Potential Pitfalls

While many healthcare organizations are increasingly capable of carrying out various strategic planning exercises, effective implementation and monitoring of strategic and tactical action plans is still a major challenge. Many people have memories of long meetings and tedious planning processes that produced a beautiful plan that was never fully implemented. A healthcare organization will be able to create a shared framework for the future and achieve desired results by avoiding the following pitfalls that are commonly associated with the strategic planning process:

  • Failure to involve key stakeholders in the planning process
  • Setting unrealistic expectations
  • Failure to articulate assumptions and constraints
  • Lack of resources and time for planning
  • Strategic planning considered to be a one-time event, rather than a process
  • Disagreement on priorities and strategic planning outcomes
  • Leadership indifference or destructive interpersonal conflicts
  • Failure to address resistance to change
  • Excessive focus on current operational issues
  • Roles and responsibilities not clearly defined
  • Relying on inadequate or inaccurate information
  • Ineffective communication
  • Lack of ownership and accountability for results
  • Strategic planning becomes a substitute for leadership
  • Unwillingness or inability to respond to the changes in business environment
  • Creating overwhelming, inflexible and complicated documents
  • Lack of systematic processes for monitoring and control
  • Incentives and rewards not aligned with strategic goals
  • Lack of authority and resources for implementation
  • Establishing and pursuing too many strategic goals
  • Lack of contingency planning
  • Organizational culture that does not inspire innovation and strategic thinking
  • Lack of integration with the overall management processes