Dos and don'ts for practice management: Managing by objectives

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Managing by objectives

This means setting a series of specific, measurable goals and expectations for your practice. Each goal must have mileposts so you can measure progress as team members move toward achieving practice objectives. When doctors manage by objectives, they are on the right path to increasing production, reducing stress, and boosting profitability.

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Align your goals and systems with the practice vision. If your vision is to achieve $1 million in production within three years, then your practice goals must reflect that kind of growth. In addition, all your systems must be engineered to achieve the desired results. If your schedule only has the capacity to produce $500,000, then you won't be able to achieve your vision until the schedule is rebuilt.

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Don't be afraid to change course. Even when dentists have a vision supported by goals and documented systems, outside factors can thwart the best-laid plans. For example, prior to the recession, you may have had a goal to grow cosmetic production by 25% each year. Then the downturn hit, making that goal unrealistic. Shift gears and seize other opportunities to add more new patients and grow other services. If a goal is unrealistic, revisit it when necessary.

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