Preparation

Preparation for strategic planning should not be taken lightly. Before initiating the process, assess current readiness of the organization to embark on strategic planning, review documents and outcomes of the previous strategic planning activities, and promptly address potential barriers to ensure that the necessary preconditions for successful strategic planning are in place. If the organization is not ready at the present time it is much better to postpone strategic planning until most of the criteria for successful planning are in place. To provide common understanding and context for strategic planning it is very important to prepare a profile of the organization that may include brief information about key services, history, workforce profile, stakeholders, patient population, facilities, technology, organizational structure, regulatory framework, key influences, current challenges, etc. Effective, timely and open communication is absolutely essential at every phase of the strategic planning process. To ensure meaningful staff involvement in the planning process it is a good idea to establish a multidisciplinary Strategic Planning Task Group responsible for coordination and integration of all planning activities. The matrix shown below provides an example of how key reporting relationships and responsibilities for departmental strategic planning may be defined to minimize potential ambiguities in accountability. A similar management tool known as “RASIC” (Responsible; Approve; Support; Inform, and Consult) is frequently used in project management, particularly when two or more departments collaborate on a single project.

 

Roles and Responsibilities