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Free Online Courses – Welcome to Hoang Nghiep Training and Consulting http://en.hoangnghiep.com Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:42:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.10 Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 4 – Managing Cash Flow http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=602 Wed, 09 Dec 2009 04:07:57 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=602 Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 4 – Managing Cash Flow

Basic activities that comprise cash flow management.

Please download the coursework here course04

(Source from Financial Management Training Center)

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Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 2 – Financial Planning & Forecasting http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=594 Wed, 09 Dec 2009 03:59:08 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=594 Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 2 – Financial Planning & Forecasting

The basic components of financial planning and forecasting.

Please download the coursework here course02

Supplemental Material developing_financial_projections

(Source from Financial Management Training Center)


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Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 1 – Evaluating Financial Performance http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=590 Wed, 09 Dec 2009 03:49:33 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=590 Free Learning in Business Finance: Course 1 – Evaluating Financial Performance

A concise overview of using ratios to evaluate financial performance.

Please download coursework here

Supplemental material Workbook1-2

(Source from Financial Management Training Center)

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Free Resources for HR Specialists: Human Resource Management (and Talent Management) http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=541 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:27:26 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=541 Free Resources for HR Specialists: Human Resource Management
(and Talent Management)

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD of Authenticity Consulting, LLC

Introduction

The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can’t yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have — and are aware of — personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have.

Note that some people distinguish a difference between HRM (a major management activity) and HRD (Human Resource Development, a profession). Those people might include HRM in HRD, explaining that HRD includes the broader range of activities to develop personnel inside of organizations, e.g., career development, training, organization development, etc.

There is a long-standing argument about where HR-related functions should be organized into large organizations, eg, “should HR be in the Organization Development department or the other way around?”

The HRM function and HRD profession have undergone tremendous change over the past 20-30 years. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the “Personnel Department,” mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the “HR Department” as playing a major role in staffing, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organization are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.

Recently, the phrase “talent management” is being used to refer the activities to attract, develop and retain employees. Some people and organizations use the phrase to refer
especially to talented and/or high-potential employees. The phrase often is used interchangeably with the field of Human Resource Management — although as the field of talent management matures, it’s very likely there will be an increasing number of people who will strongly disagree about the interchange of these fields. For now, this Library uses the phrases interchangeably.

Sections of This Topic Include:

Basic Overviews of Human Resource Management
Getting the Best Employees
Paying Employees (and Providing Benefits)
Training Employees
Ensuring Compliance to Regulations
Ensuring Safe Work Environments
Sustaining High-Performing Employees


Basic Overviews of Human Resource Management (and Talent Management)

The reader might best be served to first get a sense for the scope and depth of the field of Human Resource Management by reading materials at some of the following links in this Overview, and. then read information at the subtopics listed later on below in this overall topic in the Library.

Overviews of Human Resource Management

Management Quiz – Part 1
Employee Relations Quiz – Part 2
Employee Relations Quiz – Part 3
Employee Relations Quiz – Part 4
Lexicon for the HR Novice (tongue in cheek)
Avoiding Employee Relations Pitfalls In Smaller Businesses
When an HR Department is Necessary
When is the Right Time for an HR Expert?

“Talent Management” – New Movement in Human Resource Management?

The following subtopic in the Library describes how many people and organizations are beginning to use the phrase “Talent Management” to refer to the activities of attracting, developing and retaining employees.

Talent Management

General Resources About Human Resource Management

Additional Information for Nonprofits
Capterra’s listing of HR software
Internet Resources for Human Resources
Do You Really Know Your Contractors? – The Hard Evidence for Contractor Screening and Employment Background Check Searches
Human Resources and the Internet
HRIM Mall
Human Resources Management and Employer Resources Online Information
Human Resource Management Basics
Dr. John Sullivan’s List of Articles
Checklist to Review Nonprofit Human Resource Practices
Management and HR articles
Human Resources IQ

Getting the Best Employees

Staffing — Workforce planning
Staffing — Specifying Jobs and Roles
Staffing — Recruiting
Staffing — Outsourcing (having services and functions performed by non-employees)
Staffing — Screening Applicants
Staffing — Selecting (Hiring) New Employees

Paying Employees (and Providing Benefits)

Benefits and Compensation

Training Employees

Career Development
Employee Orientation
Leadership Development
Management Development
Personal Development
Supervisoral Development
Training and Development

Ensuring Compliance to Regulations

Personnel Polices and Records
Employee Laws, Topics and Issues
Ethics – Practical Toolkit

Ensuring Safe Work Environments

Diversity Management
Dealing with Drugs in the Workplace
Employee Assistance Programs
Ergonomics: Safe Facilities in the Workplace
Dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Workplace
Personal Wellness
Preventing Violence in the Workplace
Ensuring Safety in the Workplace
Supporting Spirituality in the Workplace
Diversity Management

Sustaining High-Performing Employees

Employee Performance Management
Group Performance Management
Interpersonal Skills
Personal Productivity
Retaining Employees

(Source from Management Help Organziation)

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Free Online Course: Starting and Understanding Your Organization http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=538 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:07:29 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=538 Free Online Course: Starting and Understanding Your Organization

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.

(This learning module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about starting and understanding an organization.)

INTRODUCTION

This module is useful to entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting a business, or have already started their business and what to understand more about what they’re really doing. The module also will be useful to practitioners/consultants who want broader understanding about business organizations, including how they are started. This understanding for practitioners/consultants can help them provide more effective services to clients and establish stronger credibility with leaders and managers in the workplace.

Starting an organization requires careful thought and planning. However, you can’t effectively manage an organization if you can’t effectively manage yourself. So in this module, you are first guided through some careful examination about yourself as entrepreneur (and you are an entrepreneur if you are starting an organization).

Maintaining a healthy organization requires healthy practices in boards of directors (if applicable, for example, if your organization is a corporation) and management. To truly understand and be effective at these practices, it helps greatly if board members, chief executive and employees have some basic understanding of the overall organizational “system” of their organization, including its common traits, dimensions, “personality” and life cycles.

This is not just an academic exercise. Too often, people don’t really understand the overall structures in their organization. When problems occur, they only see the specific events, and not the larger structures that cause the behaviors that cause the events — this is very important for practitioners, too. To effectively resolve problems, you have to change the structures — not just react to events.

The importance of this understanding of organizations is evident when you realize that many graduate business training programs start out with an overview of the organizational system, often in a course called, for example, “Organizational Theory”.


MATERIALS TO REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Starting Your Organization

Preparation for Planning a Business Venture
NOTE: If you are not starting your own organization, but rather are wanting to learn about what’s involved, then you need not answer all of the questions in detail in this study material — and you probably don’t need to follow links out of the document. However, you should scan the questions in order to understand what’s involved in starting a business.

Considerations About You

– – – Are You Really an Entrepreneur? (read all the articles about entrepreneurs, their traits, etc.)
– – – Have You Looked at Alternatives to Starting a Business? (review the questions)
– – – Are Your Personal Finances in Shape to Start a New Business? (review the questions)
– – – How Will You Manage the Stresses Involved? (consider your own stress management)

Considerations About Your Business Idea (some basic business planning)

– – – Is There Really a Market for Your New Product/Service? (understand considerations)
– – – What Type of Business Will You Start? (for-profit? nonprofit? what name?)
– – – What Are the Risks Involved?
– – – What Skills Do You Need to Run Your Business?
– – – What Are Your General Plans for the Future of Your Business?
– – – What Resources Will You Soon Need? (skills, facilities, money, etc.)
– – – You’re Ready to Write a Business Plan Document, If Needed
– – – If You’re Still Going to Start a New Business ..

Understanding Your Organization

NOTE: You need not follow links out of the following documents, but do read the content on each of the following Web pages.
Organizations (an Introduction) — particularly the sections:
– – – Basic Definition of Organization
– – – Various Ways to Look at Organizations
– – – Two Basic Types of U.S. Business Organizations
– – – Legal Forms and Traditional Structures of U.S. Businesses
– – – Common Dimensions in Organizations
– – – Key Concepts in the Design of an Organization
– – – Organizational Culture (the “personality” of the organization)
– – – Life Cycles of Organizations
– – – Future of Organizations — A New Paradigm?
– – – – – – Characteristics of the Future Organizations
– – – – – – New Structures (networks, self-managed teams, learning org, self-designing org)


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • Note that if you are planning to start a new organization, it will be very helpful to obtain documents relevant to the particular rules and regulations to start a business in your state. Contact your local Secretary of State and/or Attorney General’s office and ask what documents you need to start a business. It will be very helpful if you have addressed the following activities.

Understanding Your Organization

1. What is a basic definition of an organization? An organization gets ongoing direction primarily from mission, vision and values. That’s why it’s so important for boards, management and employees to understand these concepts and how they apply to their organization. What is a mission? Vision? Values? (See Basic Definition of Organization (which includes some optional reading about systems thinking).)

