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Professional Development Plan by name A Project Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for DDBA 8005 Foundations for Doctoral Business Administration Studies Dr. John House April 2010 Professional Development Part IA: Description of Personal and Professional Goals My interest in attending graduate school is a personal goal of mine. It has always been a life-long dream and self-gratification for me to obtain my doctorate. Education embodies continuous learning. It is an enabling medium that equalizes people’s opportunities for improved quality of life.

Information is power. We have to keep abreast of the ever changing fast pace staying ahead of the job market and your profession. Once I receive my doctorate degree, I would like to expand on my finance, leadership and teaching capabilities. I have been in leadership before, which was very rewarding for me. I have always wanted to teach, but never pursued it. I have conducted a few training session with regards to budgeting, which I would like to expand on. With the state of the economy, you need to have the skill set that make you marketable and diverse in this job market.

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I chose the Doctor of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership with this quote in mind “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion –Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame” (Heathfield, 2010). When I was in leadership, I tried to focus on that vision for my team with that principal statement in mind. Every day was a new experience, but a very rewarding one.

The Walden University outcomes that I believe are particularly relevant to my personal and professional goals as a DBA candidate are: * To understand and continuously develop and change themselves, the organizations in which they work, and society at large; * To be information literate, including knowing the literature of their professional fields and reading it critically; * To function flexibly and effectively in a variety of educational environments, including online and distributed environment; …[and] * To communicate effectively, particularly to communicate their learning and research to others (Walden University, 2010c).

For me to be successful, I need to build strong learning cultures, where I take ownership and responsibility for my development. It’s all about actively planning and reflecting on my development as an ongoing activity. Enhancing my own skills and knowledge, develops employability and at the same time raises my performance at my organization. These Walden University outcomes will help me to develop my leadership and management skills for future positions. Part IB: Outline and S. W. O. T. Analysis

A SWOT analysis focuses on the internal and external environments, examining strengths and weaknesses in the internal environment and opportunities and threats in the external environment. It is an examination of four domains: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths * I have my B. S in Business Administration and Master’s in Business Administration and now pursuing a Doctoral in Business Administration. * Very confident and assertive. * Good communication skills. Weaknesses * Strong needs to get things done and off my list. * Learning how to tell people “NO”. * Procrastinating to get things done. Time management skills. Opportunities * My director will be delegating some of his responsibilities to staff. I will be handling all contracts that come into the office, which will help me with other contracting opportunities. * Will learn from others in similar roles to mine. Threats * Overworking myself by taking on so many responsibilities. Part IIA: Description Educational Background Academic Experience I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s of Business Administration from Strayer University. Several classes I attended were taught in a normal classroom setting and a few on-line.

When they began to offer classes on-line, I thought it would be a challenge, but I was up for it. The online format was a little different then it is now. You actually attended class with the professor and classmates, where you could hear your professor and ask questions all online through. To know that I could take classes in the comfort of my home or office was a big plus, which accommodated for my hectic schedule. It was definitely a great experience. It has been nine years since completing my MBA. I am using my professional knowledge and skills to prepare for my doctoral studies.

In my opinion, using real on-the-job experiences vs. book knowledge works better getting me prepared of what lies ahead through this journey of courses. Volunteer Work I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Inc with a chapter in the Washington DC area. AKA is a women’s volunteer organization with 200,000 members’ worldwide that respond to the contemporary needs of the community with comprehensive non-traditional programs. In order for the chapter members to receive a tax write-off for fundraisers, we established an educational foundation for which I’m the treasurer.

I’m also the treasurer of my homeowner’s association and a scholarship fund. In my professional as a budget analyst, it has been great bringing my budget analyst skills to theses non-profit organizations. Part IIB – Research Proficiency Research is an important part of my professional and educational career. In order to be proficient in research, you need to know where to find, how to evaluate and how to use information of all kinds. With so many different types of research site, the best way to learn these skills will be to actually practice them. Research Experience

In my previous position as a team leader for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOPE VI Program, I performed a great deal of research and analysis with the HOPE VI Grant Program. There were over 200 grantees within the HOPE VI Program. The execution of the HOPE VI Quarterly Reporting Process involved significant effort and organization amongst various team members. The end result was providing HUD’s HOPE VI Program Office with quarterly progress data on the HOPE VI grantees. The HOPE VI was comprised of six distinct phases. The successful execution of each phase was largely dependent on the success of the preceding phases.

From the kick-off to closeout took no more than sixty-days with the bulk occurring prior to day forty-five. Each step, however, had a completion target date. Adhering to these targets for each phase helped to ensure the quality and timeliness of the overall process. The six distinct phases were as follows: (a) The Quarterly Kick-off, the pre-quarterly preparation and working with the grantees in preparation for data review; (b) Data Review, this consisted of all activities involved in the iterative process of reviewing grantee reports.

