Planning & Assessment

Respond to Changing Environments

Leaders and their organizations are constantly adapting and responding to a changing environment and the needs in their community. We use planning and assessment tools and processes to help you manage that change.

Assessments provide an independent evaluation of strengths and challenges and highlight opportunities for growth.

Program planning helps you to serve clients better through an increased understanding of what works in your agency and how to repeat success.

Strategic planning clarifies the direction of your organization and helps you to successfully respond to community needs.

Assessment

Why Consider an Organization or Program Assessment?

There are times when leaders and staff want to get a clear, objective picture of an organization or a programís strengths and areas where changes will yield the greatest benefit. And they often want to have the assessment guided by a consultant who is objective, thorough, and able to focus on producing results quickly.

Our process is designed to combine exploration and discussion; all findings and recommendations are reviewed with the organization's leadership and decisions are made jointly. Leaders often use the assessment process as:

  • The first phase in strategic planning.
  • A tool for managing change or growth.
  • A method for improving programming.
  • A quick way for a new leader to gain a complete understanding of the organization.

Do you think your organization could benefit from an organization assessment but you are not sure?

Try our brief Organizational Assessment Survey. It can help you determine if an assessment is right for you.

What Do Organization Assessments Include?

At an initial meeting, CCG consultants meet with key board and staff to gain an understanding of the organizationís life stage and challenges from a leadership perspective. This conversation helps shape process for the assessing six key areas:

  1. Mission, vision and strategy
  2. Leadership and governance
  3. Program delivery and impact
  4. Strategic relationships
  5. Finances and resource development
  6. Internal operations and management

From that conversation, a three-phase process is designed and implemented:

Phase 1:
Gather information to determine the organization’s strengths and challenges. This phase includes a review of key documents and records and an analysis of information and ideas from staff, board members, and community partners.

Phase 2:
Identify priorities that address short- and long-term needs. During this phase, information is analyzed and consultants draft a preliminary findings report, discuss recommendations, and facilitate a discussion of next steps.

Phase 3:
Create a plan for action that encompasses agreed upon steps and methods for monitoring progress. Consultants draft a final presentation and identify implementation activities and priorities in partnership with the board and staff.

Contact us if you want more information or to discuss your specific needs.

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Program Planning

Why do Program Planning?

Program planning helps organizations clarify the relationship between mission, services, and community need. In a sense, it is strategic planning on a program level. Program planning works with both new and existing programs and provides line staff, managers, and agency leaders with a means to:

  • Provide an independent assessment of strengths and challenges.
  • Successfully respond to community needs and clarify the direction of the program.
  • Serve clients better through an increased understanding of what works in your agency and how to repeat success.
  • Improve communication with various audiences including funders, collaborators, clients, and the general community.
  • Improve agency ability to respond successfully to funding opportunities.

What is Program Planning?

Although services are tailored to the needs of each organization, program planning usually consists of the following steps:

  • Identify the skills needed for program planning and gather the necessary people.
  • Define the target population and issue to be addressed.
  • Gather background data including information on the target population, community resources, and evidence-based programs.
  • Assess agency capability and availability of resources to provide services.
  • Design the program.
  • Create an evaluation plan, budget, and implementation schedule.
  • Communicate with stakeholders.

Program planning services can take a number of different formats, from half-day workshops that help agencies conduct their own planning process to consultant-facilitated sessions. Please Contact us for more information or to discuss your specific situation.

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Strategic Planning

Why conduct Strategic Plannning?

Our philosophy is that organizations must constantly adapt and respond to their changing environment and the needs of their community. Negotiating the complexities of a changing environment and organization requires tools which are practical and easy to use.

Leaders are responsible for envisioning the long-term direction of their organizations and engaging their community in conversations about the futureówe help to guide the process and gather all the ideas into a dynamic strategic plan. There are also times when funding has been significantly cut and leaders must act quickly and creatively to make dramatic changes in the organization. This is also a type of strategic planning for which we offer experienced consulting.

What does Strategic Planning Include?

Some of the critical components in a cost-effective strategic planning process include:

  1. Connect with funders, customers and clients, board and staff, and volunteers,to understand their needs, their perspective on your organization, and the changing environment.
  2. Analyze the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and discuss the barriers blocking the organization's ability to effect change.
  3. Clarify organizational mission and values, and develop a vision.
  4. When a gap between current performance and the vision is found, make a plan to close that gap, and get everyone involved in designing and implementing the plan.
  5. Examine key indicators and ask pointed questions: How do you know you are on the right path? What benchmarks provide the necessary feedback?
  6. Build in ways to use and monitor the plan on a regular basis.

Contact us for more information or to discuss your specific situation.

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