7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process


7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process

This TQM article provides an insight of a typical Strategic Planning Process that was used in several organizations and proven to be very practical in implementation. the key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are lined up into 7 steps. Detail of each steps are illustrated below:-

Step 1 – Review or develop Vision & Mission

Able to obtain first hand information from various stakeholders (Shareholders, customers, employee, suppliers communities etc).

You may use templates to evaluate how the stakeholders think about your organization. To find out whether their action are aligned with the organization’s objectives.

To review or develop company’s Vision and Mission with the involvement of other stakeholders to ensure it is still current with the business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a mean for communication.

Step 2 – Business and operation analysis (SWOT Analysis etc)

One of the key consideration of strategic planning is to understand internal (own organization) Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Threats and Opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Involvement from various stakeholders to provide their points of view about your organization is key. In the process, you will gain better buy-in from these implementers of strategies and policies.

Step 3 – Develop and Select Strategic Options

You may use templates to develop several key possible strategies to address the organization’s objectives. More important, these possible strategies are develop based on the inputs from stakeholders (step 1) and Business and Operation analysis (step 2).

It is often several possible strategies are developed and everyone of them seems important. Since it is quite normal that an organization would have several key issues to tackle, you will be able to use a proper tools to select a few from the possible strategies. You will b e able to apply several prioritizing tools as introduced in this step.

Step 4 – Establish Strategic Objectives

During this step, you will be able to view the overall picture about the organization and able to select a few strategic options objectively. Template may be used to understand various strategic options, set key measures and broad time line to ensure the selected strategic options are achieved.

While it is quite common that measures and timeline is given by top management, it is the intention of this step 4 that these measures and timeline is SMART . What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R) and Time-bound (T). when the strategic options are SMART, it will help to ease the communication toward the lower level of the organizational hierarchy for implementation.

Step 5 – Strategy Execution Plan

Many organization failed to realize its full potential of its strategies are due to weak implementation. In this Step 5, a proper deployment plan is developed to implement these strategies.

Step 6 – Establish Resource Allocation

Very often, management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and left it to the individual to carry out the task. While most organizations operate with minimum resources, it often ends up work overloaded by individual.

Step 7 – Execution Review

One of the key success factors for an effective strategy deployment is constant review of its progress and make decision for any deviations to plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with who the review is done. New decision may be required as the status of the strategies progressed.

In summary: Follow this 7-steps in Strategic Planning will ensure various options are considered including its execution, resource allocation d and Execution Review. This 7-Steps form a complete cycle for new or existing Strategic Planning initiatives


Source by Dr LM Foong

Medical Transcription Outsourcing and Risk Management


Medical transcription outsourcing and risk management are very closely related. Risk management involves minimizing the risk involved in the healthcare process and medical transcription is the process of creating patient records from the audio narration by the healthcare professionals of their encounter with the patient. The process of creating patient medical records by its very nature is an activity that requires sensitive handling and would affect risk management.

It is a known fact that the patient- healthcare professional relationship is sacrosanct and is founded on the basis of the healthcare professional/ healthcare facility’s ability to maintain the confidentiality of the privileged patient information. Protecting the confidentiality of the patient information is not only a moral obligation is also mandated by law. HIPAA has provided specific guidelines for protecting confidential patient information. The HITECH provisions that have come into effect recently have provisions that elaborate on HIPAA and have provided HIPAA added arsenal to punish offenders.

Outsourcing this entire process has been proven to be one of the most efficient, effective and economical way of creating patient records. However handing over this activity to a third party service provider raises some apprehensions regarding security.

However these concerns can be alleviated by choosing the transcription vendor with utmost care. This will ensure that vendor:

Is well versed with the requirements of HIPAA/ HITECH

Has provisions in place to ensure total security

Ensuring that the entity entrusted with the responsibility of creating patient medical records is HIPAA / HITECH compliant will also help with the process of risk management.

How can outsourced medical transcription services help in the process of risk management?

To understand how this helps in risk management it is important to understand the principles of risk management and how outsourced services helps in the process.

The principles of risk management are as follows:

Create value

Be an integral part of the organizational process

Be part of decision making

Explicitly address uncertainty

Systematic and structured

Based on best available information


Take into account human factors

Transparent and inclusive

Dynamic and responsive to change

Continual improvement and enhancement

These services help the healthcare facilities in the risk management process fulfilling all the principles of risk management during the process of documenting the patient encounter.