Each data analyst has approximately 40 grantee reports to review; (c) Quality Assurance (QA), the data analyst submitted grantee reports for QA once they have completed full data review process and received an error-free report; (d) Pre-Production, this involved ensuring the quality of all deliverables. This included making sure the proper deliverables were produced in the proper format and provided to the appropriate people; (e) Production, this included the printing, collating, QA and delivery of all deliverables; and (f) Close-out, signified the completion of the quarterly process.

The closeout occurred when all deliverables were delivered and approved by the client. The quarterly process really never ended. During the interim period, the data analyst would continue to work with their grantees with guidance in interpreting and applying the data reflected in the HOPE VI Quarterly Reports. Although, each data analyst had forty-five grantees to work with, it was a team effort. If one of the data analysts finished their data analysis with their caseload, they would help another data analyst complete theirs.

The system could not close until all the data analysts completed their caseload. It was a very tedious job. If the data analysts were responsive, worked collaboratively, performed with a sense of urgency in a timely manner and produced quality products, the success of the quality would manifest itself in a higher quality product produced for our client. The quarterly process was a constant work in progress. Aspects of the process could continually be improved upon and the process should’ve been approached from the perspective of improvement.

Arguably the most integral component to the success of the HOPE VI Quarterly Process was the role of the data analyst. If the data analyst job was properly defined and executed with the appropriate roles and responsibilities delineated within the process, the chances for a successful completion of the quarterly process were increased exponentially. Throughout the process, the only challenges were researching the historical information on the grantees before the quarter started. This process should have been added to the Pre-Quarterly process instead of the Kick-off process.

Trying to accomplish this task when the quarter began made for a longer process. I hope while completing my Doctoral of Business Administration (DBA) at Walden University, I will take a proactive approach of researching my DBA studies ahead of time and take full advantage of the research learning tools that Walden has to offer. Part IIIA Individualized Plan of Study With this individualized plan of study, I will chart my course of study to complete my Doctoral of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership.

This will be a great tool to make reference to, while staying on track with upcoming courses. As I go forth with this current program plan, I intend to update the plan of study to make it as accurate as possible. The anticipated graduation date for my Doctor of Business Administration degree is February 28, 2014. I received transfer credit for these five courses: DDBA 8110 Business Operations; DDBA 8120 Information Systems Management; DDBA 8130 Strategic Marketing; DDBA 8140 Financial Management; and DDBA 8150 Leadership.

These courses total of 15 credit hours, which is applied towards the 60 credit hours required for my degree completion. For the summer 2010 semesters, I will be registered for two courses DDBA 8160 Business Strategy and Innovation and DDBA 8427 Applied Research Methods—Qualitative and Quantitative. The next course required is DDBA 8437 Quantitative Decision-Making. I will take this course with one of the three required DBA specialization courses mentioned above. During the winter 2010 session, I will take the final two specialization courses.

There is a requirement for 20 hours of doctoral study completion courses, which will require five semesters (Walden University, 2010a). With taking no anticipated breaks within my course program, I anticipate my completion date to be winter 2012 instead of the projected date of February 2014 date. I have chosen to focus my specialization in leadership. I would also like to incorporate social impact management classes. Social impact management is becoming a critical part of contemporary business because without an understanding of this interdependency, neither business nor the society in which it operates can thrive.

In fact, this understanding is becoming increasingly more essential as private corporations grow in size and influence, and public pressure intensifies for corporations to address pressing social and environmental concerns. Within my organization, leadership is lacking considerably. My hopes with combining these two specializations that I can help enhance my organization performance and sustainability of quality employees. The doctoral study will focus on improving the District’s contracting and procurement laws and regulations. The District procures approximately $3. 5 billion by contract through approximately 21,000 contracts each year. The clear majority of this amount is procured in accordance with the law and regulations without incident. Nevertheless, a substantial portion of this amount is known to be in violation of procurement procedures, indicating a lack of controls to insure compliance with the procurement law and regulations. This will expose the problems and provide solutions to prevent or reduce this problem. There are two 4-day residencies required for the DBA degree program.

Within the DBA program, it is recommended that the first residency be completed within 90 days of completing DDBA 8005. I will complete my first residency either September 22 to 26, 2010, in Jacksonville, FL, or December 7 to 11, 2010, in Honolulu, HI (Walden residency calendar, 2010b). The second residency requirement will be taken just prior to the start or during beginning stages of the Doctoral Study Project. This is my first course to the acclamation of this doctoral program. I hope to stay the course with this program. With the intensity of this program, I will rely heavily on the help of the rofessors, classmates and academic staff to meet the standards, as I progress through this journey. It is my hope that I can transform my style of writing into scholarly writing and complete this doctoral program with Walden University. Part IIIB: Professional Interview Working in the budget office, I see first-hand all legislation on bills to become law. Some of those bills were related to procurement reform. It really was not hard for to me to narrow of DC) was notorious in the procurement community for being a challenging place to work.

