Agile OGSM for Hospitals

Blog • Edward van der Kolk • Oct 16 • 3 min read

Hospitals and health care providers around the world are facing a massive challenge. The COVID-19 crisis has put acute pressure on hospitals, and especially Intensive Care departments. These have been difficult weeks and months for the doctors and nurses who’ve had to cancel or postpone other operations and care, to be able to devote themselves completely to the first or second wave of COVID-19 patients.

It might be a while longer, but the acute crisis will fortunately pass. Once enough people have had the virus or a working vaccine presents itself, the Intensive Care wards will probably grow quiet again. However, that doesn’t mean hospitals will be out of the woods. The demographic changes will accelerate the coming decades. People are living longer and older people are at greater risk of chronic diseases. Meanwhile, as the number of elderly people rises, the percentage of working professionals dwindles, leaving fewer and fewer caregivers. The graph below shows the expected rise of chronic diseases between 2015 and 2040 in the Netherlands – but you might expect a similar development in most industrialized European nations. From left to right, the columns represent dementia, heart failure, cancer, asthma, strokes, COPD, coronary heart disease, diabetes, neck and back complaints, and arthrosis.

Prognosis of the rise of chronic diseases in the Netherlands, 2015-2040
(source: RIVM)

A logical consequence of this explosive rise in health care demand is a parallel rise in the costs of health care. It is estimated the costs will double by 2040 relative to 2015. Of course there might be some expansions in the capacity and funding of hospitals, but everyone can read the writing on the wall: only a major strategic transformation can prevent that waiting times and towering workloads become the everyday reality of hospitals. Digitalization and decentralization will have to play a major role in that strategic transformation: care will increasingly lean on e-consults, video calls, apps, self-diagnostics, robots, and so on.

Strategic change projects often fail

Major strategic transformations are not easy: they demand a lot of time and attention, while hospital staff and management are often fully absorbed by their everyday work. Change projects often fail. I recently spoke a manager at a hospital who told me some 50% of their change projects hadn’t yielded the desired result, while the other 50% never even got properly underway.

We always advise to use Agile OGSM as a strategic framework, so you can constantly monitor your performance and translate your long-term goals into everyday actions that you can realize in the short term. But when you work at a complex organization with many KPIs and a high daily workload, like a hospital, a purely incremental approach falls short. Then it might be worthwhile to design two OGSM plans, with a strict separation between the everyday operational ‘running’ of the organization on the one hand, and the change projects on the other.

Separate your change and your operational OGSM

This way, you can monitor the strategic transformation of your organization specifically in the change OGSM. By giving staff ownership of individual components of the change program – and allowing some time for that ownership in their work schedule – you can ensure that people feel and take responsibility for the long term, and not just for solving everyday problems. That way, hospitals can use Agile OGSM to realize a complex transformation, and we can keep health care affordable and accessible for everyone.

Realize strategic change with AgileOGSM™

OGSM software™ is a flexible and simple cloud-based software for strategic execution. Hospitals and other care providers around the world are using it today to get and keep their strategic change projects under control. Interested in a demo, more information or a testimonial from one of our clients in the health care sector? Send us an e-mail at and we'll get in touch with you right away.

Antoinette Wieman

Antoinette Wieman

Managing Partner


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