Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Consulting to Improve an Organization



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Consulting to Improve an Organization
Position and Accomplishment Requirements
            The position of Director of Operations at a virtual organization is a middle manager role focused on administrative work, sharing information, and being a helpful resource. After working for one week as a consultant this new manager role was attained. There is a relatively informal process for obtaining the position. It is done through sending a letter or resume to show interest and give information about an individual’s skills and experiences. The act of sending the letter is commonly a formality because there has already been some contact, and interest in a managerial role is typically limited.
Current Workload
            The current workload includes onboard training for new interns, going over and verifying billable hours and weekly accomplishments for all interns, internal and intra-departmental communication, giving updates to the VP of Operations, and giving direction to all direct reports including the Consultant Manager and Team Leads. Another part of the role includes presenting and sharing information throughout the organization. This includes collecting information to update meeting presentations and slides, and presenting for the operations and AHOD meetings in order to keep everyone up to date.
Current Challenges
            There are currently two challenges being faced, and these are leading to the disruption of accomplishments. The first trial is the lack of information provided during the transition from intern to Director of Operations as well as general training. Without properly understanding everything the role entails specific work can be missed or done incorrectly. The second challenge being faced is going on a family vacation during the internship. Time must be taken out of daily life to enjoy Disneyland, time with family, SeaWorld, the beach, and all that entails. This includes driving around, eating out, and exhausted children. Both of these challenges have led to particular work not getting finished.
Overcoming Challenges
            These challenges will be dealt with in a strategic manner. Utilizing root cause analysis and a plan do check act method opportunities will be realized. A plan will be developed in order to deal with the current challenge, and then, after determining root cause, a plan will be developed in order to prevent the issue from happening in the future. (Williams, 2001) Both issues (training and vacation) need to dealt with separately.

Training

First, the current challenge with training must be addressed. In order to get caught up with the role requirements a deep dive into current documentation will be done. If all the information meets the needs to fulfill the role no further action will be taken. If all of the information does not meet the needs to fulfill the role decisions will be made to fill the gaps. Once those have been established the current challenge will be addressed and actions will be put in place to prevent future problems from occurring.
While the biggest gap seems to be consistency in training the specific issues are unknown. From on-boarding training to training for a new role the preparation has not been consistent and has not used the most up to date methods to address gaps. The operations weekly meeting will continue to include training material, and as leadership sees where issues continue to arise these will be shared, ideas will be given, and feedback will be requested. Robert and Ralph (1991) discuss the importance of using different methods to collect research. Using a quiz, social media, and surveys information will be gathered to see where the biggest gaps in information exist.
Training for any job is essential, but every situation is different. For example, this particular instance was partially successful. Emails provided some very basic training instructions, and permission was granted to several existing documents. After that training was minimal. Without any formal training a call was made to the outgoing Director of Operations asking specific questions for clarification, and the training was finished. During training it became evident that little information was easily accessible, yet it is necessary.
There is a general training for the management team, but one must be developed for each individual role. Some information has already been sent to an HR intern working on training for each organizational position. The next piece will be motivating the operation’s team to enhance the information, and utilize social media for data collection. Some of the information needed currently include general schedules, specific tasks, and associated training. This will help make the general training more specific and robust. With the work involved this will need to be a team effort. David Berke (2005) describes the purpose of succession processes as necessary to ensure there are ready replacement s for key positions so that turnover will not negatively impact the organization. The KapConsulting Organization is a perfect example of an organization that needs this type of planning and preparation.

Vacation

Finally, the second issue is finding time for family while on vacation yet staying abreast of information without falling too far behind. The first way to deal with this situation involves downloading the apps needed to keep informed and punched in. When the apps are downloaded any downtime can be used to check in and see what others are doing. While riding on a train around Disneyland emails can be sent asking about individuals missing hours and any other needed correspondence.
In the long term a yearly plan must be developed and understood beforehand. While knowledge of an internship was known before a vacation was committed to the involvement needed and the position’s responsibilities were not understood. Without this full understanding a qualitative analysis cannot be made and healthy decisions cannot be reached. Information is key but is also difficult to attain prior to the beginning of the internship. A suggestion is to have more up front knowledge disseminated about the program to interns beforehand. Making sure there is a contact that has been in the internship to ask questions of can be one solution. This will help with developing a plan and give line of sight to the requirements.
Conclusion
While obtaining a new position can be an exciting endeavor processes and procedures must be in place to make the transition more seamless. Online tools and techniques can help a team come together to develop and train future interns and make the process go smoother. More preparation and higher quality information going into the internship will allow new interns to make well understood decisions instead of short sighted ones. With these items in place an internship and a new role will be thrilling instead of demotivating.
References
Berke, D., & Center for Creative, L. (2005). Succession Planning and Management: A Guide to Organizational Systems and Practices. Greensboro, N.C.: Center for Creative Leadership.
Williams, P. M. (2001). Techniques for root cause analysis. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(2), 154.
Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (1991). Essentials of behavioral research: Methods and data analysis. McGraw-Hill Humanities Social.



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