There have been countless audits done by DC government and the federal government’s Government Accountability Office that unleashed significant structural and cultural problems within the district’s procurement operations. The focus of my professional interview will focus on procurement reform. David Gragan is the director of Contracting of Procurement (OCP) agency for the DC Government. To gain more insight for my research topic, “Efficiency Reform within the District of Columbia Contract and Procurements Practices, how it plans to get back on track”, I decided to interview him to gain more insight into my doctoral study research question.

He is nationally respected leader and the kind of change agent to fix one of the core supporting processes. According to David, for years the District of Columbia (DC) was notorious in the procurement community for being a challenging place to work (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). There have been countless audits done by DC government and the federal government’s Government Accountability Office that unleashed significant structural and cultural problems within the district’s procurement operations. He was hired by the Mayor of the DC to correct the things that surfaced in the GAO’s findings.

Showing his optimism, Gragan added: “When we do, I hope the cities across the country will look at Washington, DC as a model for other cities and want to study what we have done” (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). According to Gragan, one of the first things he did was issue a solicitation to hire consultants to methodically review the district’s procurement operations. The district awarded the contract to National Institute of Governmental Purchasing’s Procurement Management Assistance Program (PMAP) (D.

Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). The PMAP report gave him a fairly exhaustive list of areas for concern from a chief procurement officer’s perspective and a roadmap for reform. He knew and understood that comprehensive changes took time, but he was eager to begin making that change piece by piece. Less than three months after the PMAP review was completed, Gragan took a decisive step to fix the organization problem that has plagued district procurement for years. The PMAP report pointed to severe organizational challenges.

He began a wholesale reorganization by creating commodity teams of buyers organized according to the types of commodities that they procured rather than the types of customers that they served (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). His first major action was reorganizing the department from an agency-oriented structure to a commodity-oriented structure. According to Gragan, OCP was in the process of establishing its first citywide term contracts to replace the number of small purchase orders in a given commodity, which previously was standard operating procedure (D.

Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). Another problem in the district was the perception that procurement process lacked transparency. Gragan said the first step he took was to webcast bid openings and post them online to enable suppliers, the media and the general public to see firsthand that awards were made in accordance with the district’s protocols (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). To provide great transparency and the opportunity for collaboration, he teamed up the district’s chief procurement officer to create a home page for the district’s procurement.

The home page, which was modeled after the popular Wikipedia web site, allowed vendors to watch the pre-proposal conference, download important documents and fill out required forms. By posting the information on the web, all vendors had equal access and equal opportunity to respond. According to Gragan, some of the other issues that were plaguing the district’s procurement practices from the PMAP report were broad sole-authority, limited negotiation using GSA schedules, shifting from multiple-year term contract and frustration among the stakeholders (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010).

These issues have since been resolved. Director Gragan stated: he was striving for DC Contracting and Procurement office to be a model procurement agency. The structural advantages that OCP possesses are another cause for optimism. With 153 total staff members, overseeing $1. 7 billion in annual spending, it is in line with staffing resources in comparable government procurement organizations. Power has been centralized, so he wouldn’t have to suffer through the battles that many of his colleagues in state procurement office have had to endure to bring procurement authority back within the central procurement organizations (D.

Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010). I asked Director Gragan, what were his criteria for successful reform? He said OCP, like all district agencies, should possess four qualities: responsiveness transparency, efficiency and accountability. If we focus of these four qualities, we’ll squeeze out concerns about whether it’s honest, whether it serves its customers well and whether we’re paying competitive prices (D. Gragan, personal communication, April 13, 2010).

While district employees and taxpayers have long bemoaned the state of the district’s procurement operations, it is clear that under the leadership of Director Gragan, there is good reason to believe that DC Contracting and Procurement Agency can become the type of agency that it aspires to be, a model municipal procurement organization. References Heathfield, Susan M. (2010). Leadership Vision: Leadership Success Secrets. About. com Guide. Retrieved April 13, 2010, from About. com Website: http://humanresources. about. com/od/leadership/a/leader_vision. tm Walden University. (2010a). Walden University DBA Leadership specialization. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from Walden University Web site: http://www. waldenu. edu/Degree-Progromas/Doctorate/18427. htm Walden University. (2010b). D. B. A. Residencies. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from Walden University Web site: http://inside. waldenu. edu/c/Student_Faculty/StudentFaculty_14598. htm Walden University. (2010c). Walden University Outcomes. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from Walden University Web site: http://catalog. waldenu. edu/content. php? catoid=10&navoid=779

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