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Chamberlain College of Nursing NR-532 HC Operational Planning and Management
Strategic Planning (graded)
List one opportunity or threat to nursing; it may be internal or external to the organization. Some examples include: patient coercion to do things they do not wish to do or a competing organization within close proximity offering sign-on bonuses. Discuss the severity of the opportunity or threat and the probability that it may occur in an organization.
As we begin this week’s lesson, it is important to realize that strategic planning is a necessity to ensure the viability of your organization. Strategic planning is a continual process that begins with the setting of goals and objectives, development of an action plan, and periodic review of the overall strategic planning process and outcomes. Modification of any part of the planning process may occur as needed as feedback and recommendations are received and reviewed (Roussel, 2013). Strategic planning generally focuses on the purpose, mission, and goals in relation to what is happening outside the organization in the external environment (Marquis & Huston, 2014). When used as a development technique, strategic planning can be very beneficial to an organization from a variety of aspects and takes into account the organization’s culture, size, leadership, and environmental complexity. The nurse leader of an organization has an overall awareness of the organization and plays a key role in this planning process and its overall success to be cognizant how change may affect the environment. Without this awareness of how one department or area may affect another area, the nurse leader may devise a plan that is not viable or realistic.
Variations in Decision Making
As a nurse leader, you have your individual life experiences, values, and perceptions, which may cause you to think differently from your colleague in a similar situation. No matter how objective you may attempt to be in decision making, your life experiences and value system may have an influence in a particular situation. As a person matures, his or her experiences provide a wider scope of alternatives in decision-making choices. Being aware of these influences and attempting to understand your feelings toward certain beliefs can be helpful to ensure an unbiased determination in decisions and planning.
The Strategic Planning Process
Strategic planning helps an organization determine where it intends to go over a set period of time. This process generally will include how to get there, what needs to be completed to get there, how to know when you get there, and how to know if you are on the right path. Some strategic plans are structured for 1 year, some for 2 to 3 years, or some are as far out as 5 to 10 years. Aspects of the strategic plan may include economics; use of resources, including people, funds, and facilities; innovations; and social responsibilities.
The basic process generally includes stating the purpose of the strategic plan (which includes vision and/or values), goals (to work toward the purpose), strategies (to achieve the goals), and action plans (identifying who will do what and by when) (Paschall, 2013).
Benefits of strategic planning for an organization may include effective use of resources to focus on selected key strategies, provide guidelines to measure progress, and interprofessional collaboration to distribute the work (Paschall, 2013).
Participants Involved in the Planning Process
The selection of key persons to participate on the strategic-planning committee is vital to the success of the process. The planning committee will set the course and direction for the organization and have a direct impact on the organization’s future. A facilitator should be chosen to help guide the process and keep all persons on task and to meet select deadlines.
Some individuals, because of their positions, are often included, such as the chair of the governing body, chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), and chief nursing officer (CNO). Individuals chosen to serve on this committee should be identified as strategic thinkers within the organization.
If you are part of a new organization, a mission statement will need to be developed. All organizations are not the same, and an organization’s mission statement can help differentiate it from others. The mission should express the purpose of the organization clearly.
If you are part of an established organization with a current mission statement, a review of this statement should be conducted to ensure that it is reflective of your current ideas and direction. A sample mission statement is available in your textbook to review.
Strategic goal setting is an important step in the planning process. Goals and objectives are the results of the strategic planning. Selected goals should be reachable, in order to motivate staff and employees to work toward them. Goals must be specific, verifiable, measurable or quantifiable, and reached at the end of the agreed-upon time period. The specific outcomes of the goals should contribute to the organization’s mission. Sample goal statements are available in your textbook to review.
Developing the Implementation Plan
As part of the implementation plan, the strategic-planning committee assigns specific responsibilities for each strategy to an individual or group. Each strategy is also assigned a timeline and completion date. It is important to set deadlines and checkpoints during the implementation phase, in order to measure progress during the process. This periodic feedback allows the planning committee to evaluate the effectiveness of its process and selected strategies to make any adjustments as necessary to stay on target with set deadlines. Please refer to the following information to review the various phases of the strategic planning process.
Please review Figure 9-20—Summary of Phases of Strategic Planning (page 368 of the Management and Leadership for Nurse Administrators textbook).
Evidence-Based Strategic Planning
The use of evidence-based research can be helpful to support your decisions in the strategic- planning process. A structured approach to decision making and problem solving can aid in making quality decisions and avoid trial and error. Elements in the problem-solving process include: clearly defining your objectives; carefully gathering data; logical thought, and acting-and-choosing decisively.
A clearly defined objective that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision is helpful to move forward in the problem-solving or planning process. Collecting accurate data to support your objective or identified problem can help ensure that personal biases do not influence a decision. After carefully reviewing all of the information and data presented on an issue, a logical decision should be rendered. The final step is to act on the decision and accept the consequences of the final decision.
Strategic planning conducted with supporting evidence-based research can support various improvements to nursing and the overall organization. Some examples of areas where strategic planning can benefit the organization include increased communication from administration and nursing leadership, budget development, enhanced focus on the competition and other external factors, and increased program planning.
A common, effective, and subjective tool in strategic planning is a SWOT analysis, which is identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for an organization. This analysis tool allows the strategic-planning team to identify issues that most likely will impact a specific organization in the future and develop an action plan. Performing a SWOT analysis is a way to identify internal strengths and weaknesses and any potential opportunities and threats (Marquis & Huston, 2014). Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company, such as reputation and location, which could be changed over time. Opportunities and threats are external to the organization, such as suppliers, competitors, and prices. These occur whether we want them to or not. When completing a SWOT analysis, it is imperative that an organization be honest and realistic about its strengths and weakness and how these vary from the future goal. The analysis should be concise, simple, and clear regarding what you wish to accomplish, keeping your competitors in mind.
This week, we explored aspects of strategic planning as a development tool for an organization. We also reflected on some strategies that may be helpful to the nurse leader to benefit the healthcare organization. Next week, we will explore license and accreditation.
Marquis, B.L. & Huston, C.J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.). China: Wolters Kluwer Health.
• Chapter 7: Operational and Strategic Planning
Roussel, L. (2015). Management and leadership for nurse administrators (7th ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
• Chapter 7: Strategic Planning and Change Leadership: Foundations for Organizational Effectiveness
Paschall, L. (2013, January). Implementing a strategic plan. Dental Assistant, 82 (1), 14–6.
Marquis, B.L. & Huston, C.J. (2014). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Paschall, L. (2013, January/February). Implementing a strategic plan. The Dental Assistant. 14-16.
Roussel, L. (2015). Management and leadership for nurse administrators. (7th ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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