Planning is a critical process that every home care organization must participate in if it is to thrive. Yet so many home care agencies do not have the discipline of developing a strategic plan for their organization. We find it interesting that even though a home care agency does not have a strategic plan, they are dismayed when they arrive at a place they did not want to go. It is at that point we are engaged to assist with problems the home care agency is now confronting. Wouldn’t it be more cost effective and less stressful to engage us in helping you develop your strategic plan BEFORE problems occur?
“Strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more, how it’s going to get there and how it’ll know if it got there or not.” (Carter McNamara MBA, PhD)”
As noted earlier, strategic planning is a process that is a part of the organizations yearly activities. Many think this is a complicated and involved process. In reality, it is a simple process used to visualize your dreams for the future of your home care organization and implement the actions to make those dreams a reality. Simply put, strategic planning looks at three key points
- The present
- The future
- The plan (how to get from the present to your future)
“As you think about where your organization is now, you want to look at your foundational elements (mission and value) to make sure there has not been a change.” (My strategic plan)”
While missions and values do not usually change, you want to re-visit them at least yearly to determine if they need to be modified or changed. The mission and values ultimately assist the management team in selecting those opportunities that match your home care agency and rejecting those that do not fit.
In conjunction with the review of the mission and values, an assessment analysis needs to be conducted to determine the agency’s current position, the strengths and weaknesses, including current threats and opportunities. This ensures that the strategic plan has a solid foundation.
This is the creative and exciting part of the process. The questions that determine the future of your home care agency are:
- Where is the home care agency going?
- What is the future that the home care agency wants to create? ‘
The basics of sustainable competitive advantage and your vision statement help define the future for your home care business:
“Sustainable competitive advantage: Sustainable competitive advantage explains what the home care agency is best at compared to the competitors. Each home care agency strives to create an advantage that continues to be competitive over the time. What can the agency be best at? What is its uniqueness? What can the home care organization potentially do better than any other organization?” “(My Strategic Plan)
“Vision statement: the home care vision is formulating a picture of what the home care organization’s future makeup will be and where the organization is headed. What will the home care agency look like in 5 to 10 years from now? “(My Strategic Plan)
Building the roadmap to the future is the most time consuming element of the process, yet much like the home care plan of care for our clients/patients, it is the difference between failure or success. The process begins with developing long term and short term goals, and adds assigned responsibilities and time lines for achievement to each goal.
Effectively stated goals clearly tell what your home care agency wants to accomplish, when it is to accomplish it, how the home care agency is going to do it, and who’s going to be responsible. Each goal must be specific and measurable and include realistic targets for the plan.
Achieving your goals will require an honest look at what your home care agency will need to strengthen in terms of people, operations, and resources. Keeping employees, software, or operational systems that do not support your goals is a hard process to go through, but essential if the plan is to be successful.
Building the roadmap to the future of the home care agency is more vital now in this time of great change. Once built, it must be clearly disseminated throughout the organization, operationalized, and revised frequently to assure that your home care agency is on track…and stays on track.
Assistance with strategic planning is a core service of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. If your home care agency needs support with this process, call Ginny Kenyon at 206-721-5091 or e-mail us at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting.