Stage 7 Implementing the Plan

An Implementation Plan should be developed for the Actions selected in Stage 4. This must consider all the elements of the project, how they are linked and sequenced, how they are to be financed, and who should implement them. It must also consider risks and how to deal with unexpected circumstances, delays, challenges and setbacks.

Above all, the Implementation Plan must be realistic and take into account the conditions of the host environment.

The objectives of this stage are to:

  • Develop a practical Implementation Plan that will achieve the desired actions within the available resources and constraints in an effective and efficient manner
  • Prepare the implementation team and structures to deliver the project

This stage consists of four activities:

  • Develop the comprehensive Action Plan, including individual actions, their linkages and interdependencies, sequencing, timing and communications strategy
  • Develop the Financing Plan, including financing of actions and project management
  • Assess Feasibility and Risk and prepare Contingency Plans
  • Identify Roles and Responsibilities and specify the Implementation Team

These are illustrated in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Develop the Implementation Plan

The Guidelines do not provide guidance on individual elements in preparing Implementation Plans

However, it is advisable to:

  • Consider the applicable baseline scenarios and be realistic about what is feasible
  • If any changes are required in the regulatory, institutional or organizational frameworks, pay very close attention to the sequencing of events and the available contingencies. Changing laws and regulations is notoriously slow and contains risk that the outcome might not be as desired. There are also risks of legal challenges or obstacles
  • Similarly, if permissions/approvals are needed, especially for innovation, care must also be taken. Refusals, delays, or unexpected conditions can thwart the project.
  • Pay close attention to the sequencing of Actions, so that enabling Actions are guaranteed to be in place by the time other Actions need them
  • In multi-Action projects, try to achieve some visible improvement actions early on in order to gain public and political confidence in the program
  • Keep the consultation and participation of stakeholders throughout the project, including customers and general public
  • Identify a project champion at senior political or administrative level, who will provide support during the inevitable times of slow progress, setbacks, or negative reaction from stakeholders
  • Establish professional project teams with a clear mission and mandate to implement the Action(s), and with sufficient experience and motivation
  • Ensure that responsibilities are clearly defined
  • Where possible, involve directly affected stakeholders in implementation – e.g. within project and design teams – both to harness their knowledge and to maintain their support
  • Make adequate provision for training and know-how transfer to both the project implementers and stakeholders who must operate, use or manage the system. This could include study tours and secondments for innovative processes, so that the implementation team properly understands what it is trying to implement
  • Ensure that the financing plan is practical, comprehensive and realistic. Double-check that the finances really are available and that stakeholders are willing to commit the investment and operating funds
  • Where operators are expected to provide investment finance, consider ways to assist them to gain access to funds at reasonable rates. This is especially important where banks do not have experience of lending to the sector.
  • Pay adequate attention to the disruption and inconvenience during the implementation and start-up phases. This covers customers, other road-users, and the buses themselves. It this is not properly planned, it can cause serious revenue loss to some bus operators, with long periods of disrupted bus services, and provoke strong reaction from motorists and politicians.
  • In the Risk Assessment and Contingency Planning Process, be honest in assessing the real level of risk. Pay attention to the risks of legal challenges (including ones designed solely to delay) and of stakeholders working against the project
  • In complex projects, prepare mechanisms for handling disputes among stakeholders.
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