Strategic Planning Models And Analytical Techniques

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“Strategic planning is a structural managing action that is used to set priorities, focus, energy and resources, make stronger operations, ensure that the workforces and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, setting up an agreement around intended outcomes, results and evaluations and amend the organisational path in response to a changing environment. It is disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organisation is. Who it serves, what it does and why it does it, with a focus on the future.” Handout in workshop March 2019 which was from Business Management Ideas. As in all planning models your goal may need to change and it is important for it to be an on-going model. It is also significant to assess the diverse models as if you do pick the wrong one it may lead to being a failure and never completed.

One model is called Goals based planning, it is a vision for the upcoming to the present planning. Often revenue focused. It is frequently used for future plans at least 3-5 years. As the goal is where we want to be in the foreseeable future, this may not be achievable, as no one knows what is yet to come. A plan is to help you get there and to foresee concerns/risks, updating the plan. A bad example why it is important to use a plan: – reception staff requested music if they could start putting the radio on again to help lift mood, this was agreed and the radio used. The PM at the time goal was to lift spirits. Inadvertently the affect was a big negatively as the risks, swots, evaluating and planning was not completed, not only was the staff’s health put as risk it lowered their spirits even more and the trust of the PM broken. Understanding why this whole course is important by learning and enhancing your own learning and to be able to safely put new process and policies in place and to be able to use different models to be able to identify potential dangers and prospects and having the confidence to do this role effectively.

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The Goal based planning I can see would be of benefit to a stable business and stable is the important emphasizes for this model i.e. a business who sells goods and how they would what to attain a higher revenue. Within the surgery we take direction from the public health wales and the local health board and because of this, the style would not be suitable, we are also hit by inner and outside environment. For instance, in the current pandemic a sales company can claim support for their trade unless it is a key industry and can put measure in place for social distancing. We have had to change our complete way of working, the demands of our service has changed so dramatically and with guidance of what goals we need to achieve. Some of our ‘wish’ goals of video consultations have been met, but without the governance from the local health board we would not have been able to switch to this method of service to our patients. Of course we can use Goals based planning for personal aims of the surgery, one could be the best up taker of all immunisations. This is also a financial gain as well as a health protection for our stakeholders. This would be a long term goal as resources are short and we could positively use this model for this goal.

Issues-Based Planning is in contrast as it is from now and works to the future. It is a problem solving which eliminates issues before starting the planning. On our workshop in march 2019 we discussed how this model is very tactical because it eliminates or reduces risk/problems ready for the future objectives of the company. Here at the surgery we can plan for the future but we have to work with a planning model which you can expect changes in the internal or external environment from the local health board. We identify how to create and deliver a service, with limited resources in terms of people so this model could suit us. For example, we would like to hand all our paper files back to the registration department but to do that we need to brainstorm scenarios and to do a swot with smart objectives of all the risk/problems of what this goal means. Is it viable. Sometimes when you analysing something it may not be worth starting to, which is why sometimes planning fails. But this model would be suitable for this example as it would not only help to iron out the problems but plan and weigh out the costings of scanning the files ourselves or if of benefit to let the registration department scan them when we need them. I would use this planning for this scenario.

Another model would be real time planning; this model is for a business organisational focus is the now by a continuously plan. As all plans it is a process of thinking and organising the tasks which are required to achieve a desired goal. This model as mentioned is about ‘now’ which would mean decision making methods is made with no delay, with actions and clear communication. It is beneficial for rapidly and continuing environmental changes. Which is a plus for a GP surgery to use. You need to revalue your mission statement ensuring that it is how we still want to get where we want to be and the vision is where we want to be. The mission statement can change but always should in tune with your core values, stakeholders and vision. Do a pestle and complete an external environment so you understand and identify what is current now. Discuss and communicate that the goal and plan is within the organisational needs and are suitable. What are the internal capacities and failings? This is what we have been verbally using for this pandemic. It is vital we don’t lose track of our vision/mission and core values at this ever changing time. To continue providing a service for our patients but with new innovation ways of virtual consultations instead of face to face. We have gone from open door with routine/urgent appointments to telephone consultations only. One real time planning we had to plan for was PPE, who would wear it, when and why. It was a ‘now’ situation and all risks had to be taken in. It is best used when time is short, or if the tasks/issues are complex with a clear purpose. This would be suitable for the local health board to use as I feel it would be best used of large settings. The disadvantages of this model are that it is a time consuming and intricate method. It involves a lot of patience in collating the data and information through thorough research. It also requires strong leadership as often focusing on strategic management can take the focus away from the day-to-day operations and implementation of any strategic changes requires excellent communication and relationships.

