How to Develop a Strategic Plan for Your Site

Vision and mission statements allow an organization to dream of what its future could be—and inspire people to take action. You probably are aware that hospitals or health systems have these types of statements, but has your research site (or its parent company) outlined its own vision and mission? And what’s your team’s role in creating it?

It’s easy for research enterprises to get large and complex. High-level planning can help focus a site’s day-to-day activities and promote internal alignment among different areas, leading to long-term success. If your research site or its parent company doesn’t have a mission or vision, or if they need updating, do the following to create these strategic documents.

Evaluate Current Organizational State

If your site or parent organization already has a mission and vision, find it. The mission should outline a core purpose and focus that will drive specific goals and tactics. A mission statement is something an organization strives to accomplish. The vision should look toward the future. It imagines the long-term state of your organization if those goals and tactics line up in an ideal way.

Does research play a role in these for your organization? It not, figure out why. Are these statements not grounded in reality? Is research new to your organization? Whatever the reason, the mission and vision direct the entire organization. They separate the important from the unimportant. You’ll want your work to fit into the former category; otherwise, you may be unable to reach your team’s goals.

Understand Clinical Research Goals

The point of mission and vision statements is to allow your organization to identify what it wants to be in the next quarter, year, decade, and beyond. Before that can happen, it first needs to be effective right now. So, what are your organization’s desired benefits for its efforts, including research—and are you achieving them?

Maybe you want to promote discovery or invention. Or maybe your organization wishes to increase market share or achieve a different outcome altogether. Regardless of the specific goal, identify any gaps that inhibit reaching it by assessing existing team structures and resources. If you’re experiencing issues, clarifying strategy via a new mission or vision should help you prioritize the necessary steps to take.

Gain Input from Organizational Stakeholders

Large organizations include many stakeholders—executives, finance, compliance, medical groups, medical directors and more—and everyone holds their own priorities related to those roles. When determining or revising any overarching strategy, you’ll want adequate representation among all these individuals, as well as members of the research team.

Mission and vision statements don’t change often. If you have the opportunity to update yours, there will be no shortage of opinions during the exercise. However, getting these all out on the table will aid understanding on expectations and challenges—and make sure the top of your organization hears your team’s voice and needs.

Learn more about site strategic planning with this webinar from our CTMS Resources series.

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