Having a plan is an essential element of any successful operation, and, yet, it’s not uncommon for me to enter engagements with hospitals or systems that don’t have a formalized work plan for service excellence but wonder why they aren’t making progress. Keeping your goals front and center is a start, but it isn’t a plan. One element of our Baird Model is to help organizations learn how to put together a viable plan and continually work through it. A clear plan with specific responsibilities is the backbone of progress. It’s easy for a service team to lose steam if they jump from one “project” to another rather than having a focus on both the long- and short-term goals.
One of the dangers of not creating a clear plan is that it may prevent you from securing necessary resources. I see this all the time where the organization’s service champion complains that he/she hasn’t been given adequate resources to make the service initiative visible and viable. If you can present a clear plan, you are much more likely to get the ear and eye of the financial decision-makers who will take your efforts more seriously. If you haven’t been given the resources, maybe it’s because you haven’t laid the foundation.
If you haven’t created a service excellence work plan, this is a good time to make one. If you have one, it’s a good time to re-visit it to make sure you are on track for achieving your 2013 goals.