How We Work
As skilled project managers, we provide services which are customized to your needs. Our process supports your change and development efforts to get the most out of your valuable time.
Contracting to Meet Your Needs
Upon receiving an inquiry, we will establish a meeting or conference call with you. During this time we will ask about issues, background information, and your goals for the organization and your initiative.
Sometimes the issues that an organization faces are complex, and a single informational meeting is not enough to create a work plan. In those cases, we will recommend a short assessment (lasting no longer than a month) to get a better idea about what the underlying issues are. This allows us to work better with you in focusing effort and resources to address the important issues.
Next, we will work with you to identify the appropriate people to involve, build a team and develop a work plan that identifies objectives, tasks, services and costs. This serves as a tool for discussion, refinement and the beginning of a working relationship. When you and we agree to a work plan, the project begins.
Creating a Unique Service Design
Every process is unique. We pride ourselves on providing customized services based on a client’s needs, learning styles, budget and time constraints. Our designs are:
Work-Related and Goal-Directed
The starting point is a visible, tangible goal that is important to members of each operational work unit. We find that a time-bound goal is most effective.
Adult to Adult
As teams are developing, individuals need to know what is expected of them; what authority they have; and for what they will be accountable. We ensure that projects make expectations, boundaries and choices explicit.
We know that any alternatives that are selected for your project must be congruent with the beliefs and values of your organization.
To help people try new approaches and learn from their experiences, support is needed from managers, mentors, and consultants. We build support from a variety of sources into our project designs.
Preparing and Delivering Services
After the contract and design are refined and agreed with you, we proceed to develop, prepare and deliver our services.
- We create detailed agendas for facilitated sessions, and review them with you to make necessary adjustments.
- We prepare and provide handout materials (we will charge you for copying costs or provide a master copy for you to duplicate).
- We arrive early to set up and greet participants as they arrive.
- We start and end on time (unless otherwise agreed).
- We provide excellent meeting notes within three business days.
“Cathy understood our environment very quickly and got down to work.”
“She moved the group forward to do a huge task in a short amount of time.”
Skilled Project Management
We take pride in the fact that we achieve results without going over budget. Fifty percent of the time we return money to the client at the end of the contract. Achieving this means that we must keep in close contact with you throughout a project. This is how we do it:
We are both skilled project managers and work with you to monitor the day-to-day progress of the project. We return phone calls promptly, and will often meet with you informally to discuss appropriate issues.
For projects of three months or longer, we hold special kickoff meetings to finalize objectives, create schedules and determine roles and responsibilities.
For projects of three months or longer, we will hold a formal checkpoint meeting every 6-8 weeks with you or a steering committee. The purpose of the meeting is to address issues and provide two-way feedback about how the project is going.
Fixed Price Projects
When we create a work plan, we estimate our preparation and delivery time, and multiply that by our hourly rate. When the work plan is finalized, that price becomes our promise to you. If our preparation takes more time, we incur the costs. We will only ask you to re-contract if the scope or objectives of the project change.
If the work plan calls for a type of service that does not lend itself easily to a project approach we will create a contract “ceiling.” When the “ceiling” is nearly reached, we will work with you to assess progress and determine whether re-contracting is necessary or desirable.