2. It helps a great deal to think of organizations and programs as systems, for example, when planning products or managing major changes in your organization. What is a system? (HINT: Think about inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes.) How is a system different than a pile of sand? What are some common characteristics of systems. How is an organization like a system? (See Basic Definition of Organization (which includes some optional reading about systems thinking))

3. What metaphor do you prefer to describe organizations? Machines? Organisms? Persons? Groups? Families? Others? (See Various Ways to Look at Organizations.)

4. Organizations have certain dimensions and concepts in common. When designing, organizing and/or re-organizing organizations, it helps to be aware of these dimensions and concepts. Name at least three of the dimensions of organizations. Name at least three key concepts to consider when designing organizations. (See Common Dimensions in Organizations and Key Concepts in the Design of an Organization.)

5. The concept of culture is VERY important. Each organization has its own unique culture. When managing an organization, it’s important to acknowledge what values are really important to the organization, what behaviors typically occur and what behaviors are really treasured. Lack of understanding about culture is one of the major reasons that organizational change efforts fail. Describe the concept of organizational “culture”. (See Organizational Culture — the “personality” of the organization.)

6. People — like most other systems — go through life cycles. When trying to understand, manage or help a system, it’s very important to you know what life cycle the system is in. This is true for organizations as well. Organizations have life cycles. This is often forgotten when trying to work with organizations. Describe the concept of organizational life cycle. (See Life Cycles of Organizations.)

7. What is the “new paradigm”? What are several of the changes that might be expected in this new paradigm? What major, overall driving forces are causing this new paradigm? What are some of the characteristics of organizations in the new paradigm? What are some of the new structures that you might see in the new paradigm? (See Future of Organizations — A New Paradigm?, Characteristics of the Future Organizations and New Structures (networks, self-managed teams, learning org, self-designing org ).


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.
  • Note that the information in the subsections “Understanding Your Organization …” is enough to give you a basic sense of your organization, including its structure and basic parts, its current (or desired) personality, and feedback among the basic parts. You’ll soon learn a great deal more about your organization as you progress through the remaining modules in this program.
  • Note that if you are planning to start a new organization, it will be very helpful to obtain documents relevant to the particular rules and regulations to start a business in your state. Contact your local Secretary of State and/or Attorney General’s office and ask what documents you need to start a business. It will be very helpful if you have addressed the following activities.

Starting Your New Organization

1. Write a five- to ten-sentence description of the purpose of your organization. This is the mission statement of your new organization. What is the nature of your organization’s products and industry, e.g., services, manufacturing, wholesale, etc? (For assistance, see Writing/Updating a Mission Statement.)

2. If you are forming a corporation, you’ll likely need a board of directors. Find out the minimum number of people required to be on a corporate board of directors in your state. You might call, for example, your Attorney General’s office, States Attorneys office, etc. Recruit at least this number of people to join your board. (For assistance, see
Overview of Board Roles and Responsibilities of Board of Directors, Joining a Board and Recruiting and Orienting Members.)

3. Recruit expertise to help you get your organization started. A great place to start is by getting references from other small organizations. Don’t forget about finding an insurance agent. You’ll probably soon need liability and property insurance. (For assistance, see
Getting and Using a Banker, Joining a Board, Getting and Using a Consultant, Getting and Using a Lawyer and Getting and Using an Accountant.)

4. If you plan to form a corporation, then draft a set of Articles of Incorporation (or whatever other type of legal charter is required, for example, a constitution, Articles of Association, etc.). (For assistance, see Articles of Incorporation.)

5. Your board (if applicable) will probably need a set of bylaws (bylaws specify how your board will govern the organization and how it will be configured, for example, with a chief executive, etc.). (For assistance, see Corporate Bylaws.)

6. Make a draft (probably a very rough draft at this point) of a plan that includes the top 5-8 goals for the organization to accomplish over the next year. Think about what resources are needed to achieve these goals. (This is a very rough draft of a strategic plan. We’ll refine the plan later in this program.) Write down the costs for the resources and group them in major categories including: personnel, computers, office supplies, facilities (rent, utilities, etc.) and any other major groups of costs. This is a very rough draft of a yearly budget. You don’t have to go into great detail at this point. (For assistance, see Guidelines and Framework for Successful Planning, Basic Description of Strategic Planning and How Do We Prepare a Budget?)

7. Hold a meeting of your board of directors, if applicable. In the meeting, members should review the drafts of the Articles, bylaws, strategic plan and budget. Members should vote to approve the drafted items. Members should also vote to select officers. Your state may require that boards have certain officer roles, for example, Chair/President, Secretary and Treasurer. (For assistance, see Board Meetings and Sample Meeting Minutes .)

8. Make the necessary filings for incorporation (probably to your local Secretary of State), if you are planning a corporation. That office can likely provide you continued guidance for legally registering your organization.

9. On the Action Item Planning List, make note to follow up on the following actions.
a) Contact your local city hall to identify if you need permit or license to makes sales in your locale.
b) It may be useful to obtain a employer identification number at this time, so you’re ready if and when you hire employees. You can get this number by calling the
c) Start obtaining facilities in which to operate, whether in your home, an office, etc. The link Setting Up an Office may help you.
d) Begin looking into computer equipment you may need. The link Computers, Internet & Web may help you.

Understanding Your Organization — A Systems View

1. Diagram a logic model of your organization, including its inputs, processes, outputs (tangible results) and outcomes (impacts on customers/stakeholders). (Note that this systems view is sometimes called an “outcomes model”, which is very useful when trying to get a clear perspective and understanding of your organizations.) Fill in the table in the Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic For-Profit Logic Model

2. If possible, diagram a basic systems view of the development of each of your products in your organization, including inputs, processes, outputs (tangible results) and optionally outcomes (impacts/benefits on customers). (Note that we’ll soon give more attention to products, including their design and marketing, in an upcoming learning module.) Fill in the table in the Guidelines and Framework for Designing Basic For-Profit Logic Model

Understanding Your Organization — Its Culture, or “Personality”

1. Write a half-page description of the culture of your organization. Include what values your organizations holds dear and what values you see reflected by the behaviors in your organization. Note that if your organization is still fairly new, you can still benefit from this activity by describing what you’d like to see as the “personality” of your organization. This activity will be useful later on during strategic planning when writing values statements. (For assistance, see Organizational Culture — the “personality” of the organization.)

Understanding Your Organization — Its Life Cycle

1. Write a half-page description of the life cycle of your organization. Is it in Birth? Youth? Midlife? Maturity? Include what characteristics you observe that lead you to conclude that your organization is in that life cycle. Note what life cycle will be next for your organization. Include description of any challenges that you might expect when you go through the next life cycle change. (For assistance, see Life Cycles of Organizations.)

Understanding Your Organization — Its Communications

1. In the materials for review, you learned that organizations are systems and that for systems to thrive, their needs to be continued and effective feedback (communications) between its major parts. What can you do to ensure effective communications between the key roles in your organization, including customers, board members, board committees, board chair, chief executive and employees? Effective communications requires more than good intentions. What specific structures can you use, for example, consider reports from management and employees, meeting minutes, staff meetings, etc. (For assistance, see Basics of Internal Communications, Communications (Writing) and General Recommendations to Improve Communications Skills.)


ASSESSMENT(S)

Assessments for Organizations 1. If you already have started your organization, then perhaps the following organizational assessments can help you measure the health of various aspects of your organization. If you have not started your organization, or if you just want to understand the nature and systems of organizations better, then the assessments can be helpful as well — you might give them a quick scan.
Organizational Assessment Tools


TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online discussion groups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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Free Online Course: Managing Ethics in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Managers http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=535 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:04:43 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=535 Free Online Course: Managing Ethics in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Managers

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn practical approaches to managing ethics in the workplace.)

Introduction

Managing ethics in the workplace holds tremendous benefit for leaders and managers, benefits both moral and practical. This is particularly true today when it is critical to understand and manage highly diverse values in the workplace. However, today’s training about business ethics in flawed.

The field of business ethics has traditionally been the domain of philosophers, academics and social critics. Consequently, much of today’s literature about business ethics is not geared toward the practical needs of leaders and managers — the people primarily responsible for managing ethics in the workplace. The most frequent forms of business ethics literature today typically include: a) philosophical, which requires extensive orientation and analysis; b) anthologies, which require much time, review and integration; c) case studies, which require numerous cases, and much time and analyses to synthesize; and d) extended stories about businesses “gone bad”. (This lack of practical information is not the fault of philosophers, academic or social critics. The problem is the outcome of insufficient involvement of leaders and managers in discussion and literature about business ethics. More leaders and managers must become involved. This guidebook aims to increase that involvement.)

This learning module provides a highly practical guide to managing ethics in the workplace. The guide is written in “manager speak” to ensure its practicality and relevance to those charged to address ethical issues in the workplace: leaders and managers in the workplace.

