The Three Buiding Blocks Of Business Strategy Implementation.

Strategy implementation is the term used to describe the last phase of the strategic planning process.Review the appropriateness of the choices you generated during the phase of identifying your best strategic options .

Johnson and Scholes a re-known publisher on strategy matters has developed a three step framework which will enable you to evaluate each of your chosen options and then choose your best business strategy. Namely:

  • Suitability.

  • Feasibility.

  • Acceptability.

This page has a detailed blue print of the key factors underlying each of the three questions you need to ask your self when assessing the best strategy implementation for your business.

1. Suitability

The first consideration that you must make when evaluating a potential strategy is to consider whether or not it is suitable for your company.

Suitably appraise an identified strategy by matching it with results from your strategic analysis phase. Questions to answer are :

  • Will the strategy help the company to achieve its objectives?

  • Does it address threats and weaknesses?

  • Does it build on identified strengths and exploit opportunities?

  • Does it fit in with the company’s mission?

Example 1.
If your company is strong in marketing, will the strategy help to exploit the company’s marketing expertise ?

Example 2.
If your company’s future is facing a threat from other companies entering the market, will this strategy implementation deal with that threat ?

2. Feasibility

The issue of feasibility evaluates whether your chosen strategy can be implemented successfully. The resources your company has at its disposal will obviously determine this. Key resources are :

If your company was pursuing a strategy of product development, one consideration would be if it has the physical production capacity to sustain the strategy.

Human Resource
If your company was pursuing a strategy of market development, one consideration would be if it has the right human resources in place to achieve this for strategy implementation.

Can you afford to pursue this strategy?

If you are going for market development, is your brand name strong enough?

3. Acceptability

The final issue to address is whether the selected strategy will meet the expectations of the key stakeholders in the business.Typical issues to be looked at would include the level of risk and return resulting from the option.

Analysing Return
Ask your self. Is the return from the strategy acceptable to our key stakeholders?

Units of measure are:

  • Profitability analysis ( Forecasting return on capital employed, determining payback period, use discounted cash flow i.e NPV/ IRR).

  • Cost benefit analysis (attempt to put a monetary value on all the costs and benefits of each strategic option)

Analysing Risk
Will the risk to undertake the strategy implementation be accepted by stakeholders.?

Units of measure are:

Financial ratio analysis ( Uses key financial ratios to measure risk as depicted in your company’s balance sheet)


As a shop retailer, assume you were eager to grow quickly by funding shop fitting costs through delayed payments to your suppliers and also increasing your overdraft. In this case, a liquidity ratio measured against your current assets will depict reduced liquidity and increased financial risk to your business.

Sensitivity Analysis(Use a spreadsheet to question and change each of the important assumptions underlying your business options. E.g the sensitivity of profit to any of your assumptions).

Analysing Stakeholder reactions (Consider the impact of the reactions from key stakeholders and weight your strategy implementation accordingly. i.e shareholders, Bankers, Suppliers, Employees)

Strategic implementation

Strategic implementation can be a very wide and complex subject ranging from project management through to setting up business structures. However, as with strategic analysis and strategic choice from our planning process, it is possible to simplify the issues in to a number of key sub-headings:

  • Resource management.

  • Organisational structure.

  • Management of change.

Resource management
Here you ensure that all factors discussed under feasibility above are working for you in the best way possible. You may also use Budgets and other performance management tools found under the balanced scorecard .

Organisational structure
Here you deal with issues regarding levels of hierarchy i.e Centralisation verses Decentralisation, together with structural form and style of management.

Management of change
This involves dealing with people who might not be aware of the need for changes in strategy implementation. Therefore, you need to carefully review the scope, speed and style of the changes in order to obtain full commitment to them.

An expert on change management called Kurt Lewins developed a three-step approach, described below:

  • Unfreeze.

  • Change.

  • Refreeze.

For the change to take place, you must break down the existing equilibrium (culture, skills, brand, terms of employment) before adopting a new one.

This is the second stage, mainly concerned with identifying what the new, desirable behaviour or norm should be, communicating it and encouraging individuals and groups to ‘own’ the new attitude or behaviour.

To be successful, Lewins recommends that you should consider adopting of the following management styles so as to improve acceptance of the change.

  • Participation with employees affected by the change so they feel more of a sense of ownership.
  • Educating and communicating the new ways so that they fully understand what is going on and not in a situation where they are afraid of the unknown and therefore show resistance.
  • Negotiation may also be appropriate if there are large group stakeholders such as a trade union.

This is the final level of strategy implementation, implying that you are consolidating or reinforcing the new behaviour or concept. You may use positive reinforcement (praise, reward, etc.) or negative reinforcement (sanctions applied to those who deviate from the new behaviour).

The discussion on strategy implementation is a composition of models that could help you produce a detailed and complex diagnostic report highlighting the key ingredients of feasibility, acceptability and suitability in lieu of other concerned stakeholders.

You may ask your CPA to review your case for comprehensive analysis, or contact us, for online support.

Return from strategy implementation to strategic planning process.

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