Defining and creating an Implementation Team
To know how to create an implementation team, we must understand the tasks that the team should be able to accomplish and, with it, the skills and insight they will need to do so.
New projects, processes and ideas can transform any business, both in the short and long term.
Leaders today spend time and money developing a range of innovative changes that can help achieve any business goals. Still, no matter how well designed and developed that vision is, it is only ever as good as the implementation.
The poor rollout of any idea or project will impact its effectiveness, delaying or even eliminating the expected benefits. Yet too often, that implementation process is treated as an afterthought rather than a key element of the design process.
Success requires effective implementation of these new ideas, with the most impressive approach to accomplish this being the implementation team.
What is an implementation team?
Fundamentally, an implementation team is a designated group with accountability for introducing the project or process.
The team plays an active role in supporting the implementation of a new process or project and has ultimate accountability for the initiative’s success. That accountability makes the difference and is why an implementation team is such an essential part of the process.
Implementation is complex, often involving multiple teams and individuals, affecting numerous business processes along the way, with a large number of tasks involved.
With accountability, there is evidence that implementation is accomplished more efficiently and effectively, leading to higher-quality outcomes for all stakeholders.
Many implementation programs mistakenly believe that one or two leaders can ensure the initiative’s success, but as individuals are faced with new challenges, focus can change, leaving implementation to chance.
By having an implementation team that possess the necessary skills, knowledge, abilities, and time to succeed and accountability for any issues encountered, the implementation process will have support to complete all objectives.
How do you create an implementation team?
If we accept that an implementation team is not just helpful but incredibly beneficial in delivering success for any initiative, then the challenge is to create an effective implementation team that can oversee the project.
What does an implementation team do?
While they can vary from project to project, there are several expectations for any implementation team, as follows:
- Analysing organisational strengths
- Assessing and reporting capacity and outcomes
- Building connections with internal and external stakeholders
- Defining organisational needs
- Ensuring equity in implementation
- Increasing collaboration and readiness for all stakeholders
- Installing and sustaining the implementation drivers
- Problem-solving and promoting sustainability
- Selecting innovations based on identified needs and root causes
- Utilising system change best practices
Skills and abilities
With those tasks in mind, our implementation team must possess a range of skills that will allow them to oversee and drive forward implementation. While a range of leadership skills are involved, in particular, the team must be able to:
- Understand the various components of the implementation and how they connect to the goals of the project
- Engage and build relationships with stakeholders at all levels
- Develop and manage effective teams to oversee the implementation processes
- Offer detailed analysis of data to deliver informed choices that support ongoing, complex change
- Leverage coaching and training to facilitate the necessary change
Depending on the scale and scope of the project, you may need multiple implementation teams at different levels of the organisation to adequately drive success and maintain oversight.
Building the team
Every member of your implementation team is crucial to overall success, but it is the person who will ultimately make the critical choices that shape the way you get there. Starting at the top means setting that tone early on, and it is the best way to begin creating your implementation team.
Your team leader needs to have exceptional communication skills and be someone who has the respect of stakeholders at every level, especially the people they will be leading.
They need to be able to inspire others, too, as any implementation process will present several challenges they will have to overcome.
With a leader secured, you also need a core group that brings the skills and knowledge to accomplish the wide range of tasks required within the implementation process.
This will include:
- A project manager
- Leaders from each affected area of the business
- An IT specialist if required
A project manager is important, someone with experience in overseeing large change and who can act as a coordinator for the various tasks and requirements of the implementation process.
Their work is supported by leaders from each business area affected by the implementation. Their goal is to offer detailed insight, understand the challenges and be the liaison to stakeholders affected by the process.
This core group will often work with a wider team as required throughout the project. It will form the accountable group that carry out due diligence and hold the ultimate responsibility for the entire process.
Choosing individuals to fit into these roles will differ from organisation to organisation, but it is important to be objective in these choices.
It can be tempting to simply give people these roles due to longevity in their respective fields within the business or to avoid disappointment. However, creating a team on this kind of decision making negates the entire purpose of an implementation team.
The objective is to identify the best people to lead the process, not just some people to lead it.
The team requires people who can stay positive under pressure, have the necessary knowledge and skillset, and are enthusiastic about the process.
Once selected, though, they must be fully aware of the expectations for the team, along with clear communication lines and other support to help them develop the implementation without feeling as if they have been simply left alone to cope with everything.
Support for their work is essential, no matter how effective your choice of personnel may be.
Build your implementation team
With a careful assessment of the skills and knowledge required to implement change, objective analysis of the best talent for the team, and robust support structures to enable the process, an implementation team can ensure faster, more efficient adoption of new processes and bring successful outcomes for all aspects of any new initiative.
If your business needs support in building an implementation team, reach out to our consultants at Exo Digital and we can assist you during this process.
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