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first_imgThe most impactful work in a new branch project takes place before design and construction even begin. Over the years we’ve seen that a clear definition of the purpose of a new branch project together with the early, consistent communication of that purpose are the two biggest indicators of a successful outcome. Think about a project where the goal is to build a branch, but the project leader hasn’t clearly defined the requirements necessary to make that branch successful: They hire an architect to design the branch, but at the 95% design check-in the team hates it. There’s confusion around the branch’s features and design choices and a lot of energy is focused on discussing relatively small details. Larger questions, whether or not untethered personal technology will support improved operational efficiency, for example, don’t even surface because these goals were never established in context with the project. The project leader takes the team’s comments back to the designer, but the process falls into a cycle of trial and error that results in overspending, delays, and a finished product that the team isn’t really satisfied with. Ultimately, the project leader may not be sure that the new branch performs any better than the one it replaced, and is hard pressed to justify the time and money the credit union has just invested. But there’s a better way. We’d like to share a five step process to align both internal and external team members around not just their individual contributions, but a shared vision of overall project success. You’ll engage your team, establish the purpose driving this branch project, define and prioritize a clear set of requirements, strategically integrate your external partners, and create a change management plan that people will get excited about. Step 1: Engage Your Team Start out by creating open channels of communication among the stakeholders and focusing on gathering input from your team. Not only will people get excited about a project that they have a say in, the collective knowledge of your organization is a powerful asset that you can use as a resource throughout the project. Even if you have a clear vision in mind for your project, opening the door to contributions and input from your team is a powerful way to win them over to your side.  Step 2: Find your Purpose All too often the process kicks off with “we need a branch” and misses that one word critical to setting a project on the right path: “why?”If you design a branch as the discrete solution to your need, without consideration of the strategic outcomes you hope to achieve through your branch, you’re unlikely to end up with a design or strategy that fulfills your organizational goals and may fall into the trap of designing by trial and error. But if you clearly define and document your purpose from the very start of the project, every stage of the project can be focused around fulfilling that purpose. It becomes a shared goal among all of the stakeholders.Step 3: Develop your Requirements Work with your team to brainstorm the requirements for the project that will ensure you fulfill the branch’s purpose. Keeping with the theme of “why?”, make sure you don’t jump right into brainstorming what features you need! Instead, think about your objectives for the branch. Features can be developed during the design phase to fulfill requirements. Bad requirement: We need a tech bar. Good requirement: We need a way to educate members on our mobile platform. Keep your requirements objective driven and explore as many ideas as possible. When you finish, sort them into Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won’t Have categories (a MoSCoW list). Step 4: Bring Partners on Board Align your external team members around your goals by looking for partners rather than vendors. Think about when and how they can be integrated into your project not just for their part of the work, but when their expertise can have the most impact on the project. During planning and strategy discussions your partners can provide both valuable insights and reality checks. For example, when making design decisions a construction manager could let your team know the impact that these choices will have on the cost and schedule.  Step 5: Plan for Lasting ChangeChange often sparks resistance, but engaging your team and getting everyone aligned towards a common goal doesn’t have to be a battle! You’ve already gained team member buy-in by engaging stakeholders in the planning process. Take this a step further by establishing a project sponsor who will build enthusiasm around the project, communicate how new policies, staffing models, and processes will be carried out, and support branch staff with the training they need. Make sure there is a plan in place to follow up at ninety days and six months after project completion. Kick Off Your Project the Right Way Following this process requires more work up front, but the effort pays dividends when the design, construction, and operation of the branch all run smoothly. Construction projects have a reputation for being challenging and stressful, but with the right level of preparedness they can be something that your team looks forward to. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jay Speidell Jay Speidell is the Marketing Manager at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: www.momentumbuilds.com Detailslast_img read more


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Rail Road fares will increase an average of 4 percent over the next two years starting March 22, with LIRR fare hikes of more than 6 percent for some riders.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board also approved Thursday toll increases on some major crossings, fare hikes on Metro-North Railroad and upped New York City bus and Subway fares by 25 cents, bringing the new cost to $2.75 per trip.“The board has chosen options with lower increases for our most frequent customers,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement.For example, LIRR riders who buy monthly or weekly passes will see fares increase less than 4.25 percent and some will see fares go up 2.2 percent, officials said. Riders who buy one-way or round-trip tickets will see a bigger percent of their price jump when buying tickets.A one-way peak LIRR ticket from Babylon to Penn Station that currently costs $14.75 will go up 50 cents, to $15.25 and off-peak tickets for the same trip will increase 25 cents, to $11. A weekly pass for that same rider will go up $4.25, to $108.25 and a monthly pass will spike $13, to $338.Likewise, city straphangers who buy 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards will see the cost increase 4 percent, or $4.50, to $116.50, which is the equivalent of a 10-cent hike per ride when factoring increased bonus trips added on such bulk purchases, according to the MTA. Those who buy 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards will see fares go up $1, to $31, or 3.3 percent.Tolls will also go up 50 cents—from $7.50 to $8—for drivers crossing the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel and Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. The only crossing going up $1 is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, from $15 to $16.MTA officials have said the fare and toll hikes were required to balance the agency’s budget amid rising operating costs. The transit agency said that it has also cut more than $1.billion in annual spending.last_img read more


