Friday, December 23, 2011

MUSINGS ON IMPLEMENTATION MANAGEMENT

MUSINGS ON IMPLEMENTATION MANAGEMENT 
By
VIKRAM KARVE


We may be very good at conceiving and planning things, but very poor at implementation, especially in infrastructure projects which are plagued with time and cost overruns and crisis management. This is certainly true of the various development works, especially building of roads and execution of infrastructure projects, which I see perpetually in progress in and around Pune undergoing endless time overruns and cost overruns and one wonders when these projects will be finally completed. 

Thus, proper implementation seems to be the key to progress and success. So here are some of my thoughts on the art of implementation.
 
Implementation is the phase between a decision and its realization. It is the vital ingredient between planning and execution.

Implementation may be placed in a continuum in which interaction takes place between those who seek objective and those on whom action depends.

The importance of implementation is undeniable because it is a struggle over the realization of ideas.

Effective implementation overcomes the gaps between intention and promise, aspirations, achievement and performance, and prescription and reality. Implementation comprises the ability to achieve specified ends by chosen means.

The time factor is critical in the implementation phase of a project.

Contingencies characterize implementation in several ways hence interactive and dynamic elements are vital to implementation management in order to forge links in the causal chain connecting actions to objectives with a view to minimizing the discrepancy between what actually occurs and what was envisaged.

Implementation is not self-executing.

Implementation is not a process that follows automatically once a program has been formulated. 

Implementation requires the presence of an action-forcing mechanism.

Implementation is a control task; hence, it needs to be dynamic, flexible and adaptable to changing situations.

Breakdowns of implementation represent fundamental failures to translate meaningful ideas into effective action.

Despite taking initiatives and using rational methods, on many occasions implementation is swamped by constant pressures of unpredictable problems and crises.

It is important to distinguish between non-implementation and unsuccessful implementation. 

In the case of non-implementation, the program is not put into effect as intended.

Unsuccessful implementation, on the other hand, occurs when a program is carried out, but fails to produce the desired results.

Implementation seems vulnerable to the domino effect in that when the initial phase is troubled the implementation failure tends to transmit itself to later phases. 

Once implementation dynamics are set in motion, they become vulnerable to adverse or diversionary forces which pull them away from their original design. Hence, a cogent implementation schedule and specific techniques are necessary to move from the realm of intention to the ambit of reality.

Force Field Analysis, a technique developed by Lewin, is useful in designing and executing the implementation process.

Force Field Analysis is a technique for systematically reviewing the elements working for and against a proposed course of action. It assumes that in any situation there are both driving forces and restraining forces that influence implementation. 

Driving Forces are those forces that facilitate implementation.

Restraining Forces impede the implementation process
 – they tend to restrain, dissipate, decrease or negate the Driving Forces.

For successful implementation it is essential to push on and overpower or immobilize the restraining forces, or try to transform the restraining forces into driving forces.

From the Human Resource (HR) perspective the Driving Forces include:
Participants [people who recognize their responsibility in the success of implementation], 
Movers[people who remove obstacles to implementation when they encounter them] 
and 
Shakers [people who recognize an opportunity and will make implementation happen] 
and 
the Restraining Forces may comprise 
Spectators [people not interested in implementation], 
Protectors [of Status Quo], 
Doubters [of the way the implementation is being done], 
Worriers [who are afraid of failure]
and 
Switchers [people who abdicate and “delegate” their implementation responsibility].

Before embarking on implementation you must determine the driving forces and restraining forces and formulate a strategy to tackle them; if you rush into implementation without proper analysis, you may get frustrated and not know why.



VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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Email: vikramkarve@sify.com        

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