Case Studies: Performance Improvement
The Director of a $200M strategy at a large family foundation found it difficult track the progress of his organization’s programs against their five-year goals. The team’s complex strategy involved hundreds of partners working on dozens of grant programs. Rapid growth, turnover in key positions and rivalries among senior managers further complicated the assessment of progress.
Jeff was engaged to provide visibility into the actual progress of the strategy. He conducted meetings to understand the grant portfolio of each Program Officer, attended grantee meetings and digested dozens of grant documents. He distilled this information into a comprehensive work plan covering the coming 12 and 24 months. The plan enabled coordination of work across the team and clarified where work did -or didn’t - align to the organization’s strategy.
Most importantly, Jeff’s work became a focus point for surfacing unacknowledged dependencies between work efforts, resolving the incongruent priorities of senior managers and highlighting opportunities for faster progress.
Case Studies: Technology & Strategy
A consortium of charter management organizations representing almost 35,000 students received a large grant from a family foundation to improve educational performance through innovative technology. After failing to make progress implementing their technology plans the consortium’s board engaged Jeff to asses and remediate the grant-funded initiative. Jeff identified issues with the existing strategy and roadmap. He collaborated with member organizations to develop a new strategy to meet their performance commitments within their budgets and timelines. He led the implementation planning, vendor selection and negotiations of more than a dozen vendor contracts on his client’s behalf. He then oversaw the implementation and adoption of more than 20 systems in the following months, enabling each organization to make measurable improvements to their educational performance.
Jeff was engaged by a commercial bank to assess the capabilities of their in-house technology team prior to embarking on a major initiative to develop new customer service and mobile-enabled products. Jeff met with the leadership to understand the bank’s needs and expectations including the people, processes and tools available to them. He found that the bank was ill-prepared for such an endeavor. Jeff collaborated with the bank’s leadership and technology team to produce a strategy and roadmap that resulted in an enhanced ability to grow their development capabilities and deliver a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Jeff was engaged to help an insurance carrier preparing to embark on an effort to replace their aged billing system with an outsourced solution capable of delivering online and mobile bill presentation and payment. Jeff represented the client’s interests during the contract negotiation and identified missed assumptions that would have result in the client paying unnecessary penalties. He also found that the vendor had severely under-estimated its ability to deliver the solution within the schedule and budget. Jeff acted on behalf of his client to re-structure the initiative and lead it to successful completion.
Senior program officers at a family foundation sought to transform the education of low income and disadvantaged students in higher education through an innovative teaching delivery system which had been proposed by a consortium of prospective grantees. Jeff was engaged to evaluate the proposal and its likelihood of meeting the expected objectives. Jeff helped his client realize that many challenges had not been understood or addressed by the consortium and that the grant would likely be an expensive and embarrassing mistake. Jeff collaborated with his client to develop and lead a strategy that better met the foundation’s intended goals using currently available technologies and solutions.