NOTE ABOUT HOW TO DEEPEN AND ENRICH LEARNING IN THIS MODULE: Adults learn best when they actually a) apply new information and materials, and b) exchange ongoing feedback with others about their experiences. You can substantially deepen and enrich your learning from this module by forming your own local learning community! Members of the community support each other to apply new learning, exchange ongoing feedback and share results from their experiences. Form an Authenticity Peer-Training Circle for about $15 a member!


MATERIALS TO REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Ethics: Practical Toolkit for Business — particularly the sections:
– – – Fills Void of Practical Ethics Information for Leaders and Managers
– – – What is Business Ethics?
– – – 10 Myths About Business Ethics
– – – 10 Benefits of Managing Ethics in the Workplace
– – – One Description of a Highly Ethical Organization
– – – Ethics Management Programs: An Overview
– – – 8 Guidelines for Managing Ethics in the Workplace
– – – 6 Key Roles and Responsibilities in Ethics Management
– – – Ethics Tools: Codes of Ethics
– – – Ethics Tools: Codes of Conduct
– – – Ethics Tools: Policies and Procedures
– – – Ethics Tools: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas (with Real-to-Life Examples)
– – – Ethics Tools: Training


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

1. What is “ethics” and “business ethics”? Code of ethics? Code of Conduct?

2. Name 3-4 benefits from managing ethics in your workplace.

3. What is an ethics management program? What general activities are included in the program?

4. What’s the bottom line of the ethics program?
5. What is an “ethical dilemma”? What are the most likely forms of ethical dilemmas that might occur in your organization?

6. What policies do you have or might you need to help organization members address ethical dilemmas?

7. What training might you conduct to sensitive organization members to the ethical aspects of their day-to-day activities and decisions?


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

1. Draft a code of ethics for your organization. Remember to include examples of preferred behaviors with each of the values in your code of ethics. Present the code to your board, explain its purpose and how you’d like to use it, e.g., to discuss it with staff members, post it throughout your organization and renew it annually.

2. Pose an ethical dilemma (from the reviewed materials) to the staff and walk them through application of one of the three methods to resolve ethical dilemmas (these methods are included in the materials, as well).

3. Refer to your mental list of the mostly likely ethical dilemmas to occur in your organization. Would these potential dilemmas be addressed by current policies and procedures? Note what policies and procedures need to be added (included yearly review of your code of ethics) and propose them to a local personnel expert. Update your policies handbook and explain the additions to all organization members.


TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online newsgroups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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Free Online Course: Staffing and Supervision of Employees http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=533 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:02:38 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=533 Free Online Course: Staffing and Supervision of Employees

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about staffing and supervising employees and volunteers.)

INTRODUCTION

Staffing and supervision are two of the most critical functions of a manager. Each of the functions include various other activities, as well.

Very simply, staffing is:
a) Deciding what human resources are needed, ideally in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities regarding specified roles, jobs and tasks (ideally these roles are determined on the basis of strategic planning and are defined in terms of competencies and/or on job descriptions)
b) Recruiting the necessary human resources (sourcing, placing ads, etc.)
c) Considering outsourcing to hire outside expertise
d) Screening job candidates (interviewing, testing, etc.)
e) Selecting candidates (via job offers)
f) Equipping new hires (via orienting, training, facilities, assignments, etc.)

Very simply, supervising is overseeing the progress and productivity of direct reports, often by:
a) Mutually setting goals with direct reports
b) Supporting conditions for their motivation
c) Observing performance and giving feedback and other forms of guidance
d) Conducting regular performance appraisals/reviews
e) Addressing performance problems
f) Ensuring sufficient rewards

Staffing and supervising should be carried out according to carefully designed and approved personnel policies in the workplace.

This module provides materials and guidelines to understand staffing and supervision, along with setting up basic systems and processes in the organization in order to carry out activities in a legal and effective manner.

NOTE ABOUT THE LARGE SIZE OF THIS MODULE: This module is one of the largest in the program. Learners who have very limited time schedules might first “pick and choose” which subtopics they want to review before they proceed through this module in its entirety. Learners are encouraged, though, to print out the entire Free Basic Guide to Management, Leadership and Supervision for reference in the future.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Board Personnel Committee [in the case of corporations!!] to review and help guide implementation the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee’s Committee Work Plan.


MATERIALS FOR REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Basic Overview of Staffing and Supervision

Read Free Basic Guide to Management, Leadership and Supervision — particularly the sections:

Introduction to Management and Supervision

What is “Management”? What do Managers Do?
What is “Supervision”? What Do Supervisors Do?

Staffing

Defining a New Job Role
Hiring (Advertising, Screening and Selecting)
Building Teams

Employee Training

Orienting New Employees
Job Training

Employee Performance Management

Setting Goals
Supporting Employee Motivation
Observing and Giving Feedback
Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews
Addressing Performance Problems
Firing Employees

Personnel Policies

Developing Personnel Policies
Developing an Employee Manual
Sample List of Personnel Policies

Experience of a First-Time Supervisor

One Definition of Supervision
Typical Experience of a First-time Supervisor
Typical Responsibilities of a Supervisor
Typical Roles of a Supervisor


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and staff, as appropriate.

Introduction to Role of Supervisor

(See What is “Supervision”? What Do Supervisors Do? and One Definition of Supervision.)
1. What is a supervisor? How does that role differ from the general role of management?

2. What are the typical activities carried out by a supervisor?

3. What are some of the unique struggles and stresses of a first-time supervisor?

4. What are some of the roles of a supervisor?

5. Does a supervisor oversee the progress and productivity only of entry-level workers only — that is, can supervision occur at all levels of management?

Staffing
Defining Job Roles
(see Defining a New Job Role)
1. How should new job roles be defined? What is the relationship between results of strategic planning and staffing?

2. What is a job description? How should it be developed? What should be included in a job description?

3. What factors are considered when determining the cost of a new hire? What is fringe?

4. How is a job description kept up-to-date?

5. What are at least two primary uses of a job description?

6. What is the relationship between a job description and a performance review?

Hiring (see Hiring (Advertising, Screening and Selecting) )
1. What should be looked for when screening resumes?

2. When interviewing, should you ask different question to each candidate? Should you ask open-ended or yes/no questions — why?

3. What are some useful open-ended questions to ask?

4. What matters should be in an offer letter?

5. What is the purpose of a personnel file? What goes in it?

Building Teams (see Building Teams)
1. What is the importance of a team in the workplace — particularly in the future workplace?

2. Name at least three of the four kinds of teams.

3. What are the five stages of team development? What are the characteristics of each?

4. What is the first guideline for building a team? (HINT: Think about “SMARTER”.)

5. What are some considerations when determining the membership of a team?

6. What does the “structure” of a group mean?

7. What should be communicated to the group in its first meeting?

8. Name at least eight of the 12 guidelines for team building.

Employee Training
Orienting Employees
(see Orienting New Employees)
1. What should be communicated in a welcome letter (sent to the employee before they begin employment)?

2. What are some of the activities to conduct with the employee during the first meeting after they have started employment?

3. Name at least four practices to help new hires learn about the organization.

4. What should be done with the new hire regarding the employee manual?

5. How often should the supervisor meet with the new employee during the first six weeks or so?

Job Training (see Job Training)
1. Name at least four of the six different reasons/situations to conduct employee training.

2. What are the four basic types of employee training?

3. Coaching is a common type of employee training. The process can mean many things to many people (coaching has become a major service to organizations and includes a wide variety of approaches). What the four basic steps (outlined in the reading) for conducting employee coaching?

4. What are the four common pitfalls in employee training?

5. What is a training goal? Learning objective?

6. What are some methods to ensure that the design and implementation of employee training are highly effective?

Employee Performance Management
Setting Goals
(see Setting Goals)
1. What is one of the common problems that new supervisors experience regarding employee performance management?

2. What is the first step toward overcoming this problem?

3. Why do some people dislike the use of goals?

4. Name at least three of the four advantages of using goals.

5. What are the four types of gaps that goals can be used to address?

6. What is a performance gap? Growth gap? Opportunity gap? Training gap?

7. What can be done so that supervisors and employees have more “buy-in” to goals?

8. What does the acronym SMARTER mean — that is, what does each letter stand for?

Supporting Employee Motivation (see Supporting Employee Motivation)
1. Name at least four of the six myths about motivating employees.

2. What is the first step in motivating employees? (HINT: think about yourself.)

3. What must be done regarding the goals of the organization and the goals of employees?

4. Is each employee motivated by the same thing(s) as other employees?

5. Name at least eight of the 14 steps that you can take to motivate employees.

Observing and Giving Feedback (see Observing and Giving Feedback)
1. When providing feedback, focus on the ____ rather than the person.

2. Own the feedback — use __ statements.

3. Why should people be careful with giving advice?

4. Name at least six of the nine guidelines regarding observing employee behavior and giving advice.

Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews (see Conducting Performance Appraisals/Reviews )
1. What are some of the ill effects from not doing regular performance reviews?

