Organizational Design & Development

Providing program and service reviews that help develop better organizations

Nonprofit leaders and boards of directors undertake program and service reviews for many reasons. It’s often a crisis that forces an agency to examine what and how it is doing. Sometimes, a shrinking budget forces the review. Or client service data shows your clients are not getting their needs met, or their needs have changed.

Whatever the reason, we have the depth of experience to review your organization’s programs, services and facilities and determine whether the challenges stem from issues in governance, operations, finance, human resources or other areas.

We have conducted many different reviews for nonprofit and public sector organizations. We have:

  • Designed a methodology and conducted audits for children’s camp facilities to operate under high standards of care and safety
  • Reviewed the delivery of an accessibility program to ensure consistency with ministry standards and guidelines
  • Conducted several operational reviews of long-term care facilities for compliance with standards, guidelines and best practices
  • Conducted a review of a shelter program for vulnerable women and children

Depending on the nature of the review, the assignment will be handled by any our principals with extensive nonprofit sector experience.

    The Osborne Group has conducted many program and operational reviews for organizations whose clients are vulnerable or high risk in healthcare, disease management, long-term care, social services and higher education.

    Reviews can be prompted by a variety of circumstances:

    • An impending retirement or departure of a senior executive
    • An organizational structure that evolved organically over time but no longer meets current challenges.
    • An organization or program that has been operating for several years that may require changes to structure, policy or procedures to improve effectiveness.
    • A new program that has grown quickly, is now fully staffed and operational, but not meeting service targets.
    • Board or staff concerns about operational and human resource issues that have emerged after a period of growth.

    Our reviews will determine if there is the optimal organizational and management structure, policies, and procedures to continue to operate effectively. The comprehensive review would include:

    • Governance effectiveness
    • Management and operational effectiveness
    • Financial management practices
    • Factors affecting the provision of quality care and/or services

    We have worked successfully with many organizations to establish an effective and efficient division of work and a management structure that will successfully lead and support the organization. A comprehensive review fosters the use of:

    • Management practices including delegation of responsibility and promotion of teamwork
    • Quality service
    • Individual accountability and ownership
    • Adaptability to future change

    Typically there are internal pressures to address human resource issues quickly, so any review should be done promptly with an approach that is consultative and collaborative.

    Contact The Osborne Group to explore how we can help you.

    Many reviews can be carried out by an individual Osborne Group principal who has deep experience in a specific function or sector. For more in-depth reviews, we assemble a small team of consultants with the necessary skills and background including facilitation and interviewing skills, research and document review capability, project management, and subject matter expertise. Our team will work on the entire project, dividing work according to the skills of each member. This approach ensures the client gets the benefit of several objective perspectives along with the specific knowledge and understanding of your sector that allows us to hit the ground running.

    Our Principals are available to travel or conduct remote reviews anywhere. We work with the client to determine the best method for conducting the review, keeping in mind the organization culture, the need for a physical presence and budgets.

    We have conducted camp audits for over ten years for Diabetes Canada in rural areas from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Our audit team travels to each of location to conduct parts of the audits that must be done on site.  In other cases, we have conducted interviews with client staff and stakeholders by telephone or video conferencing which can be very cost-effective.

    Our approach to every project is customized to meet the needs of our client. We collaborate with the client to determine how we can best achieve the goals of the project against the backdrop of the organization culture. We often work closely with a lead steering committee to ensure our reviews are comprehensive with input from a representative sample of voices from across the organization, and by frequent reviews of progress on the assignment. 

    Our final report includes input from staff and other stakeholders. Their participation allows us to provide nuanced recommendations that are practical and actionable.

    We use a project management approach to program reviews to ensure that all milestones and deliverables are met on time and on budget. The Osborne Group follows a strict “no surprises” delivery policy. Starting with a sound project structure established at the outset of the project, our continuous reporting ensures the client understands the findings at every stage of the project. This allows for re-direction of our project team should more focused attention be required in specific areas. 

    To ensure operations throughout the organization are stable and reliable, we will help review and assess your IT infrastructure. Information Technology is a critical driver of success, helping to achieve strategic goals, increase staff productivity, manage risks and seize opportunities for organizational improvement and competitive advantages.

    Principals work with senior management, technology leaders and staff to:

    • Assess the current IT situation
    • Position IT to support and achieve organizational success
    • Show how IT can increase effectiveness of day-to-day operations
    • Effectively manage IT investments and ongoing costs

    We help to:

    • Develop strategies and plans that align technology enhancements with corporate strategy
    • Balance deliverables and expenditures to achieve maximum value from IT investments
    • Increase senior management understanding of the work and priorities of the IT function
    • Provide consistent and strategic leadership for IT staff, clients and contractors
    • Ensure the stability and availability of the technology infrastructure
    • Assess and resolve issues with projects, vendors, or technical solutions
    • Develop key performance measures