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Primary Care loves making plans, but less so implementing them. Making plans is the sexy, fun stuff, but while making plans is enjoyable, it’s also the easy part. Implementation is the hard part, and where things all too often don't go as you intended. The fact is implementation is difficult, not always enjoyable, and because of that it often ends in disappointment, if it starts at all. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In general, there are some common reasons why implementation fails and addressing these, either with some expert external support or alone, will deliver success when putting your plans into action.

Now, we’d love to help you if you’re at that planning stage, or ready to put plans into action. You can contact us here, but what we can do is share with you some of the common pitfalls that derail your plans:

No desire to change Resistance can happen when the benefits haven’t been identified or articulated clearly enough. If the reasons for change aren’t clear, then people are unlikely to go along with it. Make sure you address ‘what’s in it for them’.

Lack of commitment When people are comfortable enough with the status quo, or have a hidden agenda, then they will not be committed to changing. At the planning stage make sure it uncovers all agendas, addressing them and getting complete commitment. It only takes one influential person, who isn’t committed, to derail the best laid plans.

Responsibilities aren’t defined All too often everyone is engaged when making the plans, but there is no next step of what that actually means. There can be an unsaid expectation that ‘someone else’ will make it happen. As part of agreeing the plans, nail down the ‘what is needed’ and ‘who is going to do it’.

Not enough people to manage it Managing implementation takes time, and that’s hard to do alongside the day to day work. It can be a full-time job, or even need a team of people, with different skills. Make sure you consider not only who is going to do it, but also do they have the spare capacity to do it.

No real leadership Implementing your plans will require someone to take the lead. A person at the front and centre, keeping everyone focused on the goal, motivating and inspiring. They need to build the relationships with key parties, making sure there is openness and transparency, and above all keeping everyone and everything on track to success.

Poor communication Don’t take it for granted that people will know. Communication needs to be open, consistent, timely and inclusive, and needs to cover why something is happening, what will happen and what they're required to do. Make sure it is flowing in both directions, you want to know what questions are coming up, what is working and what needs some adjustment.

Implementation is the hardest but most important part of your plans. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help make yours a success.



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