Leona Estrella, the new executive director for the Grandview Community Center (GCC), will be faced with some difficult challenges when it comes to getting everybody on track. One of the biggest obstacles that she will face is getting everyone in this agency to work together as a cohesive unit. The agency contains four programs: counseling, in-home services, community development, and daycare. Four sites make up the GCC, each located in different parts of the community. All the sites are being run independently of each other. There is little to no communication between the units causing a severe discord amongst the workers. Another major issue for this agency is the scarcity of funding and no viable budget plan intact. Therefore, funds are not being appropriated to the areas in need, and spending is not being monitored. The agency also does not have a management information system to help them keep track of the organization’s activities and progress. The previous manager did implement a computer system, but it is not consistently utilized.
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Leona decided she would use a strategic plan as the best way to confront the challenges of the agency. Strategic planning is defined as a method used to “address complex and dynamic environmental conditions by outlining the overall direction of the organization” (Lewis, Packard, and Lewis, 2012, p.47). In other words, strategic planning can help determine the goals and priorities of the agency as well as how it will attain these goals. The tactical planning part of this approach is paying close attention to the current changes in the organization’s internal and external environment, and the impact that these changes have on the organization. According to Lewis, Packard, and Lewis, (2012) for strategic planning to be successful some stipulations have to be met. The first and most vital is establishing strong leadership that is proficient in all areas throughout the organization. Any areas that are deficient when it comes to strong leadership jeopardize the organization stability as a whole. The second key element for a strategic plan is having the support from all the key decision makers involved, including top managers and governing board. The organization must also be dedicated and committed to not only creating plans but also implementing them. Also, the organization will have to adapt to new ways and methodologies (p.48). I agree with this approach; however, Leona will have to make sure to get rid of any barriers that may prevent this plan from achieving its outcome. The plan will also need to be straight-forward and easy to understand. All levels of staff should be involved with the planning to help attain its success. It’s essential to have strong communication with staff as well. Any new service delivery or tactics should be done using an innovative system, for example, using computers for data collection and fiscal management. Furthermore, the organizational culture will need to be revised to be more adaptive to the changes the strategic plan requires.
Case Activity 2.1 involves three women: Marcia, Angela, and Pam. They are all trained professionals employed at the Department of Human Services (DHS). They discover that the services offered through their organization for battered women are not comprehensive or long term. Any shelter that was provided was for only two weeks. The additional services, such as vocational counseling and training and personal counseling, are only offered after the women make long term commitments. Many of the women in these programs either did not feel safe or comfortable using these services due to their circumstances. They realize for the services to be more effective when dealing with clients of this nature, they must be modified. They want to provide extended services that include physical refuge, medical services, personal, family therapy, and vocational training. Their mission is not to necessarily remove these women from their homes, but to help them explore more opportunities for their lives while offering support. However, because of funding limitations and no understanding on incorporating these services for the organization, they would need to construct a proposal.
This proposal will need to include statistics about the needs for the program and the types of activities that will be offered along with a budget to sustain the program. Marcia, Angela, and Pam decided that if they are going to develop such a program, they must do so by getting involved. They believe that the program may be brought into fruition by several different avenues. For example, it can become an alternative community agency either through the Department of Human Services or the women’s shelter. Another option is developing a partnership between the agencies, so they can work in conjunction to deliver the services.
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I believe that the ladies are off to a good start, but I feel before they proceed, they should first start by mapping out the specifics of the program. For this, I would start with an assessment of the community’s needs to identify issues that need toe modified be addressed. Next, I would create a vision that would incorporate the organization’s purpose and what it aims to accomplish. The plan will also have a program model that will contain the goals and objectives and how to achieve them. The next step involves designing a program that will assist with how the plan or program will be executed. In this step, there are two features: organizational process and structure. The first is used as a decision-making component and the latter is to help determine the chain of command. This leads to the next step: Supervising. The founders must supervise their needs to establish leadership for the organization to run efficiently and achieve its goals (Lewis, Packard, and Lewis, 2012). The ladies will have to determine who would best qualify to take on the supervisory role. This person has to be able to motivate other workers and be knowledgeable about day to day operations. The last crucial step for these ladies would be to construct a budget plan. The budget plan will give a general view regarding the amount of funding the program will require and how it plans to utilize the funds. The budget must be aimed at reaching the goals, mission, and the mission in the organization as well as maintaining control over expense. (Lewis, Packard, and Lewis, 2012). After these steps have been finalized, then the ladies can present this plan to their general manager and other stakeholders.
- Lewis, J. A., Packard, T. R., & Lewis, M. D. (2012). Management of human service programs. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
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