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Transforming your government healthcare agency through leadership training: A business analysis approach

09.07.17

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines leadership as having the capacity to lead. Though modest in theory, the concept of leadership permeates all industries and is a building block for every organization’s success. Too often, however, organizations fail to invest in leadership training.

This is especially true of government healthcare agencies that often fill managerial roles by internal promotion based on skill sets and experience, rather than leadership ability. Largely due to the nature of the healthcare industry where technical aptitude is valued highly, this is not surprising. Often the leaders with the capability to engage employees, encourage quality performance, and drive change are not promoted. Because these leadership qualities are essential to organizational transformation, providing comprehensive leadership training to both clinical and administrative staff is crucial for organizational success in the healthcare field. This is where business analysis can help.

Business analysis, or the practice of enabling change in an organization by defining needs and recommending solutions, can help customize training programs for your organization’s current needs and future goals. Here are a few ways elements of business analysis can be used to analyze your organization for leadership development needs:

  1. Elicitation and Collaboration: the process of obtaining and reviewing information from stakeholders and other sources. This step confirms the need for leadership training as a project requirement, and provides insight into specific areas where supervisors lack proficiency. Though the process is ongoing, it is especially important to confirm specific training needs at the onset of a project.

    Methods such as document analysis, mind mapping, focus groups, surveys, and observation help properly elicit information from stakeholders. Gathering important information at the project start can help you create a tailored leadership training approach. For example, if separate competency deficiencies are discovered between clinical and administrative staff, variations of the training program can be implemented to fit organizational need. 
  1. Requirements Life Cycle Management: the supervision of the strategy, from project inception to completion. This ongoing process traces the relationships between the training program and all other elements of the organizational transformation. Through techniques such as process and scope modeling, it provides ongoing improvement of training throughout the project’s life cycle. Additionally, it confirms with stakeholders that the training is on track.
     
  2. Strategy Analysis: the study of how a leadership development program will enhance your organization’s existing needs and future goals. Analyzing current and future environments can reveal how to integrate the leadership training program into your organization’s strategic plan. This process helps uncover any associated risks, which then drive your change management strategy. This ensures smooth incorporation of the training program, using techniques such as business capability analysis, prototyping, and root-cause analysis.
     
  3. Requirements Analysis and Design Definition: the creation of a leadership training strategy. Known in the industry as RADD, this multi-tiered process focuses on determining strategy. It includes:
  • Verifying specific requirements the program should meet
  • Ensuring all requirements collectively support one another
  • Creating and comparing multiple leadership training options

Once RADD is complete, you can determine the best option and move forward with a personalized leadership training program for your organization. Approaches that can help with this complex process include (but are not limited to): risk analysis, surveys, organizational modeling, workshops, and assessment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

  1. Solution Evaluation: the method used to assess overall performance and value in order to optimize the leadership training program. This process involves measuring and analyzing current performance indicators, identifying barriers, and recommending plans of action to enhance the program, if necessary. It’s important to get feedback from staff and stakeholders during this process to define various strengths and gaps in the current program.

These business analysis elements can work together to develop leadership capacity during organizational transformation, resulting in supervisors who can engage employees, encourage quality performance, and drive change. Especially in the health sector, where the regulations are heavy and the stakes are high, having supervisors with this capacity is immensely important. Inspired leaders can truly transform an organization, as inspired leaders drive inspired organizations.

Once you implement a customized approach, not only will “leadership” go from a buzzword to a valued organization standard, but trained leaders will become the central support system as you move into the future and continue to provide for the health of your customers.

Modernization means different things to different people—especially in the context of state government. For some, it is the cause of a messy chain reaction that ends (at best) in frustration and inefficiency. For others, it is the beneficial effect of a thoughtful and well-planned series of steps. The difference lies in the approach to transition - and states will soon discover this as they begin using the new Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS), a case management information system that helps them provide citizens with customized child welfare services.

The benefits of CCWIS are numerous and impressive, raising the bar for child welfare and providing opportunities to advance through innovative technology that promotes interoperability, flexibility, improved management, mobility, and integration. However, taking advantage of these benefits will also present challenges. Gone are the days of the cookie-cutter, “one-size-fits-all” approach. Here are five facts to consider as you transition toward an effective modernization.

  1. There are advantages and challenges to buying a system versus building a system internally. CCWIS transition may involve either purchasing a complete commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product that suits the state, or constructing a new system internally with the implementation of a few purchased modules. To decide which option is best, first assess your current systems and staff needs. Specifically, consider executing a cost-benefit analysis of options, taking into account internal resource capabilities, feasibility, flexibility, and time. This analysis will provide valuable data that help you assess the current environment and identify functional gaps. Equipped with this information, you should be ready to decide whether to invest in a COTS product, or an internally-built system that supports the state’s vision and complies with new CCWIS regulations.
     
  2. Employ a modular approach to upgrading current systems or building new systems. The Children’s Bureau—an office of the Administration for Children & Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—defines “modularity” as the breaking down of complex functions into separate, manageable, and independent components. Using this modular approach, CCWIS will feature components that function independently, simplifying future upgrades or procurements because they can be completed on singular modules rather than the entire system. Modular systems create flexibility, and enable you to break down complex functions such as “Assessment and Intake,” “Case Management,” and “Claims and Payment” into modules during CCWIS transition. This facilitates the development of a sustainable system that is customized to the unique needs of your state, and easily allows for future augmentation.
     
  3. Use Organizational Change Management (OCM) techniques to mitigate stakeholder resistance to change. People are notoriously resistant to change. This is especially true during a disruptive project that impacts day-to-day operations—such as building a new or transitional CCWIS system. Having a comprehensive OCM plan in place before your CCWIS implementation can help ensure that you assign an effective project sponsor, develop thorough project communications, and enact strong training methods. A clear OCM strategy should help mitigate employee resistance to change and can also support your organization in reaching CCWIS goals, due to early buy-in from stakeholders who are key to the project’s success.
     
  4. Data governance policies can help ensure you standardize mandatory data sharing. For example, the Children’s Bureau notes that a Title IV-E agency with a CCWIS must support collaboration, interoperability, and data sharing by exchanging data with Child Support Systems?Title IV-D, Child Abuse/Neglect Systems, Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS), and many others as described by the Children’s Bureau.

    Security is a concern due to the large amount of data sharing involved with CCWIS systems. Specifically, if a Title IV-E agency with a CCWIS does not implement foundational data security measures across all jurisdictions, data could become vulnerable, rendering the system non-compliant. However, a data governance framework with standardized policies in place can protect data and surrounding processes.
     
  5. Continuously refer to federal regulations and resources. With the change of systems comes changes in federal regulations. Fortunately, the Children’s Bureau provides guidance and toolkits to assist you in the planning, development, and implementation of CCWIS. Particularly useful documents include the “Child Welfare Policy Manual,” “Data Sharing for Courts and Child Welfare Agencies Toolkit,” and the “CCWIS Final Rule”. A comprehensive list of federal regulations and resources is located on the Children’s Bureau website.

    Additionally, the Children’s Bureau will assign an analyst to each state who can provide direction and counsel during the CCWIS transition. Continual use of these resources will help you reduce confusion, avoid obstacles, and ultimately achieve an efficient modernization program.

Modernization doesn’t have to be messy. Learn more about how OCM and data governance can benefit your agency or organization.

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Five things to keep in mind during your CCWIS transition

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