first_imgPRESIDENT of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), Fizul Bacchus, has hailed the performance of the Essequibo team in their just-concluded Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Franchise League three-day campaign.Bacchus, who is also the acting president of the GCB, said in an exclusive interview yesterday that the team has definitely defied the odds and at the same time proved many people wrong.“The entire Essequibo is proud of their performance. You guys have played excellent cricket … you have defied the odds, and at the same time proved many people wrong,” Bacchus said.The Essequibo Franchise played some phenomenal cricket throughout the seven-week tournament, and truly deserved the results. The achievement landed Essequibo their maiden title.Captain Anthony Adams led from the front, and was voted the best all-rounder and Most Valuable Player-in-the-tournament.However, Bacchus disclosed that the performance has definitely witnessed the growth and promise of a number of young, talented players.“During the tournament, they gave proof of their ability to function and perform,” he noted.Further the ECB president acknowledged the work of head coach Michael Franco Hyles and assistant coach Ryan Hercules.“It is never easy coaching a team with players from different areas, different backgrounds, different cultures and different playing styles. That didn’t stop you guys from getting the best out of the players. Your job did not go unnoticed at any time, and indeed you guys have done a miraculous job for the team,” Bacchus was quoted on the Essequibo Cricket Board Facebook page.On the other hand, Bacchus pointed out that the competition has definitely boosted the development of the game and players in the Cinderella County.“The Franchise cricket has definitely changed the image of the game in Essequibo. As I said before, this Franchise League is the way forward, not only for Essequibo cricket, but cricket in general,” Bacchus said.Bacchus further indicated that the quality of the game will continue to improve under this professional franchise set-up.The league replaced the traditional Inter-county competition, and comprises eight Franchise teams countrywide.Meanwhile, the League will be streamlined to feed into the Cricket Guyana Inc. (CGI) contract and academy offers, as well as Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League Four-day competition and the Regional Super50.last_img read more


first_imgView Gallery (2 Photos)Clearly, Andy North knew what he was doing in selecting his team for Sunday’s Red-White Scrimmage in front of a large crowd that filled much of the lower bowl at the Kohl Center.Home court advantage may have had something to do with it as well.The two-time U.S. Open winner, current ESPN golf analyst and longtime Wisconsin basketball enthusiast — who paid for the Badgers’ new home court prior to the 2008-09 season — coached his White squad to a 45-36 victory over the Steve Stricker-coached Red team.While golfers North and Stricker coached his players, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan got the chance to provide color commentary during the radio broadcast of the game.“It’s just a great opportunity,” Ryan said of the scrimmage. “If I could tell you how many people thanked us for doing this because they can’t get tickets to the games — that’s one of the main reasons (we do it).”Although the game was tied four times, it was clear throughout that White was in control. North’s roster included senior guards Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes as well as junior forward Keaton Nankivil and redshirt freshman guard/forward Ryan Evans.Nankivil led White with a game-high 13 points while shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. The Madison native also added seven rebounds.Bohannon also scored in double digits for White, adding 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 2-for-3 on 3-point attempts. He also dished out a pair of assists.The star of the game, however, was Evans.Rocking a Fresh Prince-esque flat top hairstyle after sitting out all of the 2008-09 season, the Phoenix native stole the show with seven points and eight rebounds, including a pair of impressive dunks in the second half.“I’m a little more old school at heart, so it’s something I like to do,” Evans said of his look. “Just being able to play with my team, being able to get out there and run, being able to see the floor again — it felt real good.”North was happy to see success out of Evans for his White squad, as well as several other young players.“Ryan played well, and he’s been playing well in practice,” North said. “It’s nice for people to see (Jared) Berggren and Ryan and some of the guys they haven’t had a chance to see.”Evans’ eight rebounds were a game-high, an impressive statistic for a player listed at just 6-foot-6 going up against 7-footer Ian Markolf and the 6-foot-10 Berggren.The rebounds came because of Evans’ effort on the court Sunday, something Ryan expects of all his players.“Well, he’s here on scholarship to play basketball; why wouldn’t he hustle?” Ryan said of Evans. “That’s what our guys do. … He’s a guy that’s so raw, and I don’t know what it’s going to be like this year, but down the road, Ryan Evans has a great chance of contributing to the team.”On the other side, Stricker’s Red squad was led by sophomore guards Rob Wilson and Jordan Taylor as well as juniors Tim Jarmusz and Jon Leuer at guard and forward, respectively.And while the world’s No. 3 golfer was happy with the players on his roster, he was not around when the teams were chosen.“It’s always tough to lose to Andy, but we didn’t get any calls — that’s what I’m going to blame it on,” Stricker said. “But he picked the team that he wanted to coach before I even got here, so I don’t think that’s too fair.”Wilson, who was 4-of-11 from the field, including 2-for-3 from long distance en route to a team-high 10 points, led the Red team offensively.Jarmusz, Berggren and Leuer also contributed to the Red offensive attack, adding seven, six and five points, respectively. Leuer and Jarmusz each added a three-pointer for Red, which went 4-for-11 from beyond the arc in the game.Leuer struggled from the floor, though, hitting just 2-of-12 shots and 1-of-5 from three-point range. He still played 34 minutes in the game, tying Nankivil for a game high.As a result of the loss, Stricker lost the bet between he and North.“He just said you owe me dinner at the end,” Stricker said. “I don’t know how that worked, but it was a gas. We had a good time. Gary (Close) wanted me to call a play (but) I couldn’t pull the trigger; I couldn’t come up with anything.”North’s coaching style was similar, but he argued it was his occasional insight that helped White come out on top.“I just tried not to get a technical; I managed not to get a technical this year,” North said. “We talked over some strategy, (and) it worked out well, look at the scoreboard.”last_img read more

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