3 Simple Steps to Create a 1-Page Quarterly Action Plan for Your Medical Practice
Growing a medical practice the right way requires that you keep a clear focus on those fewer, better things that will make a leveraged difference for your practice. You want to stay flexible to learn and adjust as you go.
On one side of the equation, you have to balance the need for flexibility—markets change, opportunities arise, and tactics fail. Any action plan with a long time horizon fails to allow you the ability to adapt as you go.
On the other side of the equation is the need to build momentum and for your staff to have time to get meaningful blocks of work done. If you change the focus too frequently, not only do you lose your momentum, but your staff becomes dizzy with too much change.
The key to executing on your medical practice goal strategy lies in the quarter. The quarter is the perfect unit of time to bridge your big-picture goals, and your weekly planning and daily action. It’s a period long enough to get meaningful units of work done that will bring you closer to your long-term goals. And it’s short enough that you can course correct and hold your focus.
To do that, I’ll share a simple, one-page format to create your quarterly action plan.
Why One Page?
We’ve learned from coaching hundreds of companies that in the day-to-day rush, you need to take in your company’s action plan in one whole moment. If your plan is 2, 6, or 12, you simply won’t use it effectively!
We coach our clients to review their quarterly action plans as an accountability tool each week. Then they can see what company needs to focus on and where activities stand. Because their plans are only one page, they can take it in with one look.
This discipline of working with a quarterly ONE PAGE action plan has helped our medical practice coaching clients grow 5x faster than average. Our proprietary one-page format gives you a succinct, powerful visual tool to lay out what your 90-day sprint will look like each quarter.
Below is an example of what our proprietary “one-page format” action plans look like, then I’ll share with you some insights to build the right plan for yourself.
Step One: Pick Your Top Three Focus Areas for the Quarter
Your top three Focus Areas represent the most important work of the coming quarter. Sure, you’ll still need to tend to the day-to-day needs of your practice. But your Focus Areas are those you’ve identified for investing a portion of your best resources—because you know they will help you scale.
Potential focus areas for your practice:
- Improve billing collections
- Increase clinical capacity
- Increase patient volume
- Recruit another provider
- Conduct a margin analysis by procedure type or payer category
- Hire a director of operations
- Mitigate a key practice legal exposure
- Negotiate a new contract with the hospital
- Find a location to build our surgical center
Don’t go overboard! Limit yourself to three Focus Areas as your priorities for each quarter. Why? Because 90 days pass quickly, and if you spread your practice too thin, you’ll find yourself partially doing things instead of fully attending to key items that produce value. Less is often more when it comes to executing on your quarterly Action Plan.
Step Two: Determine Success Criteria for Your Focus Areas
Now that you’ve picked your three Focus Areas for the quarter, you’re likely tempted to determine your action steps immediately. Don’t. Instead, pause and clarify your criteria of success within each Focus Area. Ask these questions:
- What would you need to accomplish this quarter in this Focus Area to be successful?
- What can you actually observe and measure that will signal your success? You want a clear yardstick against which to gauge progress with a picture of what success looks like—in this Focus Area and in this quarter.
As you limit your Action Plan to one page, pick three or four definite criteria of success for each Focus Area and include one key performance indicator (KPI) to track. Then, with your written criteria in hand, step three will be easy.
Step Three: Lay Out Key Action Steps and Milestones for the Quarter
Finally, determine the key actions and milestones needed to meet your criteria of success for each Focus Area over the coming quarter. Break each Focus Area into five to seven action steps. While your plan should be detailed enough to guide your actions, it shouldn’t be so detailed that you feel overwhelmed or get lost in minutiae.
For each action step, pick a specific team member to be responsible for executing that step by a specific date. While you can have multiple people contribute to a specific step or steps, you still need to task one person with the responsibility and authority to get that step done—and done well. This person will “own” the task. It’s hard to hold anyone accountable for missed milestones when it wasn’t clear who was responsible in the first place so be sure to do this.
With this structure, the owner of any given task doesn’t have to do all the work herself; she’s simply responsible for making sure it gets done in the best way possible. Over time, as you become fluent in this planning process, you’ll have each of your key people create his or her own department’s one-page quarterly Action Plan. Their Action Plan becomes the link between each department’s targets and the practice’s key priorities as a whole.
I hope you found these ideas on creating your own one-page action plan helpful.
Ready to learn more ideas on how to grow your practice? Schedule a complimentary 90-minute Medical Practice Growth Strategy Session.
This private, one-on-one call is an actual working session. We’ll do a deep dive into your practice and map out the best way to grow it. In fact, we’ll do this session as if you were already one of our medical practice business coaching clients, so that you can get a real sense of what it would be like to work with us, and we can get a real feel for what it would be like to work with you as a client if we invited you into the program.
Click here to learn more about free strategy session. I hope you schedule your session right away .
Good luck to you in growing your practice.