Strategic planning is a primary function of leadership and management in public health administration. Leaders are critical in determining the optimal route (goals and objectives) to ensure the organization’s success. Strategy development and implementation is a journey that requires planning, and the organization’s “vision” is the idealized destination. Different paths, different stops, and different issues arise along the way. The art and science of planning should be embedded in the culture of the public health organization in order to positively affect population health status and meet health challenges at the local, state, regional, national, and even global levels.
Although most public health professionals will focus on local, regional, or state responsibilities, the planning process—coupled with artful utilization of relationships and scientific utilization of planning tools—is salient at any level and for any type of public health organization.
For this week’s Assignment, review the media, especially the media titled Strategic Planning. Consider how these health organizations use strategic planning to address public health issues. Then, review the SWOT analysis tool provided. This tool refers to a Community of Practice (CoP), but this template may be used for documenting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to your Final Project public health problem. If you prefer, you may create your own SWOT table.
Based on issues identified for the community health problem featured in your Final Project, review the SWOT analysis tool provided (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.-e).
Contact a health care/public health administrator involved in the strategic planning process. Conduct a brief interview (face-to-face, e-mail, or telephone) using the questions provided in the Public Health Administrator Interview Questions document in your Learning Resources.
The Assignment: SWOT Table and Paper (4–5 pages):
Conduct an informal SWOT analysis. The analysis should include the following:
• Section I: SWOT Table (1 page)
o A completed SWOT table listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the public health leadership issue identified in your Final Project. Fill in the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the health problem identified. Then, provide a summary in which you describe your selected strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Why did you select these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats over others? Include some strategies for minimizing weaknesses and capitalizing on strengths and opportunities.
• Section II: Using the SWOT Analysis (1 page)
o A narrative explanation of the SWOT findings
o An explanation of how, as a public health administrator, you might use the information obtained in the SWOT analysis in strategic planning, decision making, and resource allocation
• Section III: Administrator Interview Synopsis (2–3 pages):
o An interview with a public health administrator on strategic planning. Your interview may be conducted over the phone, Skype, e-mail, or in person if you prefer. (Note: You must transcribe or summarize your interview and post it.)
o Prepare your thoughts and questions carefully in advance, so you can be succinct in your interview. In your interview, you should ask the interviewee questions such as the following, as well as any other questions you think are appropriate to the organization or individual you are interviewing:
How often do you and your organization engage in the strategic planning process?
How do you utilize the strategic plan? Please describe this plan. (For example, how detailed is it? Is it a long-range plan?)
What are your thoughts about the strategic planning process? How well is it working? What are specific strengths of the process from your perspectives? Have you encountered any barriers or difficulties to overcome?
Following the interview, please complete the following:
• Write a synopsis of your findings.
• Explain the relationship between planning and decision making in resource allocation in the strategic planning process.