In June, the Medical Group Management Association released the results of its third annual survey of members on the professional issues that challenge them the most. In this edition of Practice Makes Perfect, we address No. 11 on the list: leading development of the organization's strategic plan and its implementation.
Preparing to plan
To survive and thrive in today's healthcare environment, it is important to position your group for success. Strategic planning should not be considered a one-time event but a dynamic process of group discussion, data analysis, governance and business planning.
Before developing a strategic plan, make sure to determine that:
- You can dedicate the proper resources—do you have the time, commitment, leadership and financial support to properly position your group for success?
- You can develop realistic, focused and detailed plans that can be implemented and measured.
- You can evaluate your current and future strategic initiatives and individual goals, since there are constantly changing internal and external variables.
- You can write, track, share and implement the initiatives you plan to undertake.
Bring your leadership team together to facilitate a daylong strategic planning session. The facilitator must take a leadership role in the process and work to bring the group together. Critical to making an effective strategic plan is gathering current financial and business plans to frame your upcoming session. As the facilitator, you must review all of the information from the pre-retreat process and follow up on any inconsistencies or incomplete data from interviews or information gathered. Some of the crucial questions you address that should be used to guide the strategic planning process include:
- How are decisions made in our group?
- What are the top five issues facing the group?
- What have been our strengths during the past two years?
- What have been our weaknesses during the past two years
- What do we want the organization to look like in one year?
- What do we want the organization to look like in three years?
- What is preventing us from reaching its full potential?
The document you create as a result of your strategic planning process should:
- Establish the mission, vision and values of the medical group.
- Identify current challenges and opportunities to the group (internal and external environment).
- Prioritize the most important issues of the medical group.
- Identify the individuals responsible to implement those objectives and the time required to meet those objectives.
- Identify the resources necessary to implement the objectives.
- Identify the strategies and criteria to implement, measure and monitor those plans.
Nick FabrizioPrincipalMGMA Health Care Consulting GroupEnglewood, Colo.
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