Another article criticizing the decision to abandon English as the medium for teaching math and science explicitly describes it as a failure, not of the policy, but of implementation of the policy.
Many plans fizzle at the implementation stage because there is no campus coordination or accountability for outcomes. Good intentions, broad consensus, and intricate plans are insufficient without sustained leadership and periodic formal assessments of progress. In addition to reallocating resources, the plan will have to garner financial support over the long haul — grants, contracts, endowments, and gifts — and that will also require an organized effort. An appropriate administrative infrastructure, including perhaps the appointment of a senior official responsible for internationalization, must be put in place to coordinate the effort, communicate relevant information to internal and external constituencies, and foster collaboration.
[...] "A plan that will ultimately stand the test of time is one that allows some flexibility while remaining true to the mission and global vision of the institution. Changes in leadership, emerging opportunities, unforeseen challenges, the appearance of a major donor, or other unanticipated developments could significantly alter the landscape. Good plans should not only accommodate such changes but take advantage of them — allowing for timely, carefully considered course corrections without losing sight of the vision. A successful plan transforms how an institution operates, how it sees itself, and how it is perceived by others."
From A Roadmap for Creating the Global Campus by Assistant Provost for International Education, University of Pennsylvania, JoAnn S. McCarthy.
"Clinton: One of the things that I was frustrated about when I was president, was that I had all these great ideas, and I'd issue all these executive orders, and then you can never be 100% sure that they were implemented. And one of the great things I like about running my own foundation is, I can oversee the implementation."
Money is usually the most common constraint. In business, financial constraints are well understood because most people can personally relate to the way limited funds make some alternatives unaffordable. Also, an acceptable level of quality is often a constraint. You can do many tasks cheaply and more leisurely if you don't care about the resulting quality, but quality requirements can dictate how much time and money have to go into the task.
Implementation is action, putting the chosen alternative to work. We might also say that implementation is everything; the best decision will amount to nothing unless it's implemented.
Follow-up is the weakest and most neglected part of the decision-making process, the stage during which good ideas die for lack of attention. Without follow-up on a procedural change, for example, conditions can drift back to the former method soon after implementation. Also, a revised process can contain flaws or inadequacies, so proper follow-up is required to correct such weaknesses. (Charles R. McConnell, http://www.nfib.com/object/IO_32723.html)
last modified 01/8/09