First Look

HFM Performance Advantage specializes in helping healthcare organizations achieve higher levels of ROI through performance improvement. Our goal: a quantum increase in results, usually on the order of 2x or 3x within a foreseeable time frame.

Major Components

  • A focus on people, process and technology to build and sustain a culture of high achievement. We go beyond the traditional focus on process improvement for better outcomes.
  • Use of both quality assurance (QA) and organizational development (OD) methodologies. An ongoing, systematic approach to improve performance through structural redesign, human factors and process improvements. Key elements: the principles of Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing System, GE’s Six Sigma and Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints.

The Steps of a First Look

  • A series of interviews and meetings. Overarching goal: to determine if further exploration of a performance improvement plan is warranted.
  • This first-blush view provides a quick, highly subjective preliminary evaluation of an organization’s situation, capabilities and readiness for performance improvement. The analysis enables us to arrive at general observations and preliminary recommendations.
  • We present a brief report.

If the organization then decides to pursue performance improvement in earnest, the next phase is more substantive investigation and planning to develop a definitive long-range action plan. The steps of this phase include:

  • The consultant’s review of facts and data supplied by the client.
  • A series of on-site, one-on-one meetings with members of the Foundation leadership team and selected volunteer leadership over a two-day period.
  • If it can be arranged, the consultant will also conduct a workshop with all available employees during the afternoon of the second day. The objectives: to provide them a look at performance improvement potential and to gain insight into change readiness by observing staff reactions and questions.
  • Telephone calls with Foundation personnel both before and after the on-site visit.

Areas of Investigation

The principle First Look areas of investigation are organization structure, capabilities and climate, change readiness, existing infrastructure, and past and current programs and practices.

This preliminary look does not include an attempt to assess market factors. While there obviously is some saturation point for philanthropy in any market, our observation generally is that neither market potential nor competition are the prime factors limiting the performance of health care fundraising operations. Any factors limiting performance are likely more internal than external.