What Is Implementation Planning? And How to Write Your Plan

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover what goes into implementation planning, why it’s important in project management, and how to build your implementation plan.

[Featured Image] A project manager in a yellow sweater uses their laptop and a whiteboard to work on implementation planning.

What is implementation planning?  

Implementation planning is a process in project management that entails creating step-by-step instructions for completing projects. The purpose of this process is to inform members of a project team of the concrete actions and individual tasks required to achieve the team’s strategic goals.

What is an implementation plan? 

An implementation plan is a written document that outlines a team’s steps to accomplish a goal or project. Having such a document enables team members and key stakeholders to understand all aspects of a project before executing it. 

Although you may find implementation plans that differ from one project to another, there are several components you may find in common, including:

  • Project objectives 

  • Scope statement 

  • Risks analysis 

  • Resources and tools list 

  • Outline of deliverables 

  • Implementation strategy 

  • Implementation schedule

  • Team roles and responsibilities 

  • Implementation plan metrics

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Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

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Benefits of creating an implementation plan

Creating an implementation plan for your project means you have an actionable roadmap for the whole project and a mechanism to hold team members and stakeholders accountable, simplify communication, and offer transparency.

Strategic plan vs. implementation plan

Implementation plans are sometimes referred to as strategic plans, but there is an important distinction between these two terms. A strategic plan details the strategies you’ll use to complete a project, while an implementation plan details the step-by-step actions you’ll take to complete a project.  

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How to write an implementation plan 

Before you start writing your implementation plan, there are several things you’ll need. Be sure to get an official clearance from decision makers and stakeholders for the project to be launched. In addition, the project team will need to have conducted thorough research into the key resources the team will need and the time tasks will take to complete. 

With this preparation behind you, follow the steps below to build your implementation plan.  

1. Define your project goals.

A project goal refers to what a project team will accomplish beyond the tangible outcomes or deliverables. Think of it as what a project outcome or deliverable can enable for others. For example, your project goal might be to develop software that makes it easier for business owners to reach customers. 

2. Define outcomes and deliverables.

Along with goals, you will need to define the project’s outcomes and deliverables. These are the expected results of every step you take to complete a project or the final product. Examples of outcomes and deliverables include the construction of a building, the development of a software program, and the launch of a new product line. 

You’ll also need to define KPIs (key performance indicators) that will determine how your project is measured and monitored at every phase.  

3. Assess potential risks. 

Every project carries with it some risks that may affect the outcome. It’s important to know project risks before you launch the project and implement the steps to complete it. Risks might include unforeseen delays, costs, or even changes in the industry the project affects.  

4. Set tasks and due dates.

Work with team members to determine the specific tasks and subtasks that must be completed for the project to come to fruition. Start by breaking the project goal, outcomes, and deliverables into actionable steps and lining them up in the order in which they need to be completed. Then, determine the actual deadlines for each step. 

5. Assign team member roles and responsibilities. 

Once you have established the individual project tasks and deadlines, the next step is to work with your team to assign member roles and responsibilities. Take team members’ strengths and experience into account when assigning tasks, as well as their availability during the project’s duration. 

6. Assemble your implementation plan. 

Now that you have all the components of your implementation plan, the final step is to assemble them into a coherent document that includes the following: 

  • Project objectives

  • Scope statement

  • Implementation strategy

  • Risks analysis

  • Resources and tools list

  • Outline of deliverables

  • Implementation schedule 

  • Team roles and responsibilities

  • Implementation plan metrics

Implementation planning key takeaways

Remember: The implementation planning process can enable team members to understand all aspects of a project before executing it, as well as simplify communication among team members and stakeholders, and offer transparency.

Follow these best practices to get the most out of your project management process:

  • When in doubt about a particular aspect of your project, conduct additional research and consult subject matter experts. 

  • Centralize communication using your project management tool so that everyone receives project updates and announcements at the same time.  

Learn project management with Coursera

Taking online courses can be a great way to learn more about project management and explore career options. 

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professional certificate

Google Project Management:

Start your path to a career in project management. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than six months. No degree or experience is required.

4.8

(71,593 ratings)

947,819 already enrolled

BEGINNER level

Average time: 6 month(s)

Learn at your own pace

Skills you'll build:

Organizational Culture, Career Development, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Project Management, Stakeholder Management, Business Writing, Project Charter, Project Planning, Risk Management, Task Estimation, Procurement, Quality Management, Project Execution, Coaching, Influencing, Agile Management, Problem Solving, Scrum, Effective Communication

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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