The Essential Elements of Successful Plans
All successful plans have four major features:
Organize processes, procedures, and staff for efficient and effective work.
Influence and lead team members or employees who report to you.
Monitor work progress, schedules, and budgets.
Identify problems and suggest corrective actions.
The following section explores the importance of planning, the basic types of plans healthcare managers work with, the step-by-step way plans are created, and a host of special tools and techniques that can make plans more effective and efficient for everyone who utilizes them.
In today's demanding healthcare workplace, your department, team, or workgroup needs to consistently meet goals both large and small to help improve the overall company as well as your specific group. Meeting—and, hopefully, exceeding these goals and expectations—enables your department and company to become ever better at what they do, staying one step ahead of the competition. Healthcare organizations face pressures and challenges from many sources, all of which increase the importance of good planning. External forces include competition, increased government regulations, ever-more complex technologies, the uncertainties of a global economy, and rising labor and resource costs. Internal forces include the demand for greater efficiency, increased diversity in the workforce, and the introduction of new processes, structures, and work arrangements. In today's ever-changing work environment, good planning offers a number of benefits and advantages for your employees, your teammates, and even your own career.
Greater Focus and Flexibility
Good planning improves focus and flexibility for both you and your organization.
Focus: An organization with focus knows what it does best, knows the needs of its customers or patients, and knows how to serve them well. An individual with focus knows where he or she wants to go in a career or situation and is able to keep that objective in mind, even in difficult circumstances.
Flexibility: An organization with flexibility is willing and able to change and adapt to shifting circumstances and operates by looking toward the future (rather than the past or present). An individual with flexibility balances his or her career plans with the problems and opportunities posed by new and developing circumstances—both personal and organizational.
At its most basic, planning is decision making. When you plan, you use information to make plans that address significant problems and opportunities. Figure 5–1 shows a typical approach to decision making as applied during the planning process. The planning process begins with identification of a problem and ends with evaluation of implemented solutions. This section covers each step of the planning process in detail, addressing the key responsibilities of managers at each phase.
There are 5 steps in the planning process: