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How To Use This Planning Tool

Technical v. Adaptive Challenges

5 Step Planning Process

This planning tool provides you with three guided practices related to key issues that public health leaders may face as health and health care evolve and change. Use the five-step planning process to tackle these questions in a guided practice format and then you should be able to use the same process to address any challenge you may have that does not have a ready-made solution. The steps in this process are key to helping leaders focus on the actions that lead to innovation and strategic thinking.




Define a question.

What is it that you want to know? Is the question unique to your organization or do you think it might apply to others? Is this a priority issue for the organization?



Collect information related to the question.

What exactly is written in the ACA? You may need to go directly to the law’s text or read what others have written. Gathering information from the law is one place to start, and you may need to collect additional information that is important for the local context. Are there new approaches or ways of thinking about the question that may extend your thinking?



Think about feasible options.

Once you have reviewed relevant information about the question, you will be better prepared to think about possible ways you could address it. With new information, you will be prepared to reframe the question from a more adaptive perspective. Then, you can think about options to address it. The range of options may be from the more technical to the more adaptive.



Apply adaptive actions.

With the question reframed from an adaptive perspective, you will be ready to think about action. The planning tool describes eight adaptive actions you might apply to the challenge. By considering each of the adaptive actions, you will be training yourself to consider a much wider range of responses than if you remained in a technical mindset.



Create an implementation plan.

With adaptive actions considered, this step will assist you in thinking about a simple yet concrete way to move forward related to staffing, budgeting, and developing a management plan in the context of how you choose to answer the question. Completing this step enables you to record an approach for moving the solution to your challenge from abstract ideas to action.