2. What are some of the law-related requirements of performance reviews? (HINT: Think about the points made by Patricia King in Performance Planning and Appraisal — these points were included in your reading for this learning module.)

3. What items of information should be included in the standard performance appraisal form?

4. When should performance reviews be conducted?

5. What is the relationship between the performance review and the job description?

6. What should not be discussed in the performance review and discussion?

7. Always address employee _____, not characteristics of their personalities.

8. What is the best guideline to ensure that the guideline in question 7 is always followed?

9. What are some guidelines for carrying out the performance appraisal meeting/discussion?

10. Nothing should be a surprise for the employee in the performance review meeting when discussing employee’s performance. Why is this true?

Addressing Performance Problems (see Addressing Performance Problems)
1. When should the supervisor almost always convey to the employee that the employee’s behavior is a problem in the workplace?

2. When determining if an employee has a performance problem, consider the employee’s ____, not their ____.

3. When you first convey a performance problem to an employee, what two points should you convey at a minimum?

4. What might be some special circumstances to consider when addressing an employee’s performance problem?

5. What should you do right after the first meeting about the employee’s performance issue?

6. If a supervisor sees a performance problem soon after the first occurrence and reporting to the employee, what should the supervisor do? (HINT: Think about what should be said and what should be written down.)

7. What is the relevance of personnel policies when addressing performance problems?

Firing Employees (see Firing Employees )
1. What is the relevance of personnel policies when firing an employee?

2. You should consider firing an employee (for a performance problem) only if you have done at least four specific activities. What are they and in what sequence should they occur?

3. What should be included in a letter of termination to an employee?

4. What should be conveyed when meeting with the employee who is to be terminated?

5. What should be done right after the meeting with the employee?

Personnel Policies
Developing Personnel Policies
(see Developing Personnel Policies)
1. What is a personnel policy?

2. Why is it important to develop them?

3. Why is it important to always consult a lawyer (who is well versed in current employee laws) when developing personnel policies?

4. Note that if management’s behaviors do not conform to the personnel policies, courts will
consider the related policies to be superseded by the behaviors. True?

5. How might an organization train employees about its personnel policies?

Developing an Employee Manual (see Developing an Employee Manual)
1. What is an employee manual (or personnel policies handbook)?

2. What is at least one use of this type of manual?

3. In the case of a corporation and its board of directors, what is the role of the board of directors regarding the personnel policies?

4. What points should be included in description of the manual to the employee, that is, what points might be included in the wording on the cover of the manual?

Sample List of Personnel Polices (see Sample List of Personnel Policies)
1. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding work schedules.

2. Name at least two of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding hiring practices.

3. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding compensation.

4. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding payroll information and timekeeping procedures

5. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding benefits.

6. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding compensation.

7. Name at least five of the topics that might be addressed in personnel policies regarding performance issues.


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

1. Do you have job descriptions for all employees? Do they include titles, qualifications, responsibilities and whom the role reports to? Dates on the forms?

2. Do you have a personnel policies handbook for all employees, and have all employees reviewed it and signed a form indicating they’ll comply with the policies? Has the board [in the case of corporations!!] approved the handbook with its policies?

3. How do you ensure adequate and fair compensation for each of the roles in your organization? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

4. How do you ensure your employees are oriented to your organization when they are hired? Are these practices described in your personnel policies?

5. How do you ensure that you’re effectively delegating to employees?

6. Do you have a written policy about how you conduct regular, formal performance reviews? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

7. How do you ensure all management personnel are completely familiar with personnel policies? (It’s critical that they be very familiar with the policies — their behavior can be interpreted as the de facto policies of the organization.)

8. Do you have a policy about how employees are fired? Are your practices described in your personnel policies?

9. Update your organization chart with all roles and their titles in the organization.

10. Make a list of any personnel policies your organization needs and write down what you’d generally like the policies to address and how. Discuss this with your board [in the case of corporations!!].

11. Provide your personnel handbook (and a list of any new policies you might need) to a professional (preferably a lawyer who is well-versed in employee law) for review, and arrange to have all appropriate changes made as soon as possible. Arrange board review and approval of the policies, and training to all employees about any changes to the policies.

12. Draft an action plan with specific goals needed to improve your supervisory skills. Add how you will accomplish each goal and when.


ASSESSMENT(S)

1. (To be determined.)


TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online newsgroups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.


REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

1. Are you exchanging feedback with others about what you’re learning in this program?

2. Are you sticking to your study schedule for this program?

3. Are you practicing your basic skills in management and leadership, including in problem solving and decision making, planning and meeting management?

4. Are you communicating throughout your organization by using your skills in internal communications?

5. Are you managing yourself? How many hours a week are you working? Are you noticing any signs of stress? If so, what are you doing about it?

6. One of the ways you might be able to tell if you’re stressed out and/or losing perspective might be whether you’re tracking details or not. Are you using the action item list referenced above?

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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Free Online Course: Managing Your Organization’s Finances http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=531 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:00:13 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=531 Free Online Course: Managing Your Organization’s Finances

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about managing finances.)

INTRODUCTION

New business leaders and managers have to develop at least basic skills in financial management. Expecting others in the organization to manage finances is clearly asking for trouble. Basic skills in financial management start in the critical areas of cash management and bookkeeping, which should be done according to certain financial controls to ensure integrity in the bookkeeping process. New leaders and managers should soon go on to learn how to generate financial statements (from bookkeeping journals) and analyze those statements to really understand the financial condition of the business. Financial analysis shows the “reality” of the situation of a business — seen as such, financial management is one of the most important practices in management. This module will help you understand basic practices in financial management, and build the basic systems and practices needed in a healthy business.

In the case of a corporation, the board has final responsibility for the overall financial health of the organization. Therefore, it’s critical that new corporations quickly build up the roles of the board treasurer and board finance committee. The treasurer and finance committee can be wonderful assets to the chief executive when managing the finances of the organization — however, the chief executive should never completely ignore the finances by leaving them for the treasurer and other board members to manage. The board’s role in ongoing governance of finances can include ongoing review of financial reports during board meetings, approving yearly budgets and financial statements, approving a set of fiscal policies (guidelines for managing finances), reviewing results of a yearly audit conducted by an outside auditor, co-signing checks that are over certain limits, approving contracts, etc.

NOTE ABOUT LEARNING FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: At first, when learning financial management, many people might react that the learning experience seems mostly like filling one’s head with strange concepts and processes. Typically, the learning process starts with this experience — it probably isn’t until the learner actually enters an accounting transaction and analyzes a financial statement that learning about financial management seems more “real”. But the learning process almost always starts by reviewing concepts and processes. Financial management always tells the truth about the situation of a business — so the learning process is well worth the effort.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Board Finance Committee [in the case of a corporation!!] to review and help guide implementation the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee’s Committee Work Plan.


MATERIALS FOR REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.
  • Note that additional materials for review are associated next to certain topics and activities listed in this module.

Background Reading

Read Basic Guide to Financial Management in For-Profits — particularly the sections:

Basics and Getting Started

Basics of Financial Management
– – – Role of Board Treasurer if your’s is a corporation)
– – – Getting an Accountant or Bookkeeper (read “Getting and Using Accounting Services”)
– – – Buy Accounting Software (click three link levels out to “For-Profits, General Advice”)
– – – Getting a Banker (read “Getting and Using a Banker”)
– – – Basic Overview of For-Profit Financial Management (read “Basic Overview of Process and Its Key Terms”)

Activities in the Yearly Accounting Cycle

Bookkeeping Basics:
Bookkeeping Basics, including:
– – – Understanding Financial Statements (basic tutorial — be patient; get a sense …)
– – – Bookkeeping and Accounting: From Start to Finish (more detailed tutorial … be patient)
– – – Financial Controls (scan various questions in the articles to get sense for controls)

Critical Operating Activities in Financial Management:
Managing a Budget (read all)
Managing Cash Flow (read all)
Credit and Collections (read at least 3 articles)
Budget Deviation Analysis (read all)

Financial Statements and Analysis:
Financial Statements
– – – Profit and Loss Statement (read all)
– – – Balance Sheet (read all)
Financial Analysis
– – – Profit Analysis (read all)
– – – Break-Even Analysis (read all)
– – – Ratios (read all)


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and staff, as appropriate.

Preparation for Financial Management

1. What is the role of the board treasurer [in the case of corporations!!]? (See Role of Your Board Treasurer.)

2. What is the role of the board finance committee [in the case of corporations!!]? (See Description of Typical Committees.)

3. What needs to be considered when selecting an accountant? (See Getting and Using Accounting Services.)

4. What needs to be considered when buying accounting software? (See Buy Accounting Software to Help You?)

5. What needs to be considered when selecting a banker? What services might a business need from a bank? (See Getting and Using a Banker.)

