Implementing software at an organization, no matter the size, can be an unwieldy process. Without a concrete plan, it’s difficult to stay on track when it comes to achieving your overall strategic plan. Many organizations struggle with achieving their long-term implementation goals, not because they didn’t have a plan – most do – but because they may not have had realistic, achievable short-term goals built into that plan.
This is where it can be helpful to develop tactical approaches to achieve your long-term plans. But what are tactical approaches, and how are they different from having a strategic plan? Let’s start out by defining our terms.
A strategy can be defined as a high-level, long-term goal. Think of your organization’s mission statement. Let’s imagine that your strategic goal when you are implementing software in your organization is to effectively transfer knowledge quickly. This frees up your team members to concentrate on the more fulfilling aspects of their positions instead of struggling with administrative burden. That is a great goal, and one that everyone on your team will no doubt appreciate, but it doesn’t help you create an actionable plan for achieving that goal. You need to put smaller, realistically achievable goals in place along the way to help you get there, which is where tactics come into play.
Your strategy provides you with a high-level pathway that can serve to keep your team focused on the overall intended outcome, as well as, on the way to achieving your overall mission or goal. Tactical approaches, however, are more concrete, smaller steps that are accomplished under a shorter duration. Tactics are also sometimes referred to as “initiatives,” and they should be plans that are specific to your resources and to your organization, while also driven and shaped by industry best practices.
Tactics are well-considered, realistic, achievable, short-term goals that will bring you closer to your overall strategic goal, step-by-step.
Whether you are implementing a new software or a new process, breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable phases, a tactic is a best practice. Let’s take the creation of new workstreams and processes for grant performance reporting as an example.
Standardize your organization’s reporting process to drive best practices and decrease administrative burden.
Tactics employed to achieve strategic goal:
- Research best practices regarding reporting or consult with a trusted partner to help.
- Identify members of the team who will help create the new process.
- Standardize the way you create award applications or apply for awards.
- Develop sign-off procedures for key personnel.
- Establish and record internal reporting structures and workflows.
- Automate these processes with software to ensure they “stick.”
Those steps serve as an example of the way you can break down a smaller goal into more manageable, measurable tasks. When you start with the end in mind to make sure your project’s objectives, tactical approaches, key deliverables, milestones, and timeline are effectively aligned, you are more likely to successfully implement your project.
Implementing purpose-built technology to help you streamline your processes – with a partner who understands the importance of knowledge transfer – can help your organization respond to challenges quickly and consistently, no matter what comes your way. If you want more information on how to use tactical approaches to set your implementation up for success, don’t hesitate to reach out.
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