Saturday, February 14, 2015

Project Management 101

Our motto is, We Serve!  And there's few that do it better than Lions!  We line up to help at every activity, wherever there's a need, we're there.  But secretly we're thinking, how much longer before I need to come up with a project to lead....?

For many, SERVING brings a fear (a reluctance?) of having to lead a project at some point.  There's the fear of not knowing what to do or how to do it.  And what if the project goes bad, then what?  What if it's a failure?

These are all valid fears and even the most experienced project manager will have them.  But if you go in prepared, with goals and a timeline for what needs to be done and by when, chances are good things will go smoothly.

If you haven't attended any LCI on-line webinars yet, Managing a Service Project would be a good start.  What is "project management?"  It's a process of strategic planning and organization of the successful completion of a project or an event.  Ugh.  But SERIOUSLY, what is it???  It's having a goal, knowing your timeline for getting things done, having your team in place using their skills to your advantage.  It's being flexible when something doesn't go the way you think it should and it also means having a backup plan for those times.  Basically, it's being prepared.

First, select the right service project:

  1. Determine the needs in our community.  We can do that by filling out the Community Needs Assessment Form.
  2. Ask ourselves, does it align with LCI's PURPOSES?  
  3. Ask, can it be completed?  Will you have the people, expertise, and funds to make it successful?  Be realistic.  
Second, define the project.  What will it include and what will it accomplish?
  1. What's the purpose of the project, the "why"?
  2. What are the goals -- "a prettier town."
  3. What are the deliverables?  Define a team member for each goal.
  4. Have a completion/event date.  Have a timeline and sub-timelines for each deadline.  Identify what consequences may occur and how you can prevent them from happening.  The better you are at defining the project, the better the completion date will be met.  Make sure every team member knows their deadlines. 
Third, make your plan.  Create a map of how to proceed. The majority of your time spent on this project should be spent on planning.  This is vital.  You must identify the who, what, where, when, and how.  Prioritizing must differentiate from the "must do's" with the "nice to have's." 
  1. Identify critical risks, the "what if's."  Anticipate problems and have a backup plan.  
  2. Develop your timeline, your budget, your deadlines, and your plan for risks.  If you're having trouble with your timeline, start from the due date and work backwards.  
  3. Assemble your project team, your committees -- logistics, food, advertising, etc. -- considering skills of each member.  But work as a team.  
  4. Define the role of different team members, Communicate with your team.
Fourth, execute your plan.
  1. Monitor progress based on your timeline and deadlines.  Discuss, review status reports, make sure you're within budget.  Frequent communication is vital.  
  2. Make adjustments when necessary.  Have a Plan B in place.  
Fifth, evaluate the project once it's complete.  Bring out "the book" that has all the details and determine successes and failures and whys.  This book should have all the details in it.  
  1. Review your results.  Did it go according to plan?  Did it come in under budget?  What were the successes and the failures?  How accurate were your timeline dates?  
  2. Analyze overall success.  What worked and what didn't.
  3. Document lessons learned for next year.  
  4. Celebrate!  Have a social!  Thank everyone on the team!  Prepare a certificate of appreciation!  Put a press release in the paper, highlight your event with LCI pr share with your district.  
Mostly, have fun!  For every risk, there's a solution.  Be prepared and organized, have your timeline in place, all the details written down, questions answered, and your project should be a success every time!  

We Serve!
Lion Nancy 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Aubrey's Big Adventure

Recently, our club was approached by a local mom asking for financial assistance to help her three year old daughter who was diagnosed with Intermittent Exotropia and required eye surgery to prevent vision loss.  

Here's her story....   
This is Aubrey.  She's three year's old and loves pink, bunny blankets, and playing with baby dolls. She is active in ballet and is a kind, snuggly little girl.  A year ago, while driving into town for hot chocolate and coffee with her mom, it was noticed that her left eye was looking out the window while her right eye was looking back at the rear view mirror.  A trip to the eye doctor diagnosed her with Intermittent Exotropia which means that her eyes drift outward.  

