Action Planning Template (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
When doing value-stream improvement, once there is a shared vision of a future state, you will still need to identify the specific changes that need to be made and translate those changes into clearly stated goals and actions (i.e., the means) to achieve those goals.
Once you have agreed on the goals and targets, then you can identify the specific methods and action steps you think will help you achieve the goals. These action steps and targets constitute the action plan to achieve a specific goal.
If this type of planning is new to your team, the following suggestions and steps for action planning can be helpful.
- Brainstorm the steps needed to implement the change you try. Write the steps on sticky notes and move them around until you get a complete set in a logical sequence.
- Determine who will be responsible for ensuring each action step occurs. It does not have to be a member of the improvement team. However, it should be someone who is familiar with the work to be performed, who can lead the effort, and who was involved in developing and committed to the future-state vision.
- Assign timing targets to each step. (Start from the end and work your way back to the beginning. That will ensure that you incorporate the steps into the time you have available to complete the goal.)
- Assign quality targets to steps as appropriate.
- Identify any resources/support personnel required to complete the action. Remember, you must keep your resources within your original problem scope. However, you will need to expand beyond your improvement team to include people who are doing the work involved in the action steps and, in some cases, people/groups who supply or are customers of this work.
- Socialize your plan with the key stakeholders.
Perfecting Patient Journeys, from which this template is taken, is a guide to value-stream improvement for leaders of healthcare organizations who want to implement lean thinking and engage employees in solving problems in order to deliver better and more efficient care. Readers will learn how to identify and select a problem in the performance of a value stream, define a project scope, and create a shared understanding of what's occurring in the value stream. Readers will also learn to develop a shared vision of an improved future, and hopefully work together to make that vision a reality.