Capstone Discussions Week 1-7

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Capstone Discussions Week 1-7
From your perspective, what are the most pressing concerns within Public…

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Capstone Discussions Week 1-7

Capstone Discussions Week 1-7

PA 600 All Students Posts 302 Pages 

Most Pressing Concerns| Presenting Professional Reports| Stakeholders| Low-Budget Marketing Tools| Organizational Structures| Selecting the Right Combination| Key Financial Policies| Budgeting| Case Statements| Funding Sources| Human Resources Planning Model| Training Methods| Analyzing Your P-Plan…

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Most Pressing Concerns Week 1 – 22 Pages 

From your perspective, what are the most pressing concerns within Public Administration?

  1. Now let’s chat about presentation tools from the Internet.  Have you ever used or heard of WEBEX?   Please take a moment to start to become familiar with WebEx. What do you see as some of the challenges of using this program?’   Is this something that can be helpful working in a geographically challenging job (i.e.:  people located around the globe).
  2. One point is that we can’t continue to attack the symptoms, but need to get down to the nitty-gritty and define the problem and causes. Another point was the partisan politics–it’s so self-serving and very damaging, as we’ve seen so recently with the debt issue.

What can we do to solve these types of issues?   Any suggestions?

Here is my follow up for today…one reason for the Project Plan and Oral Presentation is to demonstrate how we can demonstrate accountability and effectiveness. How good are organizations at demonstrating their effectiveness?   Do they plan properly?   Do you think non-profits plan better/same/worse than for-profit institutions? So, let’s work on developing a mission statement. What are some key elements of a good mission statement?…

Presenting Professional Reports Week 1 – 22 Pages 

One of the deliverables of this course is the Oral Presentation. Reflect back on your own career and education, and review the methods you have used to deliver reports. What are some of those methods? Which one do you think was the most effective in making your case to your audience?

Communication is a CRITICAL part of a career and success.  AS such, we have an oral presentation in this course at the end.  You will work in a group, and you all must deliver a solid report.   In this question, we should discuss how we can be MOST effective in communicating, and think about tools and preparation we can do BEFORE the presentation to ensure that we are interesting and persuasive when we speak!

Now let’s chat about presentation tools from the Internet.  Have you ever used or heard of WEBEX?   Please take a moment to start to become familiar with WebEx. What do you see as some of the challenges of using this program?’   Is this something that can be helpful working in a geographically challenging job (i.e.:  people located around the globe).

COMMUNICATION is a major key to a successful career.  Imagine that you are at a fund raiser for your nonprofit and you have to speak…you MUST be effective or your operation will suffer. What are some ways you can improve your communication skills?  Please give me SPECIFIC responses…and support your answer…

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Stakeholders Week 2 – 25 Pages 

Who are the stakeholders most relevant to your P-Plan? Stakeholders?  What are they?  Who are they? Now, let’s talk about engaging stakeholders in an NPO. How would you gain a consensus amongst your stakeholders in the event of a vote or strategic decisions that must be made? What would you do SPECIFICALLY to gain consensus?  Do you think that the “general public” is a valid stakeholder? Or is this too large of a group?  Switching gears a bit, how will you make a case for the needs of this program to your different stakeholders?…

Low-Budget Marketing Tools Week 2 – 22 Pages

Not all marketing has to be expensive. Share some examples of low-budget marketing tools you have used (or seen used) by governmental, nonprofit, or public health organizations. As many of you know, especially if you work in a nonprofit, funds are ALWAYS tight!  As such, you need to find ways to be EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT…and create a sustainable nonprofit business model.  Our second question this week explores various ways to market. Word of Mouth is a critical tool.   I will talk about this further later.    You speak  What happens if social media sites have BAD things to say about your organization?   What should you do?  What actions should you take?  Let’s talk about marketing budgets. Does your organization have a marketing budget? If no, why not?  .   I have seen social media used quite effectively as a tool for low-cost marketing.   However, are their risks in using this medium?   What are these risks?   How do you overcome them…

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Organizational Structures Week 3 – 24 Pages 

