Every organization has ideas about where it’s heading in the next few years, and most have plans for each department or team detailing how to get there. The problem is most of these ideas and plans exist in Excel, PowerPoint or Word. While those programs can be useful for capturing, organizing, and presenting this vision, they fall short when it comes time to track and report on progress. Most organizations have a blind spot that prevents them from seeing the overall status of various priorities across the enterprise in a unified, organized way.
For one thing, it eliminates the problem of versions; you always have the latest, most up-to-date information at your fingertips without any concern that there’s another, more recent version of the plan floating around somewhere.
It also automates check-ins and reports via email, so there’s no need to remember another login and password. It’s as easy as replying to an email. The software automatically integrates progress updates into dashboards and reports to easily keep the C-suite updated.
But don’t get the idea that this is just project management software by a different name.
“Project management software has a place for organizations that need a specific level of detail. If you are opening a new facility, if you’re opening a new hospital, if you’re opening up a new building, you need to know if the contractors are contracting. You need to know who’s laying the sheetrock; you need to know the molecular level of that particular project. So those systems do a great job of zooming in,” said Joe Krause, vice president of customer engagement at AchieveIt. “What I think sets us apart, though, is that our system does a great job of zooming out. So, at a 30,000-foot level, as an organization, we said that we have five priorities. And we have key performance indicators dedicated to each of them. How are they performing? Project management software is not designed for that. It’s designed to zoom in. Zooming out, though, is the major blind spot for most organizations.”
One field this has proven exceptionally valuable in is healthcare. Hospitals are required to have a strategic plan to qualify for federal funding, and part of that requirement includes auditing. Integrated Plan Management softwarehelps these organizations execute on their strategic plan, while providing an easy, unified repository for all the data required to satisfy an audit. With recent efforts on IT modernization, government agencies are now leveraging this approach to maintain Continuity of Operations and increase accountability.
“We work with many well-known government agencies and healthcare organizations. Ones that serve very important segments of the population,” Krause said. “Basically, many health systems and agencies have the same problems that large organizations with bigger budgets experience: very lofty targets and goals. The teams create these beautiful strategic plans, usually in PowerPoint, that are approved all the way up the chain, and everyone’s very excited on day one. But then by day 60, the plan is a distant memory. The plan collects dust on a shelf somewhere.”
One of the issues here is scale. Agencies often have tens or hundreds of locations across the country. Each one operates as its own organization, complete with its own strategic plan. And the central office in Washington, D.C. needs to have visibility into all of them.
“What we’re trying to do is connect the dots between the individual locations and the central office in DC. So, DC sets direction, then facilities in each of the locations across the U.S. are executing, and it’s a back and forth flow of information,” Krause said. “Prior to using AchieveIt, that just wasn’t happening at the speed that they expected or wanted, just because of the scale of the organization. It’s not something that’s an easily solved problem. That’s something that we are designed to fix.”
Organizations like these have a very clear mission, and very specific plans on how to accomplish that mission. The visibility Integrated Plan Management provides into those mission-critical initiatives helps the organization verify quickly and easily that it’s on track.
That’s even more important in the current environment, where everyone who can telework is doing so. Integrated Plan Management fosters collaboration, allows managers to focus on the big picture of the strategic plan without micro-managing employees, and improves accountability among a remote workforce.
“Often, when people think of accountability, they think of the bad things. But what we’re capturing in our software is equal amount of good and bad,” Krause said. “Our software does a great job giving credit where credit’s due. If you’re giving people credit for great work on what they’re delivering to accomplish the mission, they’re going to feel purpose and they’re going to deliver better work. Our software shines a spotlight on all that’s happening good and bad, so that you can make an informed decision on the data.”
AchieveIt is a secure, cloud-based platform that is widely utilized by federal government departments and agencies, state and local governments, and hundreds of large commercial entities to track and report on mission-critical plans and initiatives.