Tuesday 21st May 2013 - Kate Hodkinson
What constitutes good management? Keeping things going without major incident or developing your practice to meet future challenges. For many practice managers, their job is a mixture of both. They are required to take a very hands- on day to day role in ensuring that things run smoothly and also take on responsibility for developing the practice business for the future.
The thought of practice development planning is sometimes a luxury that takes second place t immediate management activities but is really a vital part of preparing for the future that practices face. For many managers external change puts a huge amount of pressure on the day to day work – but this is often when it is most crucial to devote time to planning.
Practices may need to consider two different types of plan:
However – Do not waste time thinking about semantics – get on with the planning activities.
Understanding your business and effective planning for the future is often seen as a continuous process or cycle involving the following stages:
One of the most important aspects of this is in understanding your current situation and what will be changing the in the future.
Predicting the future is almost impossible to do, especially in the NHS as a politically driven organisation. However, this should not stop managers from thinking realistically about the changes that are planning in the foreseeable future that may only be 2 or 3 years at present. There are a number of useful analysis tools to help with the process.
It is worthwhile carrying out an internal analysis of what you know will be changing or needs to change internally and then consider what impact external factors will have. For this external analysis, tools such as STEP and Pest analysis can be very useful. Take your headings from the following list:
Another very useful model is Porter’s Five Forces
This is a very useful addition to the ways in which we consider external and internal changes in the future.
Many practices are now considering this final issue – is there merit in protecting each other through stronger federations and bigger organisations.
Planning for the future becomes even more vital to the future stability of a practice when there is a lot of internal and external change. Keep in mind this quote from Charles Darwin:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
The Thornfields course on Practice Development and Business Planning will provide managers with a range of tools to use to get started on this essential process.