your implementation timeline will require a strict completion date. The more dependencies there are between your tasks and milestones, the more important it is to be specific. On the other hand, others are difficult to predict accurately. In these cases, it’s better to show just the month or year, and save the detailed schedule of operations for the execution plan.
The project implementation plan sample was created with Office Timeline, a robust and easy-to-use timeline maker add-in for PowerPoint. While you can also manually edit the design and replace the default data with your own tasks and milestones directly in PowerPoint, it’s much faster and easier to do so with Office Timeline. If you need additional help on how to make timelines, explore our extensive tutorial section.
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This section offers you brief, informative answers to the most commonly asked questions about project implementation planning and management.
An implementation timeline is a working plan that lists all the activities necessary to complete a project or process, along with the responsible parties and the estimated time for task execution. For a more complex initiative, it could also include costs, expected obstacles, and objectives.
An implementation process refers to the strategic approach used to ensure the efficient adoption of new procedures or business processes in an organization.
Generally, a company needs a clear, well-thought-out implementation process to successfully streamline workflows, increase efficiency, or drive business growth. Whatever the strategic goals of your endeavor are, use our project implementation plan template to jumpstart the process and effectively implement the changes you want.
The four main functional stages that lay down the foundation of any implementation process are:
Exploration – it involves using data to determine a major need and defining the innovation required for meeting that need.
Installation – at this stage, diverse teams develop for training, coaching, and data system creation purposes.
Initial Implementation – at this point, the created teams support educators to use the innovation, and also strive for continuous improvement.
Full Implementation – this final stage involves the expansion of the existing teams to drive an increased adoption of the innovation, as well as improved outcomes.
If you want to create a timeline that effectively illustrates the stages of your implementation process, start with our easily customizable project implementation plan template. For more inspiration and a wider range of use cases, browse our gallery of timeline templates.
Here are the steps associated with implementation planning in general:
Forming a project team.
Defining the business process to be implemented.
Setting goals and objectives for the implementation initiative.
Creating an implementation plan that clearly outlines your project’s tasks, their duration and timeline, as well as the roles and responsibilities of all the participants.
Onboarding the project team.
Implementing the new/improved business process.
Conducting a post-implementation review.
Start working on your implementation plan and organize all this data more easily using our free customizable project implementation plan template. For more resources, check out our tips on creating a project implementation plan.
The following checklist defines the six most important components of an implementation plan:
List of your objectives.
Your project’s scope statement.
Your project’s deliverables.
The due dates of your project’s underlying tasks.
Team member roles and responsibilities.
See how these elements would translate visually by simply customizing our project implementation plan template. You can easily replace the placeholder data from the pre-formatted sample with yours, which saves you the hassle of having to start from scratch.
Want more ready-to-use designs to work with? Check out our free project timeline template gallery and choose your favorite.
Use the following steps to write an implementation plan that is both comprehensive and beneficial to your project team:
Define goals – What do you want to accomplish when your project is complete?
Conduct research – Use team collaboration tools to share your project goals and get feedback from team members and external stakeholders about the scope of your initiative.
Map out risks – What are the potential challenges that you may face in your project?
Schedule milestones – These checkpoints will help you track your progress during execution.
Assign tasks – Who does what and by when? This way, you can assess the assignees’ performance and monitor status more closely.
Allocate resources – What is the project’s priority level? Who is available to work on the project? What budget and tools are available? What additional resources are needed?
Learn more about this process with our tips on creating a project implementation plan and bring everything together on a clearly mapped-out work timeline using our pre-designed project implementation plan template.
The main difference between an action plan and an implementation plan resides in that the action plan describes only work packages and tasks. Meanwhile, the implementation plan is more comprehensive, addressing other variables that affect the implementation process as well, such as risks, resources, team roles and responsibilities.
To better understand the difference between the two project plan types, compare the action plan and project implementation plan samples that we have created for you. You can also browse our diverse collection of timeline templates to find dozens of other clear pre-formatted project visuals.
Here are the main 4 steps of successfully implementing a work plan:
Define a larger goal along with a set of SMART objectives.
List your resources and assign the tasks required to see your initiative through.
Establish a clear timeline that will represent your implementation schedule.
Use our ready-for-use work plan timeline template to jumpstart this process.
Track progress as the project advances to be able to identify and address potential obstacles.
Typically, an implementation checklist comprises 5 key stages:
Standardization – here is where you list the processes and tasks necessary to maintain your innovation/change idea.
Documentation – you need to create a plan that documents the new process and a timeline that will illustrate how the underlying activities need to happen for the change to be implemented.
Measurement – define what elements you need to measure for quality control and the tools for it.
Education – create clear training materials that will help every participant understand the new process.
Resources – determine the teams, tools, and budget required for the initiative’s implementation.
Generically speaking, the term “implementation” refers to the process of turning intentional, formal plans into practice using a specified strategy. The implementation process can take many forms depending on the industry in which you want to apply it. Here are a few examples:
In computer science and I.T. – implementation usually refers to the installation and deployment of new software, hardware, or technical specifications. Our project implementation plan is an illustrative example for this industry.
In healthcare – implementation refers to putting a program into practice to promote the uptake of new healthcare practices and approaches, such as deploying a system to deliver vaccines.
In business – implementation refers to the execution and rollout of any business plan or strategy that lays out the steps to follow in order to achieve a certain business objective.
For a diverse range of such examples, check out our timeline template gallery. You can download and automatically update any of them in PowerPoint using the free 14-day trial of the Office Timeline add-in.
Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly update any of these timeline templates or create your own project visuals. Easily change the texts, dates, colors, shapes and styles of your timeline, right from inside PowerPoint.