Evaluation of the advantages and limitations of a range of analytical techniques

Analytical techniques support your strategic planning which helps to identify what is going on in your business. One technique is a SWOT analysis. This style can be used for strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. It is a technique which can be used evaluating yourself, understanding weakness of your business would help eliminate threats. Choose a specific purpose for your SWOT. Checking if any strengths create opportunities, or converting any weakness to strengthens. For example, for a recent opportunity arising with the pandemic we did not have much traffic on our website. Now we have used that website as an opportunity for patients to get update information and to access contact details of prescriptions. One of the advantages is it helps to make things simple and not get over complicated. It also identifies strengths and weaknesses to the greatest possible advantage. It is easy though to forget that it isn’t objective and that your own natural bias may have a negative impact on the technique or it can be too vague as it is very general and not specific enough.

Pestle analytical technique is aimed for you to discover your external environment factors and implications. It is the bigger picture of the factors which are outside of your control. Like the pandemic, but it is important to be aware to prepare for different scenarios.

It helps to identify forces which are the drivers of change, for example Parliament enforced shielding with the recent pandemic, which meant if we needed to see that patient we would have to think of a different way to see them and weigh the risks up. It identifies these drivers of change. Unfortunately Pestle only give one side of the story as internal factors are not evaluated which is why a SWOT and a pestle is often done together. It also takes up lots of your time as each area will need to be thoroughly researched and not all relevant parties are involved in the collation of the required information which may result in vital parts being omitted. Another advantage is that it does help you to understand the business environment better and it is simple and easy to use. It helps to understand the business environment better and encourages the development of strategic thinking which is definite plus and helps to identify potential threats to the business and therefore reduce the impact of these.

Additionally, it is important to not gather too much information and to remember that this tool is only useful to identify issues that the users can take action against and not those where absolutely nothing can be done.

Third analytical tool is a Porter Five Forces Analysis. This tool can be used for assessing profitability in an industry and the balance of power in more general situation. This is very useful and helps you to understand both the strength of your stance and the strength you are considering moving into. If you know where the power lies you can take advantage of this and improve a weakness. So you must recognise the forces of supplier, buyer, competitive and threat of substitution and a new entry.

Porter suggested that there are five forces that need to be focused on:

  1. Competitive Rivalry – the number and strength of your competitors and how the quality of their products and/or services compare with your offerings.
  2. Supplier Power – how many potential suppliers do you have for your services/products? Can you shop around for alternative, cheaper suppliers or do they ‘own’ the market?
  3. Buyer Power – could buyers go elsewhere and therefore force you to lower prices to retain their business?
  4. Threat of Substitution – is there a likelihood that your customers could find a different way of doing things or substitute an element for a manual process?
  5. Threat of New Entry – could other people enter the market and take your share of customers?

The disadvantages of this analytical technique is that it was developed some years ago when change was often very slow to happen and the overall market was seen as quite static. Since then, change happens so much quicker and new suppliers almost seem to come to market overnight. This model also only gives a snapshot of the environment and, as just mentioned, as things can change very quickly, it can be out of date within days, weeks or months. It is also not applicable for the business I work within as we do not have competition and seek only to provide the best possible service to our patients and to maximize our profits through staff control, enhanced services and cost control measures. Despite this, this model is useful to helping organisations to collate information about their market and provides a foundation for further work and for further tools, models and techniques to be used.


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