A strategy is critical for the direction, accountability and achievement of objectives. However, the strategy will only come to life when the actions – policies and practices – supporting the objectives are implemented. This means a relentless and consistent focus on the execution is central to the success of the strategy.
A strategy also provides the all-important roadmap for execution, and helps to identify core priorities when resources are limited.
The next step is to develop an action plan, outlining the policies and practices that will be implemented to realise the gender equality vision.
For the development of the action plan, first decide which focus areas to target. You will also need to ensure that you have the required resources to execute any actions.
To help guide execution, we suggest the following steps:
Decide on a time frame to implement actions under each focus area
A typical strategic time frame will span three to five years. Actions and initiatives need to be distributed over the time frame to ensure cost-effective delivery outcomes, and time frames need to be identified for each action.
Prioritise your actions and consider these dynamics:
- potential impact and likely return on investment
- level of stakeholder support and how this might change over time
- timing of, and relationship with, HR, business or other change initiatives
- availability of resources
- regulatory and other external drivers.
Secure a budget and resourcing
Finalising a budget will require extensive stakeholder engagement and careful planning. Make sure you budget for unexpected bumps in the road.
Develop an action plan for each key focus area which details:
- outcomes and deliverables
- time frames with milestones
- resources required
- approaches and methodologies
- roles and responsibilities
- work streams – progressive completion of tasks by different groups