In general, strategic plans can fail for two types of reasons: inappropriate strategy and poor execution.
Inappropriate or ineffective strategies can occur due to:
- Failure to define objectives correctly
- Incomplete SWOT analysis with respect to the desired objectives
- Lack of creativity in identifying possible strategies
- Strategies incapable of obtaining the desired objective
- Poor fit between the external environment and organizational resources – infeasibility
More often than not, however, it’s not that the strategic plans fail – it’s theexecution that fails.
Here are some common reasons how or why execution falls short of the strategic plan:
- Over-estimation of resources and abilities
- Under-estimation of time, personnel, or financial requirements
- Failure to coordinate
- Ineffective attempts to gain the support of others or resistance
- Failure to follow the plan
- Loss of senior management focus and continued sponsorship
- Inability to predict reactions from competitors
- Over-estimation of resource competence
- Poor communications
- Failure to manage change
- Lack of focus
BOTTOMLINE: Failure to execute (following the plan) is the primary reason why strategic plans fail.