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Elevate your Organization’s Strategic Planning Approach

by John Harris, Managing Director
and Meredith Inniger, Principal

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Strategic planning is not a new concept in healthcare, but the practice is constantly evolving with the industry. Each organization needs to develop a planning process that fits its internal culture and process, building off the fundamentals of strategic planning.

The graphic below showcases the healthcare strategic planning process and its four major activities. This foundational process is highlighted in the book Healthcare Strategic Planning, Fifth Edition. These activities should be customized for each organization’s needs.

The four major planning activities include:

1.   Strategic Assessment

This activity includes a comprehensive internal and external assessment to determine the current state of the organization and culminates in the development of a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and critical planning issues, which form the foundation of goal development.

2.   Organizational Direction

The second activity includes a review and potential revision of the organization’s mission, vision, and values. This activity considers the result of the first activity (where are we now?) and identifies the desired future state of the organization.

3.   Strategy Formulation

Three (or five) year goals and initiatives are developed from the critical planning issues identified in activity I as a means to achieve the vision set forth for the organization. Depending on how many are identified these are prioritized and culled to a realistic number for achievement over the plan’s time horizon.

4.   Implementation Planning

The detailed action plans for the first 12-18 months are completed in the last planning activity including identification of the leader responsible for each initiative, timeline for completion, metrics, and resources required.

strategic planning approach process