As a business owner, you want to keep your organization competitive and ahead of the curve. Strategic planning allows you to do that by giving you a framework for making day-to-day decisions that follow a larger vision and direction. Using the strategic planning process also provides opportunities to address challenges before they reach crisis level, allowing you to be proactive instead of reactive.
The first step in strategic planning involves setting a long-term course of action. For healthcare providers, this means determining your practice’s goals for the next three years. For example, you might set a goal to add an additional service line or attract new patients. During this phase, it’s important to involve every member of your practice’s leadership team and all staff members in the planning process. This ensures that all the necessary resources and expertise are allocated to your goals.
During the planning process, it’s important to share personal perspectives and experiences. This allows each person to see how their role in the strategic plan fits into the larger picture. For instance, a group of oncologists at Oncology Associates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, starts their face-to-face planning session by discussing their individual satisfaction levels with different aspects of their practice. This allows the whole group to understand each physician’s perspective, which can help with later discussions about how to improve the business.
After your strategic plans have been established, you can begin drafting the specific goals and initiatives needed to get there. The most effective way to do this is through a SWOT analysis, which helps identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Then, you can use this information to create a yearly roadmap that includes measurable objectives to achieve your overall strategic goals. This can be done on a large or small scale, depending on your needs.
To ensure your organization has the resources it needs to achieve its strategic goals, you can assign responsibilities and budgets to responsible owners. This might include key employees, accountants, department heads, and even external stakeholders such as customers and advisers. The important thing is to make sure that the people who are implementing the strategy are clear on their responsibilities and the objectives they’re expected to meet.
You can then create a high-level project roadmap to visualize the timeline for achieving your goals, which can be helpful for planning and scheduling projects. You can also use this tool to track progress over time and make adjustments as necessary. You can also create a dashboard to make it easier to share organizational progress with external stakeholders. This way, everyone can keep up to date with your strategic plan’s milestones, without having to read the full document. Lucidchart makes it easy to create a strategic plan and turn your vision into actionable objectives. Try our free strategy map template today!