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BPI Implementation Plans – Build Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Implementation Plans – Build Phase


  • Implementation Plans are the last grouping of plans contained in the ‘Program Book’. Once the organization has built all elements of the new business solution (i.e. completed the Build Phase), it is in a position to focus fully on implementation. A series of Implementation Plans     identifies and sequences the remaining activities needed to fully operationalize the new solution and sustain its benefits.

Client Value

  • Implementation Plans represents the critical ‘make it or break it’ vehicle for the project and the organization. When large change projects fail, they typically fail at implementation. Ownership of the Implementation Plans by the organization’s most senior sponsor(s) is mandatory for success.   
  • Developing Implementation Plans provides the client with the opportunity to review what has gone well, and what has not, with respect to issues such as cultural change, resistance, commitment and effective sponsorship. This is particularly important at this point because     the BPI program now begins to include increasing numbers of people as it moves towards the Implement and Enhance phases.   
  • Implementation Plans assist in the establishment of cross-team communications (particularly in relation to interdependencies between the various implementation activities) and in the development of a co-operative organizational culture.
  • If there is no coordination during the complex implementation phase, the entire BPI initiative can lose focus, resulting in increased delays and resistance to change, as well as lower morale.


The steps identified below are similar to those used in developing the Migration Plan. The actual content of the Implementation Plan differs in that all Build activities will have been completed during the period covered by the Migration Plan.
  1. Define the implementation strategy.   
    1. Determine the minimum and maximum elapsed time-frames for full transition to the new business solution. The minimum is typically driven by the time required to put in place new technology, and the maximum is driven by market imperatives, such as revenues and costs.       
    2. Review how the BPI initiative has progressed and identify key learning points for incorporation into the way the initiative needs to be managed during the period of the Implementation Plan.       
      1. Define implementation principles (e.g. achieve return on investment by year two; implement non-technology dependent changes first; act only when there is committed sponsorship).
  2. Develop implementation plan
    1. Define separable sub-projects by grouping change activities that are manageable in size and comprised of highly inter-related tasks.       
    2. Identify the impacts of proposed changes upon employees. (Human Impact Analysis)      
    3. For each sub-project, identify objectives, major steps, time-frame, and resources, risks and inter-dependencies. (Work Packages)   
    4. Allocate sub-projects along timelines.            
    5. Define time-phased (e.g. annualized) costs and benefits.
  3. Identify and gain management consensus on the specific responsibilities of sponsors including:   
    1. Leading the transition from the Build phase through to Implementation   
    2. Holding the vision of the total BPI initiative and how their specific project fits within     the wider initiative       
    3. Networking with other sponsors   
    4. Reporting progress and seeking and providing support and assistance to/from other sponsors   
  4. Review the Communication Plan, and modify as required.
  5. Develop mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing the progress and implementation of all change activities during the period of the Implementation Plans. Include the identification of the specific impacts that the changes will have upon particular parts of the organization.



  • Resistance will be strong at this point of the BPI program. Encourage the sponsor to be highly visible. Step-up communications. Increase inter-sponsor and inter-team networking.
  • Be aware of possible anxiety about ‘handing the reins over’ to a wider network of sponsors. Provide coaching and facilitation support.

Helpful Hints/Tactics

  • Involve client staff who have proven themselves to be strong agents of change in the     development and management of the Implementation Plans.   
  • Provide ‘real-time’ team coaching and support on an ongoing basis.   
  • Refer implementation teams to the Readiness for Change Assessment, Shared Values and Guiding Principles, Sponsorship Role Map and Communication Plan deliverables to assist them in the development of specific change activities.    


  • Cross-reference implementation steps and roles with the Shared Values and Guiding Principles for the future (confirmed in the Envision phase) to ensure that they fit.
  • Sequence steps on the timeline so that they move at a steady and rapid pace. Loss of momentum is extremely dangerous in the implementation period.
  • One accountable project manager, reporting directly to the senior sponsor, should have authority over all elements of implementation.

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