The operations portion of the P-Plan encompasses several different areas. Let’s start by reviewing the organizational structures in this week’s lecture. Which structure is most appropriate for your P-Plan? We are moving forward into week 3 and this week we plunge into organizational structure.  In your P-Plans, lecture and discussions, we will discuss organization and infrastructure.   Specifically with the first thread, we will look at how organization will play a role in your firm.   As I have mentioned in the past, EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT operations are critical for the long term success of an NPO.  Switching gears a bit, will you be offering a product, service, or both? What kind of office space will you need? Will you need several offices? Now let’s change the topic a bit and talk about your P-Plan.   Specifically, who will oversee the plan? A Board of Directors? A committee?    Who will you select to be on your board or committee (in other words, what are their qualifications)?…
Selecting the Right Combination Week 3 – 21 Pages 

Organizations in the public sector often lag behind when it comes to hardware, software, and other MIS components. How can we prepare reports, track and export data, and share information without spending a fortune on MIS? Share some of your own experiences! This statement couldn’t be more true!   I think that NPOs do amazing work with such limited infrastructure.  HOW DO THEY DO IT? This week we will explore that question and talk about the various was to be more efficient.  Yes, the “E” word again!    It is important that in all that we do all that we can to keep costs low, while we maximize our output.   Not an EASY task at all, but one that we must strive for each day we go to work.  How do you ensure that your NPO has the proper expertise on staff to run an IT department?   How do you get the proper training?
We have all heard the phrase, “doing less with more.”  How does that apply to this discussion?   What are some ways to do less with more with regards to infrastructure? How do you justify spending money on IT that will bring more efficient operations?   How can you finance any major capital outlay?…

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Key Financial Policies Week 4 – 25 Pages 

What are some key financial policies that your organization does (or should) have in place? Why are they important?  As you realize, you will be developing financials for your P-Plan, so it is imperative that you understand these principals this week.   A good idea is great; a good cause is wonderful; but in order to fulfill any ideas of philanthropy you may have you need to have a sound financial model. Financial policies are part of your P-Plan, and when you develop these, you will show your stakeholders your success and failures financially.   As such, you will need to be accountable;  accountability has become a hot topic in the public sector. One reason is due to the tremendous growth of the sector. How does your organization show accountability?

At your recent board meeting, one of the newer board members asks these two questions: “Does our organization have to have a budget that is break-even?” “As a nonprofit, can there be a profit?” As the director of this NPO, how do you respond?

Audits are part of a most organizations.   Can you tell me the difference between an internal and external audit?  Why do we need both?…

Budgeting Week 4 – 21 Pages 

Review the budget templates posted in the lecture. What are some line items that you had not thought of but now realize will be important? How will you determine realistic figures to use in your P-Plan budget?

Who needs budgets!  Come on…we can just manage our money in our head!   Right?   – uh NO!
Budgets are critical.  Imagine an organization that had no or a unrealistic budget…what would happen?  How would they know if they are meeting financial objectives and managing one of their most precious resources: capital!  This discussion will center on budgeting concepts for the NPO!  Looking at your Plan, what will be the tax status of your organization? Will it be a governmental entity, a 501(c)(3), a nonprofit registered only with the state, or some other type? Why would any of this matter for a budget? Do you think a nonprofit should have a policy of using top down or bottom up budgeting when they create budgets? Or do you think it would depend on the project? Budgets can be tricky.   And often you have many people involved in the process.   Nothing can be more true than working with a governmental budget.   How would you address the situation of multiple layers in a governmental bureaucracy?…

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Case Statements Week 5 – 23 Pages 

Use this template to create your case statement (ignore #7). Post your response to one of the questions from the template. Review your peers’ posts and offer any thoughts on areas that seem unclear or need more information. This week we continue to talk about our P-PLAN.   As you can see, a link is provided with a template.   Please use the template and present our responses to each numbered item, except for number seven. Let’s take them in the order they are presented in the template and then discuss them. This approach should really be helpful and give us ideas for papers. Mission statements are important, as we talk about them constantly.  Thanks for your feedback on this case statement and mission statements.   Let’s add some more thought to the discussion on mission statements:  When your mission statement is no longer valid, should you change it?  How do you change it?…

How will you demonstrate to a donor that your P-Plan is well thought out? Donors are the key to any NPO success, and making sure they are part of the vision and plan is critical.  What are some OTHER ways that you can make the donor feel like they are part of your vision and plan?  Let’s talk some more about case statements.  What are some benefits of putting together a case statement?…

