We see strategic and program planning as a tool to craft the decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is and what it does. Our strategic and program planning work focuses on looking to the future for opportunities. We help clients identify a future vision, set goals, and develop an approach for achieving those goals. We work with clients to develop strategic and program plans that lead to action and high performance. Once the plan is in place, work plans are needed to ensure the strategy is realized. Effective work plans are detailed, with specific deliverables, timelines, and identification of accountable parties. We work with clients to develop these plans, and coach clients through implementation of the plans.
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Examples of Strategic and Program Planning Initiatives
Provided comprehensive project management and deployment support to a federal government agency to implement an emergency notification system to over 500 sites. Our team worked with various stakeholders to coordinate site deployments, test the emergency system, configure the system and troubleshoot technical issues. A deployment guide and checklists were created to ensure all steps were followed to result in successful deployments. Score card metric were updated with the project's cost, risk, schedule and accomplishments, to generate accurate status reports for senior management. These reports were used by senior management to address issues in a timely manner and identify potential risks that could jeopardize the project. Our team developed procedures for conducting both small group and full deployments, in order to document the deployment process. We were also instrumental in setting up weekly technical troubleshooting calls with project engineers, resulting in the resolution of technical issues, therefore avoiding delays in rolling out the critical emergency notification system. In addition, transition management support was provided by capturing gaps between the current implementation state and the future Operations and Maintenance (O&M) state. A transition plan was developed for the O&M state that included visual work stream flows, organization charts and resources needed. Our team provided invaluable support on this project by working closely with the Federal employees to successfully meet various project goals and objectives.
Supported the Mobile Device Team within the user and network services division of a large federal government agency by providing project management, communications, and training support during their efforts to identify both a new carrier for mobile devices, as well as a replacement Smartphone device that would be sustainable within the agency. Our team supported this transition by developing a pilot program that would identify the features and functionalities of the device and how they differed from their previous device. We were also tasked with developing training documents, conducting Webex sessions to answer questions, and providing an overview of the new smartphone device with both the deskside technicians who would be supporting the project and users of the existing device who volunteered to be early adopters of the new technology. Training documents included a quick reference guide to reflect the features on the government furnished device, activation instructions and numerous other documents to assist the end-users with the transition. The team also developed a repeatable test plan for both internal and external testers to record their results and identify potential risks in deploying the new device. During the carrier transition stage of the project, within a two month timeframe, our team was able to transition approximately 1,800 employees, mainly executives and senior managers, from the old service to the new with no interruption or break in service for any employee. Our team was specifically responsible for communicating with the impacted employees, coordinating with the employees to transition their service, and providing a knowledge transfer on how to perform the carrier swap with our deskside support team.
Provided transition and project management support to the Cybersecurity division of a large federal agency, focused on security audit and analysis applications. Our team conducted readiness assessment sessions with the receiving organizations that utilized the applications to determine the impact and the readiness to own, use, operate and/or maintain the new hardware/applications. We identified changes between the current and future states of the application post reengineering deployment and completed documentation outlining the training needed for an upgraded application. In addition, the team completed user guides and training plans, as well as created and implemented end-user training schedules. Our documentation assisted the subject matter experts to tailor specific training to end-users, and our input and suggestions were incorporated into executive briefings for the application, allowing for a smooth transition to the future state. Our consistent and high quality deliverables assisted the division in meeting their goals and objectives.
Provided assistance to the Cybersecurity department within a large federal agency with program planning, project tracking services, and the establishment and overall success of a new core area of the department. The team coordinated with Cybersecurity process owners to understand and improve the procedures required for IT projects to meet security requirements in the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The data gathered was compiled as the initial publication of a new reference guide, with subsequent updates made through the years. Publishing the reference guide closed many security information gaps within the enterprise. Finally, the capstone of the project was the development of a new Cybersecurity homepage. This site availed the new reference guides, connected projects to additional resources, and provided an access point for all Cybersecurity services. Our team assisted in site design & testing during development, then developed communication and promotional materials during implementation, and built and delivered training post-deployment.
