As value analysis professionals, we are all looking to make positive changes at our healthcare organizations. The only question is, how do we make a solid case for change?
Put It In Writing
The simple answer is – PUT IT IN WRITING! Over the years as managers and consultants, our most enduring success in making change happen has come from the written word. Yes, a document that has a beginning, middle, and end. It starts with an executive summary for people who are impatient and want just the facts, and ends with solid recommendations to make positive change happen.
Sandwiched in-between our report we have a problem statement, analysis of the problem, strategic fit, benefit analysis, financial analysis, challenges or barriers to success, measurements, and conclusions.
The most critical element of your report should be your problem statement. The reason for this is that if you can’t identify a real, tangible, and critical problem that needs to be solved, your management or customers won’t be interested in solving it NOW. This is where you use statistics, stories, and examples to build your case for change. By the way, money talks, so make sure you show your readers how they are losing money (and quantify it) by not accepting your proposal.
Another key point is to mention any downside to your proposal. This is important for two reasons. First, the cynics will be looking for holes in your logic, so it is vital to point out any negatives in your proposal before they do. This gives you an opportunity to lay out the facts honestly so that they aren’t distorted or misrepresented. Secondly, it makes your report more reliable and trustworthy when you talk about any downside to your proposal, since you are pointing out the negatives and not only the positives.
Hospital Value Analysis Program
A good example of this idea to mention the negatives in your report is to talk about the investment in time, talent, and resources it will take to get your concept off the ground and running. We do this with our proposals on our LEAN Value Analysis Program. We always make sure our prospective clients know how much time they will need to invest in training, team meetings, and value analysis studies for them to be successful. Naturally, it helps if you can turn these negatives into positives as you discuss them in your report.
One more thing, you need to request a time for an oral presentation of your written proposal. Nothing works better than an opportunity to discuss your ideas in person with the decision makers. Otherwise, they will make a decision on your proposal without having all the facts and just assume they do.
This all might seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t when you consider how many times an important mission-critical initiative you had in mind didn’t get approved. Why spin your wheels and feel discouraged when you broach the subject with your management or customers and get turned down because you didn’t have all the answers to their questions?
The answer to this dilemma is to be overly prepared, fact-oriented, and balanced in your case for change. You do this by taking the time to prepare a written document to present your sure-fire case for positive change. Your ideas will be approved more often than not, because you took the time to lay out the positives, negatives, and unquestionable logic which will almost always guarantee you success the first time.
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