The period after the initial launch of a strategy is a critical time for ensuring its success. Where actions are implemented quickly, they may be more likely to be accomplished. However, for a variety of reasons, this isn't always possible or desirable. Multi-year strategies may contain a series of actions which require short, medium and long-term implementation. Many strategies therefore have a timeline for implementation setting out which actions will be commenced over which time frame.
In this case, regardless of the length of time a strategy covers, the key is to ensure consistency in implementation through a structured approach with various safeguards to ensure it is effective.
Examples of practice to encourage effective implementation from previous race equality strategies include:
- Mandatory personal and/or departmental objectives linked to implementation of a strategy
- Inclusion of risk and mitigation sections (identifying reasons why actions might fail and assigning means of mitigating along with assigning responsibility for this)
- Formation of groups with a scrutiny function, both internal and including external stakeholders
- Assigning responsibility for actions to specific post holders
- Monitoring and progress reporting mechanisms
These examples are not mutually exclusive, and a robust strategic plan might incorporate several mechanisms to ensure implementation progresses.
On a practical level, additional factors which might assist include:
- Proactive leadership on implementation at all levels of the organisation
- Requiring verbal and written reports on implementation in regular departmental reporting processes
- Measures to improve continuity and sustainability of implementation, particularly where staff move around and responsibility must transfer to another team member
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