6. What is the board’s role in financial management [in the case of corporations!!]? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses)

Basics of Accounting

1. What is the accounting cycle? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

2. What are the elements of an accounting system? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

3. What is a fiscal policies and procedures manual? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

Bookkeeping and Financial Controls

1. What general activities are included in bookkeeping? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

2. What is cash-basis vs. accrual-basis accounting? “What is the Difference Between Cash Basis and Accrual Basis Accounting?” (same whether nonprofit or for-profit) (click on Financial Managemednt and scroll down))

3. What bookkeeping journals might you start out with? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

4. What is a Chart of Accounts? (Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on “What Should Our Chart of Accounts Include?” (generally the same principles whether for-profit or nonprofit)

5. What is depreciation? How do you account for it? (Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on the topick “Wat is Depreciation?” (the concept is the same for nonprofit and for-profit)

6. What is the purpose of financial internal controls? What are some practices in internal controls (HINT: think about signing checks, opening mail, how to verify that account totals are accurate, etc.)? NOTE: The concepts in financial controls are essentially the same between a for-profit and nonprofit organization. (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses, Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on “What is an Internal Accounting Control System and How Can We Make Ours Effective?”, Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on “What Internal Controls are Needed for Cash Disbursement?” and Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on the topic “What Internal Controls are Needed for Payroll?”.)

Budget, Cash Management, Credit and Collections, and Budget Deviation Analysis

1. What is a yearly (or operating or annual) budget? How is a yearly budget prepared? (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses and How Do We Prepare a Budget? )

2. What are fixed expenses and variable expenses? (See How Do We Prepare a Budget?)

3. What is petty cash? How should it be handled? (The concept is essentially the same in nonprofits and for-profits.) (Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on “What is Petty Cash and How Should We Handle It?”)

4. What is a cash flow and how should cash be managed? (See Managing Cash Flow.)

5. What is a cash flow statement? What is a cash flow projection? (See Managing Cash Flow.)

6. List at least five methods that organizations can use to ensure they get paid by customers/clients. (See Debt Collection Basics and Having Trouble Getting Paid?.)

7. What is a budget deviation analysis? What information is considered during this analysis? (See Budget Deviation Analysis.)

Financial Statements and Analysis

1. What are two major forms of financial statements used by for-profit organizations? (See Financial Statements.)

2. What general information is included a Profit and Loss Statement? Balance Sheet? (See Financial Statements.)

3. What can be detected from a profit and loss statement? (See Profit and Loss Statement.)

4. What can be detected from a balance sheet? (See Balance Sheet.)

5. What is the purpose of profit analysis? Break-even analysis? Ratio analysis? (See Profit Analysis, Break-Even Analysis and Ratio Analysis.)


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

Building Role of Treasurer and Board Finance Committee

1. In the case of corporations, one of the greatest assets to a chief executive can be the board treasurer and finance committee. Do you have a board treasurer and a finance committee? If not, make it a high priority to recruit a treasurer and organize a board finance committee. (See Your Board Treasurer — A Critical Resource to Help You Get Started, Recruiting and Orienting Members and Building Successful Board Committees.)

Designing Operating (or Annual or Yearly) Budget

1. Your operating budget depicts the revenue the organization expects to earn. It also depicts how that revenue will be spent. Budget development starts from strategic planning. If you completed Module 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan. then you already have designed a basic yearly operating budget. If you completed Module 7: Marketing Your Products, then you’ve updated your operating budget to include revenue and costs of your products and services. If you have not completed these two modules, you should review information and materials in those modules to draft and update a basic operating budget.

2. Obtain authorization of the operating budget by the board (in the case of corporations). Board members should receive copies of the operating budget for their review and authorization in a board meeting. The minutes of the board meeting should reflect member’s approval of the budget. Approval indicates that the board expects the organization to operate over the coming year according to the expected expenses and revenues depicted in the approved operating budget. Note that if board members have been involved in previous strategic and program planning, then their approval of the budgets should be very straightforward at this point.

Building Basics of Bookkeeping and Financial Controls

1. For your business, do you use a cash-basis vs. accrual-basis accounting system? How do you know? What system should you be using? What about for generating financial reports? (Go to the topic “Financial Management” and click on “What is the Difference Between Cash Basis and Accrual Basis Accounting?” (same whether nonprofit or for-profit)

3. What bookkeeping journals do you use for your business? If you do not have journals, then start with a simple cash journal. (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses.)

3. Do you have a Chart of Accounts for your business? If you do not have one, then consider an example provided in the following links. (See Click on Financial Management” and go to the topic “What Should Our Chart of Accounts Include?” (generally the same principles whether for-profit or nonprofit”)

4. What financial controls do you have in place? If you have not yet done so, draft a set of financial controls for your organization. Think about controls to guide signing checks, handling petty cash, opening mail, how to verify that account totals are accurate, etc.) (The concepts in financial controls are essentially the same between a for-profit and nonprofit organization.) (See Basics of Financial Management in U.S. Small For-Profit Businesses, Go to “Financial Management” and click on “What is an Internal Accounting Control System and How Can We Make Ours Effective?”, Go to “Financial Management” and click on “What Internal Controls are Needed for Cash Disbursement?” and Go to “Financial Management” and click on “What Internal Controls are Needed for Payroll?”.)

Credit and Collections

1. Imagine that you did not get paid by a client or customer. What would you do? Write down your answer and consider it to be a basic draft of a financial procedure to handle collections. (See Debt Collection Basics and Having Trouble Getting Paid?.)

Budget Deviation Analysis

1. A few months after implementing your operating budget (that includes expected expenses and revenues), modify the budget report to include the column headings listed in your reading in the section Budget Deviation Analysis. Analyze how closely actual expenses and revenues are matching planned expenses and revenues. What is the percentage difference for each item or account or line item in the report? Is that percentage difference a problem? What caused the difference? What are you going to do about the differences in the future? Conduct a budget deviation analysis each month in your business.

Financial Statements — Profit and Loss (Income Statement)

1. Generate an Income Statement for your business. Generating an income statement requires that you have been entering business financial transactions either by hand in a journal(s) or in an accounting software package. Ideally, you have an accounting software package that will produce a statement for you merely by entering a command or clicking on the button on your computer screen. If you generate a statement by hand, see examples in Income Statements to provide direction. Do you have an operating profit or loss?

Financial Statements — Balance Sheet

1. Generate an Income Statement for your business. Generating a balance statement requires that you have been entering business financial transactions either by hand in a journal(s) or in an accounting software package. Ideally, you have an accounting software package that will produce a statement for you merely by entering a command or clicking on the button on your computer screen. If you generate a statement by hand, see examples in Income Statements to provide direction. Do you have a positive or negative net worth? Calculate your current ratio (see Ratios). What does your current ratio indicate about your organization? Calculate your quick ratio (see Ratios). What does your quick ratio tell your about your organization?


REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Reminders About You

1. Are you using your skills learned in previous modules? For example, as you using methodical approaches to problem solving and decision making? Are you using strong practices of meeting management? Are you communicating key information to others throughout your organization?

2. Are you discussing topics and materials with peers, board members and others, as appropriate? Discussion and ongoing feedback are some of the best methods to really learn new information and materials.

3. Are you helping others to hold you accountable to your times that you committed to reading and study in this program?

TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online discussion groups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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Free Online Course: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=528 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 02:57:33 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=528 Free Online Course: Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

(including development of basic advertising, public & media relations, sales and customer service plans)

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about marketing the organization and its products/services.)

Introduction

There is often a great deal of misunderstanding about marketing. People often consider marketing to be the same as advertising. It’s not. Advertising is only one part of marketing. Very simply put, marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that you’re continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return.

Market analysis includes finding out what groups of customers (or markets) exist, what their needs are, what groups of customers you prefer to serve (target markets), what products or services you might develop to meet their needs, how the customers prefer to use the products and services, what your competitors are doing, what pricing you should use and how you should distribute products and services to customers. Results of this marketing analysis indicates the position, or market “niche”, for the organization to work from — and to be seen as having. Marketing also includes ongoing promotions, which can include advertising, public relations, sales and customer service. Various methods of market research are used to find out information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, market trends, customer satisfaction with products and services, etc.

NOTE ABOUT THE LARGE SIZE OF THIS MODULE: This module is one of the largest in the program. The activity of marketing an organization and its programs is critical to the success of the organization and its programs — the marketing process is broad and sometimes quite detailed. Learners who have very limited time schedules might proceed through this module primarily by reviewing the learning materials and then thinking about how they would carry out (rather than actually carrying out) the various activities to build structures in their organization.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Programs and Marketing Committee [in the case of corporations!!] to review and help guide implementation of the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee’s Committee Work Plan.


MATERIALS TO REVIEW

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

Overall Product and Service Management Process

Product and Service Management — just scan the text on this page to get an idea of the overall perspective on the relationship between product/service management and marketing.