Over the last few weeks, Aubrey started to complain about seeing "two daddies."  A call to Children's Hospital had her packing to go south to Seattle sooner than originally scheduled.  An eye exam was scheduled and here's where Aubrey's Big Adventure begins.  

Aubrey takes a plane ride:  

At the exam with her Lion stuffed animal.  Lions stand for strength and courage and little Aubrey will need both in the coming months as she faces her surgery and recovery.  

Even though her her eyes might be going in opposite directions and appear to be getting worse, her vision is good and the exotropia can be fixed by removing layers of eye tissue, disconnecting the muscle, and then reattaching.  

After a three and a half hour eye exam, an eye patch was put in place.  

Suzan had this to say about Aubrey's Big Adventure:  
Aubrey and I traveled down to Children’s Hospital in Bellevue to meet with Dr. Francine M. Baran to learn more about Aubrey’s condition and her surgical needs.  At the appointment we learned that Aubrey has normal vision for her age.  She is however very right eye dominate.  In one of the photos above they patched her eye for a while to break up the dominance so they could measure her right eye in terms of how many prisms her right eye turns.  In January 2014 she was at a 10 prism distance in both eyes about 30% of the time.  Fast forward a year she has gone out to a 30 70% which requires eye muscle surgery.  We felt that her outward turn was getting worse in the last month and found out at the appointment that it has and she is now between a 40-45 90% of the time.  We also learned that beside an outward turn she is also experiences a vertical up and down error as well.   Good news is that we are scheduled for her first surgery March 23rd.  We will be seen again for an evaluation with a surgical specialist on the 17th of March.  We will need to stay in the Seattle area from March 23rd to April 1st.   If everything goes well we be able to return home.   She will them be see again in two months to evaluate the success of her surgery and decide what the next step in her treatment will be and if she will need another surgery.

A very special thanks for the support!!!!  We are huge lion fans and tell everyone of your kindness and generosity to our Aubie. 

Here we are, Lion Mike N. presenting a check from the Mendenhall Flying Lions to Suzan and Sloan for $3,000 to assist with Aubrey's expenses.  The Joint Sight Committee also committed $1,000.  

Please keep  Aubrey and her family in your thoughts during this Big Adventure.  

And this is why we do what we do.... We'll share updates as we get them. 

We Serve!
Lion Nancy

First Induction of 2015

We're all so busy in our real lives, that it's always nice when we can gather together and celebrate.  

And that's just what we did Saturday night.  

Of course, we combined business with pleasure as Lion Donna Hurley was inducted as Vice President.  Lion Becky Allison stepped down as Secretary recently due to personal reasons, and Lion Nancy Norton stepped into the Secretary position, leaving the Vice President position open.  

We appreciate that Lion Donna stepped up and stepped into this position for the remainder of the year.

We also had the pleasure of inducting our two newest members, Lions Hari Dev and Mukhya Khalsa. 

Lion Allen Butner is their sponsor and a great mentor to them!  

A huge thanks to Lions Bob and Donna Hurley for opening their home and providing such a wonderful spread of good foods.  Course, we brought some pretty good dishes as well.  One thing we do well is cook!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Free Vision Screening

This is our quiet time of the year and because being idle is never a good thing, we’ve come up with a new idea…. offer free vision screening at the Mall… just because.

Typically all our vision screening is done at health fairs and pre-school and elementary schools.  But one day we received a phone call from a mom whose child missed the screening at pre-school and asked if we ever did one-on-ones.  No, we don’t.  But why not?  Why can’t we set up at the Mall or some other public location and see if we catch any kids that we normally wouldn't catch or those we missed?

We will use every avenue of free advertising available to us:  We submitted this story to the Juneau Empire and will hang posters around town, at schools, and work places; we will submit a piece to Taku 105 which provides free air time for non-profits, and the Juneau Empire on-line.

This is an experiment we’re willing to try as vision screening is our priority.  And if the schools won’t let us come to them…. maybe the parents will come to us.  Stay tuned!

We Serve!
Lion Nancy