013: Strategic Planning • Situational Analysis

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Strategic Planning • Situational Analysis

Strategic planning is a critical step or dot, as I like to say, as we connect the dots from Mission to Execution.  The situational analysis is the starting point for developing strategy. It allows understanding and insight into the present situation and future forecastingWe will spend time looking in the mirror and some time looking into a crystal ball.  

Today we will talk about the methods to conduct a situational analysis and the sources of information that are needed. 

 A quote by Will Rogers summarizing why ongoing situational analysis is important: 

“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”  

– Will Rogers 

  • Situational Analysis Steps 
  1. Choose Situation Analysis Framework 
  1. Collect Data 
  2. Systematic Assessment 

Brainstorming is great in the planning process, but it is critical to be organized and yes, strategic in what information you look at to conduct the situational analysis so nothing important is missed.  

Situational Analysis Frameworks 

These frameworks allow you to think comprehensively of all aspects that can impact your business and assess the sources of data in an organized fashion.  One of the most commonly used is the SWOT analysis but the others can useful.  Lets talk about the factors that are included in each framework.  


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats 


Financial, Customer, Internal Process, Organizational Capacity 


Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental 


Competitive Rivalry, Threat of New Entrants, Threat of Substitution, Power of Customers, Power of Suppliers 

 5 Cs 

Company, Customer, Collaborators, Competition, Context 


If you choose to do a SWOT, keep the other factors in mind as you complete the SWOT. For example, from the PESTEL, are there legal factors that will impact your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats. This is what I like to do and also add pharmacy specific framework to include factors specific to our industry.  

 Sources of Data 

The sources used will depend on your industry and I will focus on healthcare and pharmacy today. Think broadly – what do you need to know  to help you analyze your situation.   

 Internal Data / Benchmarks 

Organization and Department Metrics 

  • Quality 
  • Volumes 
  • Productivity 
  • Financial 
  • Feedback – Stakeholders & Staff 


Assessments, Plans and Forecasts 

Compile these internal and external sources of information.  

  • Organization Strategic Plan  
  • Pharmacy Enterprise Assessment 
  • Forecasts: 
  • ASHP Forecast 
  • AHA Forecast
  • Quality Measures Inventory 
  • Medical Specialties 
  • Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) Self Assessment 


Systematic Assessment 

Once you have your sources of information, you will conduct a systematic assessment. I like to answer the following questions to assess each piece of information. 

  • Applicable to My Organization – Yes/No     
  • Assessment    
  • Fully Implemented 
  • Partially Implemented 
  • Known Opportunity 
  • Need to Evaluate 
  • Not Interested      
  • Add to Strategic Plan – Yes/No 
  • Year to Add 

 Adding the year will allow you to start the prioritization process that will be continued in the strategy development phase.  You will be able to choose future years which I think takes some pressure off and helps to support a longer range plan.   

 I hope this has helped provide perspective on Situational Analysis.   

  • There are three steps to a situational analysis: 
  • Collect Data 
  • Systematic Assessment 
  • Compile Situational Analysis Framework 
  • SWOT is one of the most common frameworks but organization/department specific tools are useful 

 After you complete the situational analysis, then you will move to the developing the Strategies/Goals/Objectives.  Visit to learn more about this next step.  If you want to go deeper – check out my Pharmovation Course which is a facilitate implementation program that provides additional templates and examples with the opportunity to obtain feedback on your analysis. 

In this week's blog post at, you will be able to access the Situational Analysis Template as the free blog download.  You can use this tool to compile your own situational analysis.  You will look in the mirror and look into a crystal ball.   

 Join the ongoing conversation at and subscribe to my email list so we can connect regularly and you will receive content I don't share anywhere else.  

 Get access to the Situational Analysis document by clicking the image below.



Now it's your turn:

Let us know how you have conducted situational analyses before and what aspect you enjoyed the most. Share your insights and what actions you will take in the comments section at 

 Be bold, be a connector and pharmovator, and excel your life and advance pharmacy practice. 

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