One of the Most Powerful Tools for Value Analysis is Strategic Planning

Robert T. Yokl, President/CEO, SVAH Solutions

“Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.” This quote by   Scottish Philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, is at the core of why you need to develop and then revisit your Strategic Value Analysis Plan (SVAP) before you establish, reinvent, or set a new direction for your value analysis program. It is one of the key ingredients that holds your value analysis program together, year after year, and decade after decade. Think of the SVAP as Gorilla Glue!


Benefits of Strategic Value Analysis Plan

We often talk to value analysis leaders that are looking to establish, reinvent, or set a new direction for their value analysis program, since their VA program has gotten stale, is dysfunctional, or is not meeting their stated goals and objectives. This is when we ask the VA leader if he/she has an updated Strategic Value Analysis Plan.

Most often, they tell us they don’t, which is a clue for us as to why this hospital, system, or IDN is   having growing pains. They hadn’t taken a long-term, systematic view of their value analysis program, and then revisited their SVAP annually, or as needed, to keep their VA team(s) well oiled, on a critical path, and operating at peak performance.

An SVAP has many similarities to long-range planning in that it is a systematic and defined planning process. This enables a healthcare organization to appraise the strengths and weaknesses or GAPS in its value analysis program, then, devise new strategies, tactics, and techniques for reducing and  controlling supply chain expenses going forward.

If properly developed, your SVAP will provide supply chain/value analysis leaders with a road map for their   value analysis program for many years to come, thereby, increasing its probability for success. This is a better course of action than letting your value analysis program just happen in an unplanned and disorganized manner.


It All Begins with a SWOT Analysis

Your Strategic Value Analysis Plan begins with defining your vision, mission, and goals and objectives for your new or refined value analysis program in terms of what your aspirations, aims, or mandates are one, two, and five years out. It shows savings and quality goals are real and achievable and what policies and  procedures are required to align your goals and objectives with your new or reinvented product,  service, and technology evaluation/selection process. It reveals what steps you need to take to develop or reinvigorate your value analysis teams that will be creative enough to meet the challenges of your hospital, system, or IDN over the next few years. It helps find the problems or hurdles that can be anticipated that would threaten the success of your value analysis program and where you would get started to make change happen.


Don’t Make a Move Without a Strategic Value Analysis Plan

All of us prefer to act first as opposed to planning first, but as the quote I just talked about says, “Nothing is more terrible than activity without planning,” because action without planning leaves out critical steps that can spell success or failure of your value analysis program. I know this to be true   because even with an SVAP that I developed for a hospital, system, or IDN client, I would often need to revisit the SVAP once we took action because I forgot a key success element of the plan (i.e.,      meeting with key influencers to discuss the SVAP before announcing it to all who are involved in the new or reinvented value analysis program). This occurrence rarely happens now, since I don’t make a move to change a VA program without a properly developed and bought into Strategic Value Analysis Plan. You can have the same SVAP success too!