Tools in the Toolbox: Three Tools Consultants Should Know

Tools in the Toolbox: Three Tools Consultants Should Know

Tools in the Toolbox: Three Tools Consultants Should Know

Mission Needs Analysis defines the needs of the client clearly, with the goal of setting the stage for a project or individual tasks. Some techniques that enable collaboration with clients are 1) a Mission Analysis Questionnaire that defines needs, risks, and priorities, 2) a Mission Analysis Document that Communicates the Mission, Vision, Strategy, and Measurable Objectives, and 3) a Strategy Statement Exercise that articulates the differentiating strategy in 35 words or less.

Innovation Workshops benefit our clients, as they bring together key stakeholders to address organizational, performance, process, technology, or management challenges. They help apply the newest Design Thinking techniques.

  • Identifying Goals/Objectives: Host an ideation session to identify and define a specific challenge
  • Choose Attendees, Facilitator, and Setup: Invite relevant parties; choose a facilitator who is unbiased, objective, and credible; arrange participants in a circular table or U shape
  • Develop an Agenda and Innovation Tools: Examples include Client Innovation Maps, Empathy Map, Innovation Question Storming, Mindmap, and Affinity Sessions
  • Choose Outcomes to Implement: Define metrics; identify winning solutions and ideas; assign and track items and next steps clearly

So why use these tools? They help clients identify their organizational strengths, align solutions with their priority challenges, and identify innovative ways to design and implement solutions in a flexible, agile way. 

Analysis and innovation are critical to the Government in times of security pressure and budget austerity. Successful tools that accelerate how consultants innovate for their clients are critical.

At Arc Aspicio, the three tools that address our Government and homeland clients’ needs most successfully are Team Problem Solving, Mission Needs Analysis, and Innovation Workshops. We call these proprietary tools ‘accelerators’ because they help our teams partner with clients to accelerate mission success.

Team Problem Solving incorporates four steps to drive effective and innovative team collaboration:

  • Set-up: Identify a group facilitator responsible for creating a problem statement, creating a plan for the problem solving session, and providing background information as pre-reads
  • Identify the Causes: Employ issue-based problem solving methods, such as issue trees, and make sure you have gathered sufficient information and have the right people in the room to construct a solution
  • Identify the Solution(s): Analyze competing hypotheses or “guess and check” and structured brainstorming
  • Identify Next Steps: Document the discussion and decisions, identify next steps and establish due dates and owners of action items, monitor progress, and schedule future problem solving sessions (on some projects, this happens as frequently as twice per week
Blog Design Thinking Strategy

Contributors

Samantha Uditsky | Samantha Greenwald is an experienced professional with public and private sector experience and interest in immigration, education, and international relations. At Arc Aspicio, she specializes in business process improvement and quality improvement as well as supports company strategic initiatives. Samantha received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Secondary Education from American University and her Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University. Samantha is passionate about supporting the homeland security mission.

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

Washington, DC, October 19, 2018 — LeadersNest named Arc Aspicio CEO Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree. The FedFem awards salute high-impact women executives and leaders of the government contracting community. FedFem Award Honorees blend their entrepreneurial courage and Federal government support that effectively impacts the industry, national economy, and the local marketplace. 

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

To keep up with the fast pace of change in the field of Government acquisitions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components are developing their own acquisition requirements (AR) policies. However, without specific timeframes to finalize these policies, DHS agencies often lack guidance on how to develop ARs. Among DHS agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is leading the way with their own formal policy to describe this process. To compliment the U.S. Coast Guard’s policy, DHS created the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System (JRIMS) to offer direction for agencies—to review, validate, and suggest solutions for capability gaps and requirements.

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

Communities are often the foundation for an expedited recovery following major events. But how can communities strengthen their response to, for example, a major cyber-attack or natural event, such as an Electronic Magnetic Pulse solar flare? A United States electrical grid failure could destroy a number of the nation’s high voltage transformers causing widespread outages for several weeks, even months. A public health emergency could quickly ensue particularly among the vulnerable as the ripple effects cause significant societal disruption. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic plan encourages and empowers communities to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters. How can communities prime for major events?

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?