Assisted the Cybersecurity division of a large federal agency with overall program planning and project tracking services. The team provided technical analysis support, created and maintained reference guides, provided coaching and guidance for major and non-major projects, provided governance and control support, and created project and financial reports for management. Under governance and control, the key support services provided included project management, system development life cycle management, financial management, health assessments, and oversight for each project in the portfolio. In addition, the team annually updated an IT security program plan--working to collect and consolidate contributor updates, prepare the relevant updates, and finally review for accuracy and completeness. With our support, high-level project status reports were prepared and presented to leadership and management, which allowed for future planning. The support provided by the various sub teams was instrumental in the overall success and mission of the department.
Supported several endeavors for the security audit trails team within a large federal agency, providing transition management and project management services for their implementation and planned maintenance projects. In each circumstance, the Opportunity Knocks team conducted current and future state analysis and facilitated readiness assessments for impacted stakeholder groups. The team documented the readiness activities required to prepare impacted stakeholders and end-users for the post-deployment future state and tracked the identified gaps to closure. To support the closure of any gaps, the Opportunity Knocks team facilitated cross-organizational working sessions to evaluate existing components of the end-to-end process and work toward process development and/or process improvement where weaknesses were identified. Resulting from this collaborative work, the team (1) prepared an end-to-end auditing life cycle process, providing a high-level overview of processes, activities, and projected timelines for implementation of IT security auditing services; and (2) assisted with the retirement of one auditing tool and the adoption of new applications to perform this process. By recommending and carrying out the requirements analysis, the Opportunity Knocks team led the divisions to rightsize the scope of their functional transition effort. Overall, the Opportunity Knocks team was a consistent resource for all of the program’s change management needs. Our support and guidance was critical for the program success through changes both planned and prescribed.
Provided assistance to the travel systems section of a large federal agency with the support of the planning, implementation, and management of two new systems: a new electronic travel system and a new cloud service relocation system for agency employees. This support included governance and reporting for the legacy systems, transitioning the agency and end users to the new systems, and governance and reporting of each new system. Further, the team supported the owner of the systems, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), to ensure business needs were met. Opportunity Knocks supported the business objectives of the systems in several areas. Managing and documenting the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and writing and reviewing technical documentation offered support to the primary governance and project management. Proper documentation of required artifacts and process requirements, effective organization of all project documentation, and attention to compliance detail from the first day of the projects led the section to meet all Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Maturity Level 3 audits and successfully supported the branch SCAMPI (Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement) appraisal. As the change management leads for the efforts, we facilitated the transition management from the legacy to the new systems, ensuring readiness for use of the new systems. Additionally, in support of the SDLC, we managed the security processes for system authorization, following the GSA Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The team led project cybersecurity requirements data collection, establishing the first effort for this agency’s sponsorship process for FedRAMP certification. Our team’s efforts supported the business objective to improve the current user experience and was key to the overall project management of each new system.
Supported Cybersecurity division of a large federal agency to transition to a new program that would automate security controls & deficiency management and standardize risk reporting across federal agencies. Our team provided management support to prepare end-users, technical analysis support, and overall program management support, by supporting Endpoint Integrity, including hardware and software asset management, configuration management, and vulnerability management. To document the Transition Management (TM) support, the team prepared an overall work breakdown structure of the change management activities, documented the support of the Executive Oversight Team, and submitted an overall Transition Management Plan for the first phase of the program, including a record of readiness activities to be completed by stakeholders (a TM gap log). The team prepared briefings to facilitate executive alignment across all impacted organizations and developed a process to carry impacted stakeholders through an analysis of the program requirements. The program management support provided by the team led to the further responsibilities to maintain the program schedule and track program risks and issues. The overall support provided to the program team was instrumental in the initial implementation plans for the program and the successful stakeholder engagement through the change management process.
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