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Question & Answer Listing

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Planning -- Question & Answer Listing  
Viewing 1-9 of 9 Knowledge Entries
Question / Answer

Question:
How can I maintain the interest of the members of our volunteer organization or Family Readiness Group?

Answer:
Maintaining your members’ interest depends first on the purpose of your organization. Make sure that the events and activities you have supports the mission of your organization, which is why your members joined in the first place. Their participation needs to add value to their lives and suit their individual needs. In terms of meetings and activities, try to plan events that support a broad spectrum of interests and schedules. Alternate meeting dates and times if some of your members work during the day. Plan family events that allow members to bring their children. If you are truly unsure of what your members’ interests are, take a survey and ask them for ideas. Enlist members’ help in planning activities. When others are involved, they too have a vested interest in the event’s success.

Question:
How does an organization turn its vision into reality?

Answer:
Leaders need to communicate the organization’s vision to all members of the organization and develop a strategic plan to enable them to realize it. The plan should include both short-term and long-term goals and leaders at all levels should develop their own plans to achieve these goals. It is important to inspire all members of an organization to share the organization’s vision, take ownership of the plan developed to realize this vision, and take pride in the successes achieved along the way. It is also important for leaders to develop a mechanism for the organization to measure its success in achieving the vision and to monitor the organization's progress in achieving it. Learn more about this subject by reviewing the references listed.

Question:
How important is it for leaders of volunteer organizations to use planning calendars when scheduling events?

Answer:
Planning calendars are very effective time management tools to use, but they are especially important to leaders of organizations who often interrelate with other organizations – as many volunteer organizations do. For example, it is important in a military community to make sure not to schedule a volunteer event (e.g., fundraiser) if it conflicts with another organization’s major event such as a deployment. Also, if you are hoping to get certain leaders to participate in your event, it is important to check with their schedules before firming up the dates for your events (e.g., having a senior leader present certificates of appreciation to your volunteers). Use a planning calendar to ensure up-to-date information for your organization and review the calendar at each of your organization’s staff or membership meetings.

Question:
What are some of the basic techniques and procedures for planning and developing a briefing or presentation?

Answer:
There are a number of techniques and procedures associated with planning and developing a briefing or presentation such as scheduling, audience analysis, research and organization of material, deciding on a presentation type (e.g., persuasive, explanatory, instructional, oral report, decision briefing, etc.), preparing audio and/or visual aids, content mastery, etc. Learn more about planning and executing presentations and briefings from the resources listed.

Question:
What are some time management tips that help a leader to be more effective?

Answer:
Time is a precious resource so using time wisely is critical to effective leadership. There are a number of time management skills a leader can do to be more effective such as eliminating time wasters. For example, analyze your responsibilities and delegate tasks to others when appropriate. In many instances, the person to whom you are delegating may welcome the additional responsibility and see this as a sign of your trust and faith in his/her abilities. Examine the meetings you hold and see if any can be eliminated or shortened. Make sure the meetings you keep are effective and well planned. Prioritize tasks, appointments, meetings, etc. Planning calendars and/or electronic planners can be very useful for this purpose. Some people find ‘to do’ lists very helpful. Create one and then prioritize the items on it. These are just a few suggestions for improving your time management skills. Learn more about time management from the resources listed.

Question:
What is an "action plan?"

Answer:
An action plan is a written strategy listing the tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve an objective. Action plans break down the objective into more manageable segments. The steps in an action plan typically include estimates of the amount of time, money, resources, etc. that are needed to complete each task. The individuals responsible for each step are also identified, as well timelines for accomplishing each task.

Question:
What is meant by “outcomes-based” evaluation of a program?

Answer:
“Outcomes-based” evaluation focuses on the benefits received by the clients of a program as opposed to other types of evaluations used to assess the success of a program, which often use measures related more to the organization’s needs or goals. Outcomes-based evaluation is often used in assessing government and non-profit organizations because their programs tend to be service-oriented operations. Their focus is on things like whether or not the client’s needs were met or how the client felt after the service was provided, not necessarily on how many clients were served or how many different services are offered. The United Way of America has a book called “Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach (1996)” that is a good resource for organizations who are developing basic program evaluation plans using an outcomes-based approach. Check with some of the other references provided for more information on outcomes-based evaluation methods.

Question:
What is the difference between a goal and an objective?

Answer:
The words goals and objectives are often used interchangeably and refer to the end state (or aim) that an individual strives to achieve. However, in the business world, objectives are often defined as the measurable achievements that one tries to accomplish to enable the individual to reach his/her goal. For example, a salesman may have a goal to increase his car sales by 20% at the end of a six-month period. He might create some objectives to achieve this goal such as coming up with two new marketing strategies by a specified date and achieving a 5% increase in sales after the first 2 months. Once he creates his objectives (these and perhaps others), he might develop an action plan that breaks down the objectives into more manageable and specific tasks. Learn more about goals and objectives from the references provided.

Question:
What is the purpose of an organization vision statement?

Answer:
A vision statement is key to an organization’s strategic planning. The organization’s vision should relate to the purpose of its existence. It should incorporate aspects that relate to the organization’s members that would motivate them to align with management in achieving goals related to the organization’s vision. An organization’s vision should be based on the organization’s current state and focus on its leaders (and members) want to see it in the future. It should promote interest and commitment; build confidence among members and other stakeholders; provide direction and purpose; and develop a sense of ownership among members of the organization.
Viewing 1-9 of 9 Knowledge Entries

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