It ensures:

Medical records are created by with utmost accuracy. Ensures this by using teams who are specialists in the specialty they are transcribing in. Further quality is ensured by having a multiple level quality check ensuring maximum accuracy. The information captured in the patient records needs to be accurate as it forms a part of evidence in case malpractice litigation.

Medical records are created on time. Optimum turnaround time is ensured by using the right team, the right process and the right technology. This ensures that healthcare professionals have the information needed by them for formulating plans for the patient’s healthcare, on time. This helps in managing risk

Medical records are created securely. Another aspect of risk management is protecting the confidentiality of patient information. Help is provided in this aspect by having measures in place to protect patient information by securing people, process and technology.

Outsourcing medical transcription to the right service provider not only help healthcare facilities in some aspects of risk management it also helps the healthcare facilities save on costs, increase focus on core business and help provide multiple benefits by using the right technology.

Source by Renee Kelly

Importance of Productivity


The term productivity is defined as the ability of an organization or company to convert available resources into profitable services or goods. Productivity in the work place allows you to apply your skills, technology and innovative ideas to achieve maximum output with the inputs and processes that are already in place. In other words productivity is all about exploring new ways to build an efficient environment.

The importance of productivity can be summed up below.

Productivity is important for ‘n’ number of reasons. Some of the tips listed here are but the tip of the iceberg of productivity.

Productivity increases the rate of low cost per unit and results in lower price. It helps in retaining whatever competitive advantage that you may have. It also increases the standard of living since more and more products can be purchased, if product production is more. This way, consumers will benefit from a higher productivity from your business.

Productivity increases profits for businesses and will lead to salary increases for laborers. For compassionate capitalists, increased profits mean that they can share more money and blessings with their employees.

Some companies used to say productivity reports are not important as long as their profit level is optimum, but it is wrong. Even though their product levels do not directly represent companies’ health, but they will help the company executives to improve the performance of the product. It is a way to reward the worthy employees, who excelled in the productivity.

Productivity is more important than revenues and profit. This is because profit determines only the end result, whereas productivity determines the efficiency of the business, as well as effectiveness of business processes and policies. Profit does not determine the individual and segment performances. Another important reason, “why revenue and profits are measured insufficient” is they are useful only if company has optimistic results. In case the company does not produce expected result, they go and check the productivity reports and not the profit report.

One reason why productivity is important for companies is that, it helps them in measuring their strengths and weaknesses alongside the threats and opportunities that the market brings. Once companies determine their weakness, they can work hard and produce expected results. Another reason is to control the output parameter of different departments. Even though productivity is important, over-productivity sometimes causes great collapse to the companies’ growth. At the end only profit reports are not enough, productivity reports also required to guarantee the smooth flow of financial problems.

Source by M Rasing

The P-O-S-D-C Of Management – A Student Aid


Pupils need every available edge when it comes to studies, whether they know it or not. They should take advantage of every bit of information available, i.e., research articles, white papers, periodicals, magazines, and yes…blogs.

This wee bit of information should prove useful to the aspiring business management, marketing, accounting, secretarial sciences, business law, and/or programming student(s). These extra tools will aid the student in his/her preparation for successful management endeavors. Management students will first need to know the P.O.S.D.C.’s of management.

PLANNING: the process of setting objectives and determining what needs to be done to successfully accomplish the assignment-mission of an organization.

ORGANIZING: the process of task assignment, the coordination of resources, team structuring, and work activities for the organization.

STAFFING: the process of building the team by attempting to attract and retain qualified people to the organization.

DIRECTING: the process that provides leadership, arranges motivational opportunities, and builds a good working environment.

CONTROLLING: the process of establishing enterprise-wide standards, analyzing results, measuring actual performance and monitoring to see whether standards have been met. Controlling also includes making the right decisions and corrective actions, if needed.

Students should also become familiar with the process of management and what is required to become a manager. The best managers are well informed and are acutely aware of team needs. The needs of the team are met with the managerial support reflecting alternatives and suggestions for a team coordinated solution.

The process of management involves planning, organization, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish target performance goals. “All managers, regardless of title, level, type, and organizational setting(s), are responsible for the four functions. However, they are not accomplished linear, step-by-step fashion.” John R. Schermerhorn Jr., goes on to say…”The reality is that these functions are continually engaged as a manager moves from task to task and opportunity to opportunity in his or her work.”

