Strategic planning is a critical step or dot, as I like to say, as we connect the dots from Mission to Execution.
The strategic plan is your blueprint to create your strategies to serve your mission & vision and address the opportunities and needs identified in the situational analysis.
”If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.”
- Henry A. Kissinger
So, let’s plan where we are going so we can get somewhere!
The foundation of your strategic plan include:
I am going to take you on a 10 step process to create your detailed strategic plan.
There are several important sections to the strategic plan and some additional suggestions that will support execution steps. We will go through each of the steps in detail but first a summary of the 10 steps.
So how and where you create your strategic plan can be important.
Strategic Planning Workshop / Retreat
This can be a fun and engaging process as you get to involve your entire team. Consider conducting your planning in an offsite setting for a retreat. This will allow time away to focus on the planning away from the day to day. Depending on the size of your team, you may not be able to have everyone attend, but you can get input from the extended team.
1. Strategic Pillar
You will likely be starting with your organization strategic pillars or those of the pharmacy enterprise to start and align with. These can be flexible based on your organizations mission/vision and strategic pillars. For the Pharmacy Enterprise Pillars you will use Operations, Acute Care Clinical, Ambulatory Care, Outpatient/Retail, Business, and People. For Organization Pillars the most common are Quality/Safety, Patient Experience, Employee/Provider Engagement, and Financial. Either way, you will want to cross reference to the respective pillar to connect the dots as you develop your plan.
2. Goal Brainstorming
Next steps is strategic goal brainstorming. The reason I say strategic is you will use prior strategic plans and situational analysis as the basis for the brainstorming. We are not starting from scratch at this point and we want to be complete in our brainstorming by thinking of all the opportunities and needs from the situational analysis.
You may consider breaking into groups by pillar and then use facilitation techniques like a gallery want to get input from the other groups. Circle back and ensure systematic review of situational analysis
I like to think of goals as the big buckets. Try to stay high level at this point but capture all ideas even if they are more tactical and put them in a parking lot. Know that you may be able to group things together under goals and objectives.
3. Objective Brainstorming
Now you want to think about the more concrete objectives under each goal. I tend to think of these as what could be an individual project to support the broader goal. You can start to make them into SMART objectives, but I usually reserve that for a separate step. I want to make sure we have captured all the ideas at this point and don’t get bogged down into the wording of a SMART Objective.
For example, a goal might be to Improve Medication Reconciliation and the Objectives I would capture at this point are admission medication reconciliation and discharge medication reconciliation. I would consider another objective as ambulatory medication reconciliation too and may need to prioritize this in a later year in the next step depending on available resources.
4. Prioritization and Timeline
I know. I know. There is way more to be done that there is time and resources for. But to ensure success, we will need to prioritize to our key goals. There tends to be an “eyes are bigger than our stomachs” effect as we do this process. This is now our opportunity to get back to reality.
Here are some ways to prioritize:
Priority Matrix – Impact vs Effort
How Many Strategies?
This is one of the hardest questions at this stage. It will be based on resources required for execution and resources available. You also want to make sure that you do not schedule all your time - plan for unscheduled projects/priorities. In general having 3-4 goals per responsible person can work – again depending on the scope.
Regardless of the total number, choose 3-4 goals that will be the top priorities.
5. SMART Objectives
Now is the time to get more specific on the objectives to get the detail of what will be achieved and in what timeframe. This is a familiar process to make SMART objective, but cannot be overlooked.
From your SMART objectives you will be able to easily define what is the specific quantitative target. You can consider outcomes and process metrics.
Choosing a target and reach/max is valuable. The target should be realistically achievable while the reach should be just that – a reach that is inspiring and motivating.
7. Actions / Tactics
It is common for tactics to be discussed during strategic goal planning. But, it is important to differentiate tactics from goals/objectives. Remember, these are the specific actions to achieve objective. In the strategic plan, capture the key tactics, not every detailed step – that will come with the individual project plans per objective.
8. Accountability – RACI
Next comes assigning accountability for the execution of the goal/objective. Here are some of the key roles when it comes to accountability and identifying the stakeholders.
9. Resource Needs
As you start the strategic planning process, don’t limit your brainstorming to items you can do with existing resources. You can resource new initiatives if there is existing capacity, reallocate to new initiatives or advocate for new resources. Identify needs for a business plan to advocate for resources – usually people - Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) or Capital (Equipment/Construction). IT Resources can also be limited so identifying which objectives require IT can be helpful in advance. Just be sure not to commit to new initiatives without confirmation of needed resources. You know my motto is to be bold as I believe pharmacy can do more with more!
10. Strategic Plan Summary
Finally, you will want to create a clear summary of the strategic plan. The strategic plan worksheet is valuable for internal use, but you will want to create a summary slide that can be communicated broadly. Consider sharing the pillars and goals with or without the objectives.
Congratulations! These ten steps will create your comprehensive strategic plan. Upon completion of the strategic plan you will want to take the next steps to execution. A project plan should be created for each goal /objective and the strategic plan turned into a status / execution tracker.
If you did not start with a situational analysis head on over to kimberboothe.com/blog/013 or 012 for an overview of connecting the dots. If you want to move on to justifying resources to deliver on your strategic plan then stay tuned for my next post on Business Plans kimberboothe.com/blog/015 to learn more about this next step. If you want to go deeper – check out my Pharmovation Course kimberboothe.com/pharmovation 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 kimberboothe.com/blog/014, you will be able to access the Strategic Plan Template as the free blog download. Creating this comprehensive document is useful for internal and external communication and tracking.
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Now it's your turn:
Let us know what strategic pillars you will use if they are different and any other factors to help prioritize. Share your insights and what actions you will take in the comments section at kimberboothe.com/blog/014.
Be bold, be a connector and pharmovator, and excel your life and advance pharmacy practice.