Marketing Basics, Analysis and Positioning

Marketing — particularly the sections:
– – – What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? (all)
– – – Basics of Marketing (read all articles in “Various Perspectives”)
– – – Basics of Market Planning (read all articles)
– – – Market Research — particularly the sections:
– – – – – – Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback (read all)
– – – – – – Some Major Sources of Market Research Information (read all)
– – – Competitive Analysis (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Pricing (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Naming and Branding (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Intellectual Property (read introduction at top of page)
– – – Positioning (read introduction at top of page)

Advertising and Promotions

Basics and Planning
– – – Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion (read all)

Public and Media Relations

Public and Media Relations, particularly the sections:
– – – Managing Your Public Image (Public Relations) (at least 4 articles)
– – – Managing Media Relations (at least 4 articles)
– – – Additional Information for Organizations (at least 4 articles)

Sales

Basics of Sales (read at least 4 of the articles, including)

Optional — Customer Service

Basics of Customer Service (read all articles in this section, including)


SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

Basics of Marketing

1. Define marketing. Advertising. Promotions. Public relations. Publicity. Sales. In your definitions, include how these terms are similar and different. (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?.)

2. What is market analysis? (See Basics of Marketing — introduction.)

3. What is market research? (See Market Research — introduction.)

Basics of Marketing Analysis and Positioning

1. What is a target market? How does one define a target market?

2. What is a competitor analysis? (See Competitive Analysis — introduction)

3. What should be considered when setting the price for a product or service? (See Pricing — introduction.)

4. What should be considered when naming a product or service? (See Naming and Branding — introduction.)

5. What is intellectual property? (See Intellectual Property — introduction.)

6. What is a positioning statement? (See Positioning — introduction.)

Public and Media Relations

1. What is public relations? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? and Managing Your Public Image.)

2. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong public relations. (See Managing Your Public Image.)

3. What is media relations? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? and Managing Media Relations.)

4. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong media relations. (See Managing Media Relations.)

Sales

1. What is sales? (See What’s Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?.)

2. What are some basic steps in the sales process? (See )

Customer Service

1 What are some basic steps in the maintaining high-quality customer service? (See Basics of Customer Service (read all articles in this section))


ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • Various activities below will direct you to complete your Marketing and Promotions Plan by filling in the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

Writing Your Plans (Public and Media Relations, Sales, Advertising and Promotions, Customer Service, etc.)

Describe Your Service

1. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of the product/service. The description should be written as if your customers are the readers. In the description, include the specific groups of customers served by the product/service, nature of the method(s) in the product/service , outcomes for customers and any other benefits to them, and where they should go next if they are interested in using the product/service. Be careful to describe the product/service in terms of benefits to customers, not to you. For example, address pricing, convenience, location, quality, service, atmosphere, etc.

List Your Target Markets

2. In the table in Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a brief description of the major groups of customers who will benefit from your product/service and the major benefits to them. Remember that the overall goals of the organization very much determine whom you want to serve. For example, strategic goals might be to expand the number of customers you have now, get new customers, get more revenue from current customers, etc. You may want to develop new services in a current or new market, or expand current services in a current or new market.

Understanding your product/service target markets makes it much easier for you to ensure that your product/service remains highly useful to buyers. Understanding your target markets helps you to focus on where to promote your product/service, including advertising, conducting public relations campaigns and selling your product/service. If you’ve done a good job so far of strategic planning, then identifying the primary targets market should be fairly straightforward. However, it is very useful to determine several additional target markets. These additional markets are often where you should focus promotions and mean additional sources of assistance and revenue. (If you struggle to identify your target markets, the following links might help you, including How to Identify a Target Market and Prepare a Customer Profile and Marketing Research.)

Write a Profile of Each Target Market

3. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of each of your target markets. The more you know about your customers, the better you might be at serving them. Consider, for example, their major needs, how they prefer to have their needs met, where they are and where they prefer to have their needs met and demographics information (their age ranges, family arrangement, education levels, income levels, typical occupations, major interested, etc).

Analysis of Competitors

4. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of your competitors. Consider the following questions: Who are your competitors? What customer needs are you competing to meet? What are the similarities and differences between their product/service and yours? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their product/service? How do their prices compare to yours? How are they doing overall? How do you plan to compete, for example, offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, easier access to services etc? (For assistance, see Competitive Analysis.)

Analysis of Collaborators

5. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of potential collaborators. Who are potential collaborators with your organization? What customer needs might you collaborate to meet? What resources might they bring and what could you bring? What could you do next to cultivate collaboration with other organizations? (For assistance, see Organizational Alliances.)

Pricing Analysis

6. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your pricing analysis. Several major factors influence the pricing for a product/service. Strategic goals greatly influence pricing. For example, if the organization really wants to get into a new market, then it might charge lower than usual prices in order to generate more customers who buy the service. The organization might consider changing pricing if the demand for its products/services is very high or low. Competitor pricing also has a great effect. If competitors are charging much less, then the organization might do well to lower prices. Similarly, if the competitor is charging much more, then the organization might consider increasing its own prices. (For assistance, see Pricing.)

Write Your Sales Plan

7. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the sales plan. Regarding your sales planning, consider: What target markets will be approached? What should be your sales method for each target market, for example, who will make initial contacts to generate leads, do follow-ups to initial contacts, make presentations and close sales? How much do you expect to accomplish in sales (consider terms of outputs, such as dollars made, customers recruited, or other units of service). (For assistance, see Sales Basics.)

Write Your Advertising and Promotions Plan

8. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the advertising and promotions plan. The plan includes what target markets you want to reach, what features and benefits you want to convey to each of them, what methods and media you will use to convey it to them, who is responsible to implement the methods and how much money is budgeted for this effort. The plan includes plans for a promotional campaign, including an advertising calendar and media plan. The goals of the plans should depend very much on the overall goals and strategies of the organization, and the results of the marketing analysis, including the positioning statement.

When selecting methods, consider what communications methods and media will be most effective in reaching target markets (groups of customers) and when. What are their preferences for media and when do they use them? (The link Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback might be helpful now.) Consider, for example, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, press releases, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? (The link Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion might be helpful now.)

(For additional assistance, see Advertising and Promotion and Planning your Advertising.)

Conduct Your Customer Service Planning

9. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the customer service plan. When considering how you will ensure strong services to customers, consider: Are customers very satisfied with your services? How do you know? If not, what can you do to improve customer service? How can you do that? What policies and procedures are needed to ensure strong customer service. Include training in your considerations, including to develop skills in interpersonal relations, such as questioning, listening, handling difficult people, handling interpersonal conflicts, negotiating. (For assistance, see Customer Service, Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback, Questioning, Listening, Handling Interpersonal Conflict, Handling Difficult People and Negotiating.)

Conduct Your Production Planning

10. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about production planning. Note that the development and implementation of various production methods do not have to be addressed in detail in a marketing plan — these topics are usually included in the operations or management planning for the program. However, production should be generally considered during the marketing analysis to ensure the eventual detailed production planning takes into consideration the needs of target markets and having their needs met on time. Consider: What resources do you need to build, reproduce and provide the product/service? How do you know? Will you have sufficient resources into the near future? How do you know?

Conduct Your Distribution Planning

11. In the Framework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about distribution planning. Matters of distribution of products/services can be critical for organizations, especially if they are providing critically needed products/services to specific groups of customers.

Carefully consider: What distribution channels should you consider, for example, should customers come to your facility, you visit their offices, can you provide products/services over the telephone or Internet, etc? What resources are needed to bring together your products/services and your target markets? What major steps need to occur to accomplish these distribution channels? (The link Distribution may help you.)

Note that detailed planning about developing and maintaining distribution channels is often included in the operations or management plans, rather than in the marketing plan. However, the marketing analysis should focus on selecting the methods of distribution that best meet the needs of target markets and the organization.

Updating Your Operating Budgets

In an earlier module about strategic planning, you drafted a basic operating budget. Now that you have a stronger sense of what is needed to produce and market your products, you should update the basic draft that you produced earlier.

Draft a Budget for Each of Your Major Products/Services

1. Design a budget for each of your products/services. If you completed Module 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan, then you already have started basic budgets for each of your products/services. Update those budgets with results from completing this module on product design and marketing. Consider expenses of advertising and promotions, production, distribution and customer service. Also consider any updates to expected revenues as a result of any changes in your pricing policy and as a result of your sales goals in your sales plan.


ASSESSMENT(S)

Evaluating Advertising and Promotions Efforts
Evaluating Sales Efforts
Measuring Customer Satisfaction


REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Reminders About You

1. Are you exchanging feedback with others about what you’re learning in this program? If not, you really should be thinking a lot more seriously about this — adults learn by doing something with new information and then exchanging feedback about it.

2. Are you sticking to your study schedule for this program?

3. Are you practicing your basic skills in management and leadership, including in problem solving and decision making, planning and meeting management?

4. Are you communicating throughout your organization by using your skills in internal communications?

5. Are you managing yourself? How many hours a week are you working? Are you noticing any signs of stress? If so, what are you doing about it?

6. One of the ways you might be able to tell if you’re stressed out and/or losing perspective might be whether you’re tracking details or not. Are you using the action item list referenced above?

