Indiana Department of Health Effectiveness Strategy

Problem Statement

The major problem brought out in the Indiana State Department of Health is that of increased bureaucracy within the organization. It is this bureaucracy that had resulted in poor decision-making processes within the organization and that had resulted in poor measures being taken to deal with the various organizations as well as departmental changes such as the establishment of new goals as well the creation of new roles that will enhance quality service delivery. One critical issue arising from this was the little direct control that the state department had over the local departments as well as the great level of recession experienced by the state and that needs significant cuts to be made. Identifying this problem required the creation of a good and goal-oriented strategic plan to help the health department develop a better understanding and knowledge on the critical issues and trends that need to be addressed as well as the consequent necessary measures that need to be put in place. The aim was to identify the key role that the health department needs to play to ensure quality performance. The strategic plan aims to clarify the State department’s role, particularly in relation to local health departments, and to increase its effectiveness.

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Background Statement

On his appointment as a State Health Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Dr, John Bailey performed a review on the organizational plan and structure and from his findings found the need to develop a strategic plan. According to him, the high level of bureaucracy was a key reason why the organization was not able to effectively deal with the occurring environmental changes within the department and to be able to adapt to the current situation and occurrences. By creating a strategic plan, the department will be able to effectively identify the critical issues that need to be addressed and in turn, be able to develop workable action measures through which existing gaps can be filled, solutions obtained and quality service delivery ensured.

As a way of ensuring that every member of the organization gets to actively take part in the process of strategic planning and management, Dr. Bailey appointed Nancy Blough and Joe Hunt as the managers for the entire process and then appointed a task force that included employees from the various departments within the organization and that consisted of five groups with twenty members each. Joe Hunt’s role was to coordinate all activities to be carried out, write up a strategic plan and develop strategic management activities for the future. Nancy Blough was to ensure that the entire process was successfully carried out within the stipulated schedule.

A milestone chart was created to ensure that each member of the project team clearly understood what the entire process entailed and the various roles and tasks that each of them was required to undertake. As the first process of strategic planning and management, a situational analysis was undertaken during the first few months to identify ISDH’s situation on the ground and the critical issues of concern. The process of analysis involved examining the organization’s internal and external environment, vision, mission, goals, and values as well as the key success factors, strengths and weaknesses. Each of the five task forces was assigned to each of these areas of assessment. The task force was also charged with the role of surveying stakeholder organizations and groups that would in identifying the success areas of ISDH and that were well aware of Indiana’s political social as well as economic environment that would help in identifying the future role of ISDH.

The analysis gave information on the Indiana population, county governance, ISDH’s organizational structure, relationship with stakeholders, organizational culture, financial situation, and human resource management. Other than defining strategic goals, the selected committee also developed a number of strategies through which ISDH would be able to effectively adapt to the occurring changes in the environment, defined the process of evaluation as well as the source of funds for the project.

My role

My role, in this case, is that of a consultant who after assessing the entire situation will then give my opinion, point out the various strong points, gaps as well as weaknesses, and then provide effective measures to be put in place to ensure that the process is a success and that it helps meet all the necessary goals and objectives.

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Key Decisions and Decision Makers

The key decision-maker in this case study includes Dr. John Bailey who is the State Health Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Health. Nancy Blough and Joe Hunt also play a great role in the decision-making process in terms of activity scheduling, coordination, and successful strategic planning, implementation, and management. One major decision is that made by Dr. Bailey on his appointment and which called for the strategic planning within ISDH to be done with the involvement of all members within the organization. By ensuring that the entire project process was run as scheduled, Nancy played a key role in ensuring that there were no delays in carrying out the various activities and that all control measures were put in place in case any of the activities took longer than the recommended completion time.

Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses

A number of strong points can be identified within ISDH. Through these strengths, the organization can effectively achieve its goals and objectives as well as effectively provide quality services to its clients. Active involvement of employees in organizational projects does not only motivates them and improves their performance level but also makes them feel that they are part and parcel of the project and organization. It gives them a sense of belonging. Another major strength is the employees’ strong commitment to their work. The selected method, procedures, and tools for strategic planning are effective and likely to be successful.

The lack of effective managerial training for staff members who get promoted into managerial positions based on their technological expertise is one weakness that is likely to result in the poor performance of these managers. Lack of good managerial skills and performance results in poor leadership and productivity, poor service delivery, and organizational failure. Another weakness was the availability of sufficient physical facilities such as storage areas, ventilation, power supply, and aeration. This high level of inadequacy was found to negatively affect employees’ level of performance. Lack of sufficient computer facilities especially in the financial department was another hindrance and weakness at ISDH. Poor online connectivity hindered effective communication and the provision of required services by staff members.

Alternative Courses of Action

By actively involving all employees in the strategic planning process, John Bailey exercised a collaborative style of leadership. John Bailey and Joe Hunt had the option of being the sole decision-makers for the process without having to involve the employees (autocratic leadership) (Montana & Charnov, 2008). This would have however wasted a lot of time as well as drawn resistance and uncooperativeness from staff members who would feel left out and overruled (Campbell, et al. 1993).

Specific Plan of Action

By allowing all employees to take part in the process a leader creates an atmosphere whereby members are free to interact and open up their minds, raise their opinions and ideas (Bass, 1990). Performing a situational analysis on the organization will help in ensuring that all critical problems are identified and corrective measures and solutions put in place (Den Hartog & Koopman, 2002). As a way of ensuring that the strategic plan achieves the set-out goals, ISDH needs to ensure that its major departmental strengths are enhanced and that corrective measures are put in place to deal with the identified weaknesses.

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Evaluation

Evaluating the success of the strategy will be done by undertaking an assessment to find out the impacts and changes that have taken place since the implementation of the plan. Data and information will be collected using questionnaires that will be given to the employees. Findings obtained will be analyzed to find out if all objectives have been achieved and if the plan is a success. Another situational analysis will also be carried out and obtained findings assessed in relation to those of the initial situational analysis. A comparison between the initial analysis results (before implementation) and that of the second analysis (after implementation) will be done to identify the changes (Elcock, 1996).

References

Bass, B. (1990). Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications. New York: Free Press.

Campbell, J., McCloy, R., Oppler, S., & Sager, C. (1993). A Theory of Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Den Hartog, D., & Koopman, P. (2002). Leadership in Organizations. New York: Sage Publications, Inc.

Elcock, H. (1996). Strategic Management. New York: Macmillan.

Montana, J. and Charnov , H. (2008) Managerment: Leadership and Theory. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.

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