While agreeing with Mr. Schermerhorn as well as several other experienced, teachers, and gurus of this profession, the ultimate goal of a manager is to help the company/organization achieve its highest performance with the utilization of resources, human and material.

Henry Mintzberg wrote, “Although the management process may seem straightforward, things are more complicated than they appear at first glance.” Ever-present e-mail and instant messages are added to his list of executive/managerial operations.

Remember my message “IT and BI”, the non-hyperbole of the marriage between Business Intelligence and Information Technology? “BI and IT virtually, methodically, and basically go arm-in-arm.” Just look around you. Technology and Management is everywhere. But in order to ascend to the highest level(s) in management, one must begin with the P.O.S.D.C. of management.

Happy Studies.

Til next time…

Source by Gregory V. Boulware

What is Organizational Innovation?


Defining Innovation

Organizational innovation refers to new ways work can be organized, and accomplished within an organization to encourage and promote competitive advantage. It encompasses how organizations, and individuals specifically, manage work processes in such areas as customer relationships, employee performance and retention, and knowledge management.

At the core of organizational innovation is the need to improve or change a product, process or service. All innovation revolves around change – but not all change is innovative. Organizational innovation encourages individuals to think independently and creatively in applying personal knowledge to organizational challenges. Therefore, organizational innovation requires a culture of innovation that supports new ideas, processes and generally new ways of “doing business”.

The Benefit of an Innovative Organization

In promoting a culture of innovation organizations should foster:

– Cross functional team building while discouraging silo building

– Independent, creative thinking to see things from a new perspective and putting oneself outside of the parameters of a job function

– Risk taking by employees while lessening the status quo

The value and importance of knowledge and learning within organizational innovation is crucial. If innovation is about change, new ideas, and looking outside of oneself to understand ones environment, then continuous learning is a requirement of organizational innovation success.

The value of learning and knowledge can only be realized once put into practice. If new organizational knowledge doesn’t result in change, either in processes, business outcomes, or increased customers or revenues, then its value hasn’t been translated into success.

The road to organizational innovation lies in the ability to impart new knowledge to company employees and in the application of that knowledge. Knowledge should be used for new ways of thinking, and as a stepping stone to creativity and toward change and innovation.

Steps to Innovation

To determine how supportive your current environment is in fostering innovation read the frequently asked questions and answers below, about how to build an organizational culture that encourages innovation.

1) Is a climate of innovation supported by senior management?

a. That means, that such activities as risk taking and small ad hoc work groups that brainstorm and talk through ideas need to be promoted, supported and encouraged in the organization.

2) Do managers routinely identify and bring together those individuals more oriented toward innovation those willing to think new ideas and act on them?

a. Identifying new thinkers and individuals oriented toward change helps to ensure an outlet for innovation by supporting these individuals and giving them and like-minded colleagues the time and opportunity to think creatively. This is tantamount to becoming an innovative organization.

3) Is there a process in place monitoring innovation teams and identifying what has and hasn’t worked as a result of them?

a. Maintaining and monitoring innovation is important. This requires checks and balances that identifies how innovation is developed and managed and processes that capture what did or didn’t work. In order to be able to continue to innovate in a changing environment, continually monitoring the internal and external environment to determine what supports or hinders innovation is key.

4) How can an organization be strategic and focused on it goals yet build and develop an innovative culture?

a. The value of a strategic focus remains important to a company’s success. In fact, clear direction and understanding of a company’s mission can help fuel innovation – by knowing where in the organization innovation and creativity would provide the most value. An innovative organizational culture creates a balance between strategic focus, and the value of new ideas and processes in reaching them.

5) Is there a single most important variable or ingredient that fuels an organization toward an innovative culture?

a. Similar to other successes of an organization, what drives innovation are the people of the organization. First, management must set the expectation of innovation and creativity and then “doing business” is about how to improve processes, products and customer relationships on a day-to-day basis. This mindset itself will create an ongoing culture of innovation.

Source by Ruth Kustoff

Change Management – 3 Key Reasons For the Catastrophic 70% Failure Rate


Failure reasons in change management are many and varied. But one thing is painfully clear. Any organisational initiative that creates change – or has a significant change element to it – has a 70% chance of not achieving what was originally envisaged.