Reminders About Your organization

1. Now that you’ve given more thought to the design and marketing of your programs, go back to your strategic plan and update the plans about programs, staffing and operating plans.

TRACKING OPEN ACTION ITEMS

1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online discussion groups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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Free Online Course: Developing Your Strategic Plan http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=526 Wed, 25 Nov 2009 02:54:42 +0000 http://en.hoangnghiep.com/?p=526 Free Online Course: Developing Your Strategic Plan

Written by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Copyright 1997-2008.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation.

(This module is in the organization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about strategic planning and writing a strategic plan.)

Introduction

Very simply put, strategic planning identifies where the organization wants to be at some point in the future and how it is going to get there. The “strategic” part of this planning process is the continual attention to current changes in the organization and its external environment, and how this effects the future of the organization. Skills in strategic planning are critical to the long-term success of your organization. This form of planning includes:
a) Taking a wide look around at what’s going on outside the organization and how it might effect the organization (an environmental scan)
b) Taking a hard look at what’s going on inside the organization, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a SWOT analysis)
c) Establishing statements of mission, vision and values
d) Establishing goals to accomplish over the next (usually) three years or so, as a result of what’s going on inside and outside the organization
e) Identifying how those goals will be reached (strategies, objectives, responsibilities and timelines)

Strategic planning determines the overall direction and goals of the organization. Consequently, strategic planning influences numerous aspects of the organization, including what:
a) Products and services will be provided by the business and how those products and services will be designed
b) Organizational design and roles are needed by the organization
c) Performance goals are established for positions throughout the business
d) Board committees should be developed (in the case of corporations)
e) Resources are needed to reach those goals, and consequently, how much money is needed to procure those resources — ultimately, the goals determine the content of various budgets

Two key points to remember while proceeding through this module:
1) The planning process is at least as important as the planning document itself.
2) The planning process is never “done” — the planning process is a continuous cycles that’s part of the management process itself.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Board Planning Committee (in the case of corporations) to review and help guide implementation the information in this learning module. The Planning Committee might be comprised of chairs from other board committees. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that Committee’s Committee Work Plan. This module includes additional recommendations for membership of the group of planners.

NOTE ABOUT OCCASIONAL REFERENCES TO NONPROFIT MATERIALS: Various links below refer to nonprofit strategic planning — this is little difference between strategic planning in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Consequently, all of the materials referenced below can be useful to understand strategic planning in for-profit organizations. See “First, a Point About For-Profit and Nonprofit Strategic Planning” at Recommended Approach to Understanding Strategic Planning.)


Materials to Review

  • The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.
  • NOTE: Each of the following links is to a one- to two-page overview. Read all of the following documents referenced by the following links.

Introduction to Basics of Planning (general to most planning processes)

Read all of the document referenced by the following topic.
General Planning Process (basic elements of planning process)

Introduction to Strategic Planning

Read all of the documents referenced by the following topics.
Benefits of Strategic Planning
Basic Description of Strategic Planning
When Should Strategic Planning Be Done?
Basic Overview of Various Strategic Planning Models

Preparation for Strategic Planning

Read all of the documents referenced by the following topics.
Need Consultant or Facilitator to Help You With Planning?
Who Should Be Involved in Planning?
How Many Planning Meetings Will We Need?
How Do We Ensure Implementation of Our New Plan?

Conducting Strategic Planning

Read all of the documents referenced by the following topics.
Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements
Basics of Identifying Strategic Issues and Goals
Basics of Action Planning (as part of strategic planning)
Writing and Communicating the Plan
Basics of Monitoring, Evaluating and Deviating from Plan


Suggested Topics for Reflection and Discussion

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • There are a variety of views and approaches regarding strategic planning. There is no one “perfect” approach for all situations. Therefore, the reader is exposed to a variety of perspectives in the materials that are referenced from the items below.

Introduction to Strategic Planning

  1. What is the overall purpose of strategic planning? (See Benefits of Strategic Planning, What is Strategic Planning? (go to Strategic Planning) and Getting a Feel for Strategic Planning.)
  2. What’s the difference between strategic planning and long-range planning? (See What are The Key Concepts and Definitions in Strategic Planning? (go to Strategic Planning))

Preparation for Strategic Planning

  1. What are some preparations to make before conducting strategic planning? (See What Do I Need to Know Before I Start the Planning Process? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down) and How Do I Use Retreats in the Planning Process? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  2. What are some basic considerations when deciding if you need to use an outside facilitator or not? (See Should I Use an External Consultant?) (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down) and Need Consultant or Facilitator to Help You With Planning?
  3. A major complaint about strategic planning is that the plan document ends up collecting dust on a shelf. What are some considerations to ensure that plan is actually implemented? (See How Do We Increase the Chance of Our Plan Being Implemented? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down) )
  4. Who should be involved in strategic planning? (See What Are the Individual Roles in Strategic Planning? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))

Conducting Strategic Planning

  1. What are the basic steps in the strategic planning process? (See What Are the Basic Steps in the Strategic Planning Process? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down), Basic Description of Strategic Planning and Basic Overview of Various Strategic Planning Models
  2. What is a vision statement? (See What is a Vision Statement? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  3. What is a mission statement? (See What is a Mission Statement? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  4. What is a values statement? (See Basics in Developing a Values Statement.)
  5. What is a situational assessment? (See What is a Situational Assessment? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down),Environmental Scan (taking a wide look around) and Looking at Organization’s Strength’s, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
  6. What is a strategy? (See What is a Strategy? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  7. What is an annual operating plan? (See How Do You Develop an Annual Operating Plan? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  8. What should a strategic plan document include? (See What Should a Strategic Plan Include? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down) and Basics of Writing and Communicating the Plan.)
  9. What’s involved in writing and communicating the strategic plan? (See Writing and Communicating the Plan.)
  10. How is a strategic plan evaluated? What if we end up changing our plan? (See Basics of Monitoring, Evaluating and Deviating from Plan.)

Organizational Systems and Practices Driven by Strategic Goals

In the Introduction section of this learning module, you read about numerous aspects (5) of the organization that were directly influenced by the results of strategic planning. Name as many of these items as you can and then compare your answers to those listed in the Introduction section of this module.


Activities to Build Systems and Practices

  • Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.
  • You can write a draft of your own strategic plan by filling in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document as you proceed through the activities listed below.
  • Learners are strongly encouraged to use a team of planners to complete the strategic plan. The following information references advice and guidelines for forming this team.
  • As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in the Action Item Planning List.

Questions for Organizations That Have Already Done Strategic Planning

Identify any issues in your current approach to strategic planning and address the issues before you begin your next round of strategic planning. Consider the following questions. Is your strategic plan being implemented? If not, why not? Was your board (in the case of corporations) sufficiently involved in strategic planning? If not, why not? Write a one-page description of the issues you see with your planning process, how it can be improved and who must do what to improve it. Discuss this description in an upcoming board meeting for feedback and to write an action plan to address the issues. (The following link may help you in your considerations. See How Do We Increase the Chance of Our Plan Being Implemented?)

Preparation (for Organizations That Have Not Yet Done Strategic Planning)

  1. Address any hesitations that planners might have before you start planning. Do you have any reservations or hesitations about the value of strategic planning? If you do not want to pursue the strategic planning process as it is described in this module, then how will you (the board, chief executive and other employees) decide what your organization will be doing over the next few years and how it will do it? (Many banks/funders, prospective board members and chief executives will want to see some form of a strategic plan document. Consider this in your decision about how your organization will do strategic planning.) (The following links may help you in your considerations and preparation. NOTE: They refer to nonprofits, but apply to for-profits, as well. See Benefits of Strategic Planning and What Do I Need to Know Before I Start the Planning Process? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down).
  2. Who should be involved in the planning? Consider who is responsible for the direction of your organization, who will be responsible for carrying out all or portions of your plan and people who will be effected by implementation of your plan. Then decide who will be involved in your planning. (The following links may help you in your considerations. They refer to nonprofits, but apply to for-profits, as well. See What Are the Individual Roles in Strategic Planning? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  3. How many meetings might you plan for your strategic planning process? (The following links may help you in your considerations. They refer to nonprofits, but apply to for-profits, as well. See How Many Planning Meetings Will We Need? and How Do I Use Retreats the Planning Process? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down))
  4. Might you need a consultant to help your through the process for the first time? (The following link may help you in your considerations. They refer to nonprofits, but apply to for-profits, as well. See Should I Use an External Consultant? (go to Strategic Planning and scroll down) and Using Consultants.)

Developing Your Basic Strategic Plan

1.      Write Your Mission Statement

In the section labeled “Mission Statement” in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write a concise description of the purpose of your organization. Answer the question: “Why does our organization exist?” When answering this question, include the nature of your products and the groups of customer who buy your products. The mission statement should provide continued direction and focus to your plans and operation in your organization. (For additional assistance, see Writing Mission Statements.)