Funding Sources Week 5 – 19 Pages 

What are some methods you will use to find funding sources for your P-Plan? Don’t list specific funding sources at this time; we will get to that later! Just focus on how you will generate that list of sources.  In our second discussion we will start to discuss finding funders.   Determining and following up on your funding sources is, of course, very critical to the success of your organization. It’s a lot of work and in involves a lot of research and creativity. Finding funding is challenging, but technology has made it easier…what are some other technologies you could use OTHER than the Internet to help in fundraising?  Fundraising is not an easy task for sure.   With that in mind, let’s chat your your P-Plan.  Based on your searches, what are some potential funding sources for your P-Plan?   Do you think you have good funding choices?  What could you do to attract large firms and individuals to join your cause and be an active donor?  .  Please share some of your experiences when it comes to seeking funds. What resources did you use?…

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Human Resources Planning Model Week 6 – 20 Pages 

Select one of the five components of the Human Resources Planning Model and describe how you could apply it to your P-Plan. .   In our first discussion this week we ask that you do some research and talk about one of the five component of the HR planning model.    How does this fit in your P-Plan?   Please be specific and support your answer.   I would recommend that a different member of each team pick a different component!

How will you determine if someone is qualified to be in one of those positions?  One of the components is a Business Plan Analysis. In this analysis, you are asked to consider current and future work force trends. In relation to your P-Plan, what are some of those trends? How will they impact your program? Are there any components of the planning model that you think would be difficult to complete at this point?  Are there any components of the planning model that you think would be difficult to complete at this point?…

Training Methods Week 6 – 19 Pages 

Would you use the same training methods for employees that you would for volunteers? Why or why not? What are some ways to manage having a diverse group of trainees, in order to maximize the learning?  Many times we have to train across several different demographics (age, sex, religion..etc), and while this is great for diversity and having new ideas, it can be challenging in your communication approach and style.
What are some ways to manage having a diverse group of trainees, in order to maximize the learning?  What are some training methods that you think would work well with your P-Plan program?  Time is an important resource in any firm.   For Profit or Non Profit organizations must manager their time…employees and volunteers have precious little.   With that in mind, hiring outside firms to train your staff is costly; and having internal resources train your staff cost money (internally); so what are some ways you could use VOLUNTEERS to do your training?  Would that/Could that be successful?  Why or why not?  Would you train employees at the same time as volunteers? Or do you think they should be trained differently?…

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What do You Take Away? Week 7 – 18 Pages 

Looking back over all of the courses you took in this degree program, what is the one piece of information that you feel has been the most beneficial to you? How has it been useful? We are nearing the end.   In this week, we want to reflect at bit on your past few years of schooling and the past few weeks of this course.   What have you learned?   Now, to go further, what information have you been able to use already for your P-Plan?   What specifically in your past classes has been used? What theories do you think are unrealistic for the public sector?  How have any of the courses changed your views on the public sector, for better or worse?…

Analyzing Your P-Plan Week 7 – Posts 21 Pages 

Which section of the P-Plan was the most enjoyable for you to complete? Which one was the most difficult?  We are in the final stretch!  Don’t slow down now, as we have to finish strong.   This second thread focuses on your P-Plan and the process that you undertook.   We all realize the challenge of this project, the challenge of working in teams (especially remotely) and balancing all this with your life.  BUT, you have DONE IT! (almost!)  Congrats to you!

Project plans are very interesting road maps to accomplishing strategic goals and objectives. (Hutt, 2012). I think one of the most challenging parts of a p-plan is project research, learning as much about the subject matter of the project as possible. The lack of knowledge will put you at a disadvantage and could result in a project failure. Another difficult aspect was identify the stakeholders in our project. It is not always easy to identify the stakeholders of a project, particularly those impacted indirectly (projectsmart.co.uk). The most enjoyable part is seeing the whole concept come together and working with dedicated team mates. I think the best part of our p-plan is the cohesion of my team mates working together and doing their assigned parts and completing the project.

What are some websites that you found useful in your development of the P-Plan? What did they offer? So do you think that you did this work for a purpose?   Do you intend to use your P-Plan in the near future? How will you go about it?…