Quality Improvement in Strategic Planning


Impact Statement: 
Saginaw County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) conducts strategic planning every 2 years. After noting that not all staff were engaged, the four previous strategic planning groups conducted a PDSA cycle on the strategic planning process. As a result, staff are now more committed to setting and monitoring agency strategic priorities. Because of this success, SCDPH is using its performance management system as the platform for measuring progress toward strategic priorities and how well the priorities advance the health department.

Since 2004, SCDPH has undertaken a comprehensive strategic planning process every 2 years. The process is led by a group of staff dubbed the MOD (Moving in One Direction) Squad, a multidisciplinary team comprising representatives of front-line staff, managers, and the governing body. Each strategic planning cycle is steered by MOD Squad facilitators who learn strategic planning skills and lead the team in reviewing and updating the SCDPH vision, mission, and priorities, in addition to developing goals to support them. Over time, it became evident that despite cross-agency staff involvement in the effort, staff were not truly engaged and did not perceive any benefit from participating in the process or having a thoughtfully developed strategic plan. The SCDPH management team decided to apply a PDSA cycle to the strategic planning process and pulled together a quality improvement (QI) team comprising the team facilitators from the four MOD Squads to date, as well as the health officer. The PDSA cycle spanned an entire strategic planning cycle and resulted in improved staff connectivity to the strategic planning process.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 

Harrington, C. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Quality Improvement in Strategic Planning . Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:50. Available at https://phqix.org/content/quality-improvement-strategic-planning. Accessed July 25, 2024.

Submission Status: 
1 user has voted.


Submitted by MelodyR on

Thanks so much for sharing this initiative, Christina! Your process effectively addressed two issues that many health departments are working to improve: engaging staff at all levels in strategic planning and aligning plans. Keep us posted on the inclusion of performance management into the SCDPH strategic planning process!

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Rachel Melody, MPH, ASQ-CQPA, CQIA
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

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