Factors affecting strategy implementation among water service providers licensed by lake victoria north water services board in Kenya
Organizations are usually set up with the intention of excelling in whatever they are formed for. However, it is not always that such objectives are achieved due to dynamisms that characterize the operating environment. Organizations thus tend to come up with strategies to respond to identified opportunities and challenges in the operating environment. To succeed, the strategies need to be effectively implemented. Strategy implementation is concerned with the design and management of systems to achieve the best integration of people, structures, processes, and resources, in reaching organizational purposes. It consists of securing resources, organizing them and directing their use within and outside the organization. This study focuses on the factors affecting strategy implementation among Water Service Providers licensed by Lake Victoria North Water Services Board in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine the factors that affect strategy implementation among WSPs licensed by LVNWSB and establish intervention measures put in place by the WSPs to deal with strategy implementation challenges. The study used census survey in collecting data from the five WSPs licensed by LVNWSB. Respondents in the survey were drawn from various management levels at the WSPs. The data obtained was analyzed in accordance with the research objectives. From the findings, it was observed that all the WSPs have strategic plans in place. The study found out that different approaches were used by the WSPs in developing their strategic plans with many of them indicating they used a select committee of senior management with an external facilitator. Other approaches used in developing strategic plans at the WSPs included board of directors and management team with an external facilitator, board of directors and management team with no external facilitator, and a select committee of senior management with an internal facilitator. Implementation of the strategic plans was indicated to be to a moderate extent for most of the WSPs with water and sewerage service coverage levels being at less than 100%. The companies considered various factors to affect their implementation of the developed strategies. Among the factors rated high in affecting implementation are strategy formulation process, planning and coordination of activities, communication, leadership, and resource allocation. Other factors that also had relatively high ratings are timing of activities, time allocated to activities, economic factors, organizational culture, staff competency, organization structure, adequacy of human resources, and clarity of roles. Challenges to strategy implementation were noted to be the side effects of the items highlighted as critical factors when implementing strategy. To address the challenges of strategy implementation, the WSPs indicated they were putting various measures in place, including enhancing awareness creation on strategies within the companies as a way of making employees feel personal responsibility in fulfilling the strategy, strengthening inter-departmental collaboration, creating budget for implementation of the strategies, and allocating performance targets to all parties involved in implementation. Emanating from the findings, the researcher recommends that in addressing these challenges, the WSPs and other organizations analyze all the strategy implementation factors holistically since the factors and challenges have a cause- effect reaction on one another.