2.      Write Your Vision Statement

In the section labeled “Vision Statement” in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write your vision statement. Answer the question “What do you hope for your organization and customers?” Ideally, it should be written in a compelling, inspirational fashion. (For additional assistance, see Writing Vision Statements.)

3.      Write Your Values Statement

In the section labeled “Values Statement” in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down the important values from which you want your organization to operate. The values statement depicts the priorities in how the organization carries out activities with stakeholders. (For additional assistance, see Writing Values Statements.)

4.      Conduct an External Analysis

In Appendix C of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down your thoughts from an external analysis. An external analysis looks at societal, technological, political, and economic trends effecting the organization, e.g., trends in the economy, recent or pending legislation, demographic trends, rate of access to trained labor, and competition. In your external analysis, don’t forget to look at stakeholders’ impressions of the organization, including bankers’, customers’, community leaders’, etc. (For additional assistance, see Environmental Scan (taking a wide look around).)

5.      Conduct an Internal Analysis (SWOT)

In Appendix C of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down your thoughts from your internal analysis. Write down the major strengths and weaknesses of your organization. Write down the major threats and opportunities regarding your organization. Consider trends effecting the organization, e.g., strength of sales, reputation of the organization, expertise of employees, facilities, strength of finances, strength of administrative offices and operations, etc. (For additional assistance, see Looking at Organization’s Strength’s, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT).)

6.      Identify Strategic Issues

In Appendix C of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down the major immediate and near-term issues that your organization must address. New organizations, in particular, are often better off to first look at the major obstacles or issues that if faces, and next identify the more forward-looking, developmental goals to accomplish over the next few years. For example, current issues might be that sales are dropping, there is no research and development to generate new products, employee turnover rate is too high, etc. Developmental goals for a new organization might be, for example, build a board, do a strategic plan, do a market analysis to build a new product, hire employees, etc. (The following links may be useful at this point when identifying issues: Life Cycles of Organizations.)

To identify the key issues identified from your strategic analyses, consider the following guidelines:
a) From considering the effects of weaknesses and threats that you identified, what are the major issues that you see? List as many as you can. Consider issues over the term of your strategic plan, but look very closely at the next year especially. Many organizations have stumbled badly because they ended up “falling over their feet” while being focused much too far down the road.
b) Consider each of issues. Ask whether it’s “important” or “urgent.” Often, issues seem very important when they’re only urgent, for example, changing a flat tire is an urgent issue — but you’d never put “changing a tire” in your strategic plan. Attend only to the important issues and not the urgent issues.
c) Deal with issues that you can do something about. Issues that are too narrow do not warrant planning and issues that are too broad will bog you down.
d) Issues should be clearly articulated so that someone from outside of the organization can read the description and understand the nature of the issue.

7.      Establish Strategic Goals

In the section labeled “Goals and Strategies” in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down the strategic goals to address the above-identified issues and the more forward-looking, developmental goals. Consider goals over the term of your strategic plan, but look very closely at the next year especially. Design and word your goals to be “SMARTER”, that is, specific, measurable, acceptable to the people working to achieve the goals, realistic, timely, extending the capabilities of those working to achieve the goals and rewarding to them. Don’t worry so much about having to specify goals to be exactly “correct”. Carefully consider whether the goals and strategies are closely aligned with your mission, vision and values.

As noted above, if you are developing a new organization, then you’ll probably have goals to build a board, do a strategic plan, do a market analysis to build a product, hire employees, etc. You’ll probably have organization-wide goals (for example, goals in regard to building and running your organization, for example, board development, staffing, getting a new building, etc) and product-specific goals (goals that are directly in regard to providing products or services to your customers). More on this later in the Module 7: Marketing Your Products (For additional assistance, see Strategizing.)

8.      Establish Strategies to Reach Goals

In the section labeled “Goals and Strategies” in the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down the general approaches needed to reach the goals — over the next year especially. Consider strategies over the term of the strategic plan, but especially over the next year. Carefully consider whether the goals and strategies are closely aligned with your mission, vision and values. Note that these strategies may become overall action plans for developing programs. More on this later in the Module 7: Marketing Your Products. (For additional assistance, see Strategizing.)

9.      Develop Staffing Plan

In Appendix E of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write a rough draft of a staffing plan. To do this, reference each of the strategies to reach the goals and consider what kind of capabilities are needed to implement the strategies. This might seem like a lot of guesswork, particularly if you don’t have experience in supervision. However, don’t worry so much about being exactly correct — you will likely refine your staffing plan later on as you design and plan your products. If you are developing a new organization, you might think about including the following typical roles in your initial staffing plan (but again, consider these roles in terms of implementing the strategies in your plan): chief executive, administrative assistant and product managers for each of your major product goals. (The following link may help you when developing your staffing plan. See Organizing Staff.)

10. Conduct Action Planning (objectives, responsibilities and timelines)

In Appendix A of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, for each strategy, write down the objectives that must be achieved while implementing the strategy, when the objective should be completed and by whom — especially over the next year. As you identify who will accomplish each of the objectives, you might end up refining your staffing plan. (For additional assistance, see Action Planning.)

11. Develop an Operating Budget for Each Year in the Plan

In the table labeled “Your Budget Planning” in Appendix F of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, list the resources you will need to achieve the goals in the strategic plan and what it will cost to obtain and use the resources. You don’t have to be exactly accurate — besides, you may end up changing your budget as you give more attention to product design and planning in the next learning module. You should do a budget for each of the years included in the span of time covered by your strategic plan — but give particular attention to the first year of the time span.

Look at each of your product-related goals. Think about how much revenue the product might generate. Next, think about the expenses to produce, sell and support the product, such as human resources, facilities, equipment, special materials, marketing and promotions, etc. (Note that this budget planning often provides strong input to the overall budget. We’ll likely convert your operating budget to a set of program budgets. More on this later in the Module 7: Designing and Marketing Your Products.)

12. Associate Strategic Goals to Performance Goals for Board and Chief Executive

In Appendix D of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down which board committees (in the case of corporations) will be addressing which strategic goals. The chief executive should be attending to responsibilities and goals that are directly aligned with the strategic goals of the organization (as should the responsibilities and goals of everyone else in the organization). Therefore, after strategic goals have been identified, it’s timely for the board to update the performance goals of the chief executive (who, in turn, updates the performance goals of everyone else in the management and staff of the organization). (For additional information, see Performance Management, Board of Director’s Evaluation of Chief Executive and Employee Performance Management.)

13. Specify How Implementation of Plan Will Be Monitored and Evaluated

In Appendix H of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down how the status of implementation will be monitored and evaluated. Consider, for example, weekly written status reports to the chief executive from employees, and monthly written reports to board members. Status will address whether goals and objectives are being met or not, current issues and any resource needed to implement the plan. (For additional assistance, see Monitoring, Evaluating and Deviating from Plan.)

14. Specify How Plan Will Be Communicated

In Appendix I of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document, write down how the plan will be communicated. Consider distributing all (or highlights from) the plan to everyone in the organization. Post your mission on the walls of your main offices. Consider giving each employee a card with the mission statement on it. Publish portions of your plan in your regular newsletter. (For additional assistance, see Writing and Communicating the Plan.)

15. Complete Rest of Strategic Plan Document

To complete your strategic plan document, update the following sections of the Framework for a Basic Strategic Plan Document:
a) Complete the section labeled “Executive Summary” (guidelines are provided in the framework)
b) Gain authorization from your board (in the case of corporations) (they should sign in the section labeled “Board Authorization of Strategic Plan”)
c) In the body of the plan in the section titled “Organizational Information”, include descriptions, for example, of the history of the organization, its major products and services, highlights and accomplishments during the history of the organization, etc.
d) In Appendix B, provide description of the process you used to develop the strategic plan, including what worked and what didn’t. This information will be useful to planners when they next do strategic planning.

16. Acknowledge What You’ve Done — Congratulations!


Reminders for Those in the Online Development Program

Reminders About You

  1. Are you using your skills learned in previous modules? For example, as you using methodical approaches to problem solving and decision making? Are you using strong practices of meeting management? Are you communicating key information to others throughout your organization?
  2. Are you discussing topics and materials with peers, board members and others, as appropriate? Discussion and ongoing feedback are some of the best methods to really learn new information and materials.
  3. Are you helping others to hold you accountable to your times that you committed to reading and study in this program?

Reminders About Your Organization

  1. The results of your strategic plan should produce updates to a variety of aspects in your organization. Consider:
    a) Are your products and services directly aligned with your new strategic planning goals and strategies
    b) Should any job descriptions and performance goals be updated for personnel in your organization?
    c) Should your board committees be re-organized to be more aligned to contribute toward achieving your new strategic goals?
  2. How are you ensuring that your whole board understands and contributes to achieving your strategic goals?

Tracking Open Action Items

  1. One of the first indicators that an organization is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, organization members only see and react to the latest “fires in the workplace”. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the following Action Item Planning List.
  2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national online discussion groups HRNET or ODNET which are attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Source from Management Help Organization)

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