Strategy, Planning, Implementation
For Collaboration Across Distance
Planning and Strategic Thinking
The best strategic consulting advice that FutureU has to offer is just this—for a project to get off the drawing table, it must qualify with at least these three prerequisites:
- Executive level sponsorship.
- Resource allocation.
- Stakeholder inclusion.
No matter how badly needed, no matter how clever the anticipated outcomes, without these three fundamentals, no project has a chance to even launch let alone reach completion. Executive level sponsorship is required to avoid turf wars and provide permission for resource allocation. Resource allocation makes sure the project will have a budget, staff and any tangible assets that are required. Stakeholder inclusion increases buy-in throughout the organization, without which the project's deliverables or recommendations will end up on a shelf or in a drawer.
Sponsorship and resources can be obtained through strategic conversations and negotiations. Want to get people interested in the solution to your problems? Ask for ideas from those who will be the most effected by your project. Especially in any collaboration, learning or technology initiative, ask stakeholders at least these three questions about the issue, challenge or problem you're working on:
- What are you using or doing for that right now?
- What would you like to use or do for that in the future?
- What else is on your mind?
The first two questions encourage participation and yield answers that are immensely helpful to the project. The last question shows that you are listening and interested in what stakeholders have to say. No matter how you word the third question, respondents will tell you what's on their minds. Asking these questions creates an experience of respect, openness and concern which has immeasurable long-term benefits. In summary, FutureU consulting services for planning and strategic thinking can help you:
- Get buy-in from your decision makers.
- Identify and secure needed financing and other resources.
- Plan a pilot program to test and introduce your initiative.
- Decide between your own online space or an off-the-shelf product.
- Choose the right delivery options to meet your stakeholders' needs.
- Plan an entire organizational "university."
- Lay the foundation for an enhanced and expanded learning community
or community of practice. (Learn more about communities of practice).
Technologies for Collaboration and Learning
Often, the challenges you face, and the solutions we provide, involve technologies for collaboration and learning across distance such as web conferencing, Internet meeting software, or course and learning management systems.
These technologies create historic opportunities, but they also impact planning, employee morale, productivity, and the bottom line. Not always in a good way, either.
Coaching and Project management
That's where we come in—with coaching and project management methods that include internal marketing to increase buy-in and engagement, research and analysis to make it easy to tie results to productivity improvement or return on investment and to effectively track increases in engagement and application of the Web technologies you've made available or are thinking about getting.
Readiness and Needs Assessments
Conducting both needs and readiness assessments of your key stakeholders, helps build a successful technology initiatives 7 ways:
- You create a reality-based measure of their technological skill level.
- You get an early warning about individuals who may need extra attention.
— Because of their low level of technology skill.
— Or their attitudes toward technology itself or your authority.
- You can give those clamoring for more tools what they can actually take advantage of.
- You identify those who are set in their ways and are best left alone.
- You will be better able to plan and execute a phased roll out.
- Your rollout will better meet the needs of participants no matter what their skill level.
- You will be able to confirm potential costs for any remedial training that may be required.
The results of assessing both readiness and needs together can also help you determine if sufficient resources, interest and support are available for the purchase, adoption and/or expansion of the Web tools you have in mind.
Our experience with exactly these kinds of projects means that we can guide you at every stage–or at any level–to design, develop and deliver a plan that addresses the needs you've identified by collecting concrete facts.
For efficient, cost-effective implementation, we also provide a wide variety of coaching and consulting assistance, from planning and strategic thinking to choosing or upgrading the Web-based tools.
For more information about our planning and strategic thinking services, please contact us directly.