• Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

    Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

    The Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS ® (NVAR) engaged Ursa Major Consulting to provide Joomla! expertise in supporting the transition to a new website.

    A usability study and brand design was done by WM Design Group.

    Ursa Major supported the high-traffic, high-content site in Joomla! for several years before its recent transition to integrate with a membership management soution.

  • The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

    The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian

     

    The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, a law firm specializing in sexual abuse cases, required a website that was responsive to quickly post breaking news of new settlements and media coverage. It was difficult to make changes to their previous site.

    We redeployed the website and added new capabilities, including embedded video and transcripts of press conferences, and improvements to search engine optimization (SEO).

    We continue to support the Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian with site updates and improvements.

  • Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

    Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

     

    The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC, a professional membership organization, required a website that provided members with up-to-date tourist site status on mobile devices, and online event registration and payment.

    The site incorporated the ability for Guild staff and other site users to manage a calendar and event registration, upload photos to the rotator, and maintain a directory of tour company affiliate members.  The public can request tour guides, who maintain their profiles including specialties and languages spoken. 

    We  received many kudos for the Joomla! website. 

  • JMA Solutions

    JMA Solutions

     

    JMA Solutions, an award-winning government contractor, wanted a site that highlighted their corporate capabilities and awards, advertised their job openings, and provided internal forms and documents for employees.

    Ursa Major provided quick turn-around on a conversion from the old website, trained the internal site administrators, and later upgraded the site.

    More recently, Ursa Major led an internal Website Refresh group at JMA Solutions to refresh the site and provide a feature on the front page for current announcements.

  • Talltree South Condominium Association

    Talltree South Condominium Association

     

    Talltree South, an award-winning condo community association, provides its owners and tenants handbook, including rules and regulations,in searchable form via its website. Newsletters, e-mail and e-mail-to-text notices, and a window to its Google calendar are also provided to enhance communication with owners and tenants.

    Ursa Major constructed the site in Joomla! 1.5 and later upgraded it to 2.5 and then 3.x.  The content-rich site is very functional. Plans are to update its look in the coming year.

  • NOVA Housing and Supportive Services

    NOVA Housing and Supportive Services

    The Virginia Housing and Supportive Services' Northern Virginia Regional Implementation Team (NoVA RIT) educates individuals, families and service providers about integrated, independent housing and housing resources. 

    Ursa Major Consulting created its Housing Resource Guide website. The Resource Guide incorporates a database on apartment complexes, housing resources and programs, and provides videos and webinars as part of a toolkit to help individuals move to independent housing.

    The site was created using Joomla! and associated components. New housing resources and programs can be submitted for approval by members of the public and administered by the NoVA RIT.

     

  • Delta Consulting Group

    Delta Consulting Group

    Delta Consulting Group, an international consulting firm, needed a new website that featured its professionals.

    Delta's experts provide consulting and expert witness services in delay, damage and defects analysis, forensic accounting, loss of productivity, and related services on multifaceted litigation and arbitration cases around the world. 

    Their professionals consult on project controls, construction audits, planning and scheduling, and budget analysis.

    Ursa Major developed the website using Joomla 3, using Zoo for the directory of professionals.  Their content is administered by an in-house staff, supported by Ursa Major as needed.

     

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We are pleased to announce that we are assisting Virginia Industries for the Blind (VIB) with their strategic planning effort.

VIB is is a division of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI), and provides employment opportuniities for Virginians who are blind or visually impaired in two manufacturing plants, eleven base supply stores, and six service locations. They have diverse contracts with federal agencies through the AbilityOne Program (e.g., contract management and closeout services for the U. S. Army), contracts through State Agency agreements such as  the Virginia Court Debt Collection Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia Employment Commission, and manufacture items as diverse as mattresses for the U. S. Navy and state colleges and universities and reflective vests for the Virginia Department of Trnsportation.

Given the improvements in assistive technology and more ambitious expectations of young people who are blind and people who lose their sight after gaining work experience, VIB is exploring ways to attract workers who are looking for more than traditional product manufacturing. In fact, some of VIB's experienced contract closeout employees have already been hired by the government, which is quite a successful outcome for those people.

We look forward to helping VIB plan the modernization of its business to meet the evolving needs of people who are blind or vision impaired.

 

 

Published in Ursa Major News

Strategic Plan CoverUrsa Major's approach to strategic planning services is (1) tailored, (2) informed, (3) collaborative, (4) effective, and (5) focused.  We regularly team with International Leadership Consulting / Catoctin Consulting and provide an experienced team to facilitate consensus on goals, objectives, strategies, performance measures and targets, and reflect the business knowledge of the organization and its stakeholders that participate in the process.

  1. Tailored.  We understand the specific needs of the organization, and tailor the methodology to meet their needs.
    We have extensive experience with a number of frameworks, including brainstorming, creative problem solving, the Balanced Scorecard, performance-based budgeting and the logic model.
  2. Informed.  We analyze the current state of the organization compared with existing strategic and business plans, and the external environment, review perforamnce results, and interview key stakeholders to conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, and possible goal areas. We may do data mining or trend analysis of performance data or conduct gap analyses.
  3. Collaborative. We conduct design meeting(s) with the organization's planning team and plan group and stakeholder participation to develop buy-in through facilitated collaboration. We tap into existing experience of diverse stakeholders and obtain cross-organizational input.
  4. Effective.  We have an extensive set of field-tested tools and templates and may develop strawman plans to speed the process. We use non-threatening techniques and small group work to draw out those who may be reluctant to speak, honor everyone's participation, and focus the discussion. We use technology where appropriate.
  5. Focused. We design and facilitate meetings and workshops to achieve objectives. We document meeting results and support the organization in implementation, assessment, and performance management.
Published in Strategic Consulting

Interview in OfficeWhen we undertake an organizational assessment, we select the appropriate tools and techniques to meet the specific objectives. We may use interviews, surveys, assessment instruments, and/or facilitated workshops.

Our team includes several consultants with PhDs who specialize in survey research and ensuring the validity of results. We design instruments and administered surveys using a variety of techniques, including web-based and email surveys.

We have conducted analyses and studies covering a wide variety of objectives and methodologies – program evaluation, strategic planning, need assessment, communications research, marketing research, segmentation, demographic research, concept tests, customer/patient satisfaction, qualitative research, and litigation support studies.

For example, we recently met with department managers and key staff of an organization trying to automate its case management functions, to determine how to "break the logjam" and help them get their implementation on track. We identified key "critical path" requirements to be researched with vendors and applied project management techniques to bring structure to the process going forward.  We are convinced that the right solution will greatly reduce redundant work, improve planning and scheduling, and overall allow the organization to continue expansion with less stress on its staff.  We really enjoy the chance to help take an organization to the next level!

Published in Strategic Consulting
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