There are 3 main reasons for failure:

1. The gap between the strategic vision and a successful program implementation and the lack of a practical change management model and tools to bridge that gap.

2. The "hidden and built in resistance to change" of organisational cultures, and the lack of processes and change management methodsologies to address this.

3. Failure to take full account of the impact of the changes on those people who are most affected by them ie the absence of good strategies for managing change.

It may occur at project level [at the execution "getting it all together" level] so that the initiative does not get off the ground – or does not get completed.

This is where most people focus – on the "getting it done" bit.

But the bigger and more critical issue here is that even when the projects – the new capabilities – are completed on time and in budget, a failure can still occur at program level – and from a statistical perspective it probably will!

A program level [more accurate a "no program" level!] Failure occurs when the envisaged benefits [the whole raison d'etre] of the initiative are not achieved.

The root cause of failure

The root cause of this failure is lack of clarity and lack of communication – and even more fundamentally – the lack of a language and contextual framework to articulate and manage the necessary processes of change.

This is what a Program Management based approach to change is all about and why it so important.

As with most specialist areas of knowledge, there is within this discipline a universal or generic set of "truths" that transcend the boundaries of the formalized models and tools of program management, applies to all organizations experiencing step change, and can be expressed in simpler language.

Just as an aside, I feel that whilst it is absolutely necessary for there to be experts and centers of technical excellence – the very processes by which they function separates them and the knowledge from the far wider audience who could benefit most from that knowledge.

Time for some definitions:

Program Management

  • Is the holistic perspective – takes in the bigger picture.
  • Is the coordinated management of a Portfolio of Projects that change organisms to achieve benefits that are of strategic importance.
  • Is the understanding and management of Benefits, Risks and Issues and the provision of an Organization Structure and Process Definition.
  • Does not replace Project Management – it is a supplementary framework

Differences Between Programs and Projects

  • A Program is all about delivering the overall business benefits in line with the strategic vision and over a longer period of time than a project.
  • Whereas a Project has a definite start and finish point, with the aim of the delivery of an output that may be a product, service or specific outcome.
  • Program management management focuses on the management of all key stakeholder relationships and the delivery of defined business benefits and in addition to managing the project portfolio will also include the management of any other activities that are necessary to ensure a complete delivery.
  • Whereas Project management has narrower terms of reference with clear, specific and (relative to the overall program) limited scope of its deliverables.

And yet despite the fact that program management as a discipline has been around for over 10 years – the failures still keep mounting.

Men always dislike enterprises where the snags are evident … "[Machiavelli" The Prince "]

The whole of my approach to change management and dealing with the "snags" such as fear of change and resistance to change is based on this model of a program approach.

My preference for this is that it forces senior management (and their advisors) to take a holistic and structured look at the wider factors that need to be addressed – and that are often "mission critical".

80% of companies [or rather 80% of directors] – haven't got a clue about program management

In my experience the size of a company is no indicator as to whether or not it employs a program management approach. I have sat across the table in meetings with directors of UK based £ 1bn + turnover corporates – household names in some cases – who did not have a clue about program management.

I would go further and say that the vast majority of companies know little to nothing about program management.

A useful indicator is the number of online searches on Google AdWords for project management and program (or program) management

For the month of March 2009 there were 450,000 searches for project management and 39,200 searches for program (or program) management.

One reason why programme management has not yet permeated the business "mainstream" is because – in my opinion – it appears to be complex and to address dimensions that don't resonate or connect with mid range corporates and larger SMEs.

This is partly because corporates are more complex – but also because the talented and experienced professionals who compile these things think that way!

However, it is my belief and experience that the broad principles of program management can be set out in a simple model and using simple language that can be applied in any organization of any size.

Source by Stephen Warrilow

Steps To Commercial Business Financing Options


Business financing options are provided by a number of non bank specialized finance companies in Canada. They provide an array of corporate solutions, all of them different but still allowing you to achieve cash flow and working capital goals. They are in fact, the answer to.. you guessed it ‘ no bank financing’ conundrums.

The challenge for business owners and financial managers is to identify and execute on who those sources are and what they can do for your company. Many companies, and industries in fact have specialize needs.

When you think of the right type of business financing for your company it’s important to think of senior and junior! What do we mean by that comment? Simply that a senior lender will want all the security on your business, typically handled by a document called the G S A – General Security Agreement. It then becomes a challenge to source other types of cash flow and debt solutions which can’t be monetized.

