It’s kind of a big deal…

We are working on our Strategic Plan for fiscal year 2013 and it’s kind of a big deal so I thought I had better let you know about it.  The plan is still in DRAFT form and it hasn’t been approved by the board so I can’t share details but I thought you might find the process interesting.

Our strategic plan is essentially our road map for the upcoming fiscal year and provides direction for several years to come.  Our strategy to be successful comes from the strategic plan.  Whether it be a game of chess, planning for retirement, saving for college or buying a new car, the strategy you choose will be an important in meeting your goals or being successful in what you’re doing.

Our strategic planning process begins with an environmental scan.  The environmental scan looks at things like population changes, payer trends, competitor encroachment, market share and physician manpower needs.  We also look at our internal performance and identify trends in service delivery, patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction and financial performance. 

The next piece of the strategic planning process includes an extensive meeting with the board, medical staff and hospital administration.  The meeting begins with us reviewing our Mission, Vision and Values and validating that those principles still fit and modifying them if they don’t.  We then review the environmental scan and internal performance.  A SWOT analysis is the next step.  SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and we evaluate our organization relative to each of these items.

Once the SWOT Analysis is complete we update our key strategic challenges and advantages.  The strategic challenges and advantages are the back bone to our strategy.  Our hope is to leverage our advantages and minimize and counteract our challenges.

From those strategic challenges and advantages  we develop strategic objectives.  The strategic objectives are those items that we identify as goals that must be met for us to be successful.

Once the strategic objectives are identified by the board, medical staff and administrative team the full management team gets involved and the real work begins.  The management team is tasked with creating action plans to meet each strategic objective.  Let me give you an example; If your family is going on vacation and you plan to drive to Disney World, the strategic objective, or your goal, is “getting to Disney World”.  The action plan determines your route of travel so the action plan lists the vehicle you plan to drive, the roads you plan to travel, where you plan to stop along the way and when you will arrive – the action plan is the road map!

As I mentioned earlier the current plan has not yet been approved but when it is it will be deployed to appropriate stakeholders (staff, board and physicians) and each of us will begin our journey to our destination following the steps we’ve laid out on our road map.  To stay consistent with my example above, when the strategic plan is deployed is when we begin to “drive” our car on our selected route.  Deployment = driving!

Our strategic plan determines where we want to be at a specific future point in time so as I said in the title “it’s kind of a big deal”.  If our plan misses the mark we run the risk of not being as successful as we might want, or need, to be.

Once the strategic plan is finalized and approved,  I will share some of the key themes.  It’s kind of a big deal!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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