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Bye-Bye to Annual Budgeting?

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2012

ThedaCare has long used the Lean methodology in its approach to process improvement, so it was only natural for the organization to review its budget process with this approach. Olson's goal was to create a document from which ThedaCare could get the information it needed quickly while achieving period-over-period improvement. He also wanted a financial forecast that was connected to strategy and daily operations.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Olson's team set targets in two areas. To look ahead with financial planning, they wanted:


  • 24 months of history
  • 18 months of forecast
  • Divisional key metrics
  • 13 four-week periods
  • Dialog among system and divisional leaders

To help with day-to-day financial management, the goals were:

  • Improved performance over time
  • Daily tracking of metrics
  • Daily identification for continuous improvement
  • Daily huddles to discuss business
  • Monthly scorecard review of drivers
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