A good example of a senior lender is Canadian chartered banks. But when that source of capital isn’t available many firms these days choose asset based lenders, allowing them to drawn on various assets of their business but with more flexibility.

In some cases your business might need a ‘ bridge loan’ – they solve temporary capital shortages.. they are a ‘ bridge’ to future refinancing of your business.

Leasing companies are one of those specialized asset lenders that financing both new and used equipment, even software. While many firms think they are eligible for VC or private equity financing in fact they are poor candidates for that type of financing. Many owners and financial managers spend a lot of time and money going down the venture capital / equity path, only to find they are not ready for this type of capital solution.

Is there a bottom line? We think so, Simply that if you are looking for a commercial finance company for debt and cash flow solutions alternative non bank lenders are a great choice.

What types of financing can be achieved through alternative lenders? In fact they abound and business solutions are available in receivable financing, asset based business lines of credit, tax credit financing, sale leaseback strategies, franchise loans, receivable financing.. also known as ‘ factoring ‘, etc

Seek and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of success when looking for a non bank commercial finance company in Canada.

Source by Stan Prokop

Five Signs of Internal Communication Breakdown in The Workplace


Research by Deloitte and Touche Human Capital showed that 95% of CEOs agreed that effective internal communication is important to the success of the organization, but only 22% agreed that they thought it was being delivered effectively.

Most business leaders think of effective internal communication as a complementary, which does not affect the business profit & loss.

But, a study by SIS International Research has proven it wrong. It showed that as much as $26,041 is wasted by a worker per year due to productivity losses because of ineffective internal communication.

So, effective internal communication does impact a business P&L!

Right now, you probably think whether you have built an effective internal communication in your business. Look no further, here’s the checklist to help you identify whether your business has a solid internal communication.

5 signs your business suffers from communication breakdown:

1. Your employees don’t know the goals they need to achieve

Try this, walk around in your office, and ask any employees you come across with what their goals are for this month or the next three months. If they struggle to answer your question, your company has a communication breakdown.

Managers must communicate with their staffs the goals they need to achieve. It should be emphasized enough by communicating it as often as possible to the point they are completely aware of their goals that they direct all their efforts towards achieving them.

Research found that when employees understand their overall role in the business, 90% will work towards that success, but the number plummets to 23% if they don’t.

2. Work is (often) not done properly

There are several possibilities to this:

  • Work is not done as expected
  • Work is done twice by different staffs
  • Work is not done at all

All those different cases emanate from lack of communication of the superiors. It can be from the “staff factor”, but it’s likely the leaders who don’t proactively and clearly communicate and ask if the staffs need additional explanations or resources to fulfill the assignments.

3. Employees don’t get the same information updates

Unless it’s confidential, all employees should get the same information at the same time. Your company is having a communication problem when a staff from a certain department just finds out a company-wide announcement from the management, whereas another staff from the same or different department has heard days before.

Unsuitable communication tools used by the company can cause such thing to happen. So, instead of helping your employees communicate better, they create hassles for them.

For example, if your company requires fast and instant communication, email or messenger is not the right way to go. A walkie talkie app, on the other hand, can be the right solution for your needs in this case.

Different needs require different solutions. Make sure your organization is using appropriate communication tools that cover your needs, thus support your business.

4. You get (too) many customer complaints

Customer complaints always exist, so long as a business runs. But, if you get customer complaints way more than you usually do, it’s an indicator of a communication breakdown in your company.

It could be the customer support don’t communicate previous complaints to the product development well, or the product development doesn’t inform changes on the products to other departments clearly, or any other ways possible.

When the internal communication is obscure, it usually impacts the products/service, which in the end will cause a lot of confusion to the customers.

5. You have a high staff turnover

Staff turnover is a complicated and challenging issue faced by almost all companies in the world. It requires a thorough solution as it is very costly to the company. Losing an employee can cost an organization up to 213% of the employee’s salary.

71% of employees feel managers don’t spend enough time explaining goals and plans, which is why: communicate from “employee-centric” point of view and train the managers to talk clearly and consistently about all policies, are two among several suggested proactive approaches in employee retainment.

Don’t let the illusion of subpar communication make you fail to realize the internal communication breakdown faced by your organization.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Source by Fifi Arisandi

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