The Howegroup is a Vancouver-based boutique consulting practice with over fifteen years of experience in strategic planning, evaluation, project management, change management, stakeholder engagement and facilitation. We provide services to public and not-for-profit clients including provincial governments, health authorities, professional associations and not-for-profit organizations in British Columbia and Alberta.

The Howegroup is responsive, approachable and values long-term relationships with clients. Incorporating our extensive experience in the public sector with best practices in project management we understand the art and science behind successfully delivering projects. We have a reputation of understanding clients’ needs, applying a flexible approach and delivering projects with realistic results that move organizations forward.

We’re politically sensitive. We listen. We are responsive.

OUR SERVICES

Evaluation

The Howegroup works with organizations to understand their evaluation needs whether it be for transparency and accountability; quality improvement; discovery and learning; demonstrating value; or determining impact, to effectively design an appropriate evaluation. We ask the challenging questions on why evaluate? Why now? What do you intend to use the results for? We challenge groups to streamline their methodologies to allow for a focused and realistic evaluation. The Howegroup conducts both developmental and utilization focused evaluations and collaborates with project teams to include partners in the evaluation design. We start by developing a framework, inclusive of evaluation questions, logic models, theories of change and methodologies. Leveraging our experience and best practices we work collaboratively with teams to develop evaluation tools. The Howegroup collects and analyzes data and provides findings to clients throughout the evaluation. We are as adept in statistical analysis as we are in capturing stories to demonstrate the impact of the data. We encourage teams to review data and make meaningful changes to program and/or evaluation design to meet their objectives. We present findings clearly and make recommendations to support organizational growth and transformation.

Engagement and Facilitation

Howegroup engages stakeholders founded on constancy, transparency and willingness to listen. Our engagement is successful because stakeholders are provided the information needed for meaningful participation and assured their contributions will influence decision and direction. Differing viewpoints and diversity are brought forward from individuals and project teams. Facilitation adapts and responds resulting in collaborative decisions and collective results. Howegroup uses a facilitation style that enhances relational coordination and trust to foster lively engagement of an entire group. We structure our sessions to enhance the way the group interacts to bring about collective wisdom. We regularly move beyond brainstorming and traditional presentations in favour of more creative and participatory styles, including conversation cafes and going deep to address ‘wicked questions’.

Strategic planning

Howegroup has extensive strategic planning experience across multiple sectors. Our approach is grounded in solid group facilitation skills and best practices in governance. Our sessions are founded on and aligned with organization’s values and organizational objectives. We begin our process with an in-depth discussion with the project sponsor to understand the organizational culture, priorities and challenges and a document review. We then consult with board members and senior staff as appropriate, through mobile-friendly surveys and/or interviews. We often explore board effectiveness (and areas for improvement), achievement of strategic objectives and future directions. From here, we collaborate with the project sponsor to develop the strategic planning event which may include, but is not limited to: improving board functioning, visioning, and creating strategic objectives, specific (SMART) goals and realistic actions to achieve these goals. Strategic planning may occur over one or two days. Our final deliverable is a well-crafted, concise strategic plan that leaves members feeling energized and with a clear purpose.

Change Management

Howegroup applies a human-centred approach, using evidence to support change, framing the change initiative through sound communication and leveraging internal expertise to create the future state. For a change management strategy to be effective it must include those to be affected early in the process, consider human factors such as motivations and behaviours, address individual barriers to change and build in capacity and sustainability from the onset. We engage stakeholders to keep them apprised of key information, listen to concerns, mitigate risks by bringing issues forward and connecting stakeholders. The change management role is unique in that there is an opportunity to perform tangible activities (i.e. engagement, assessment, communication, etc.) as well as to work with project teams to bridge quantitative evidenced based data with the human perspective. We work with stakeholders to understand, at a practical level, what the impact of the transformation will be and to develop appropriate strategies to support a sustainable transition.

Project Management

The Howegroup utilizes tried and true project management processes to plan and manage projects. In addition to managing scope, timelines and budget we pay close attention to resource allocation and what this means to an organization, not only to the project. What sets us apart in our approach is how we align our work with organizational priorities. We do not manage projects in isolation but rather collaborate with organization leaders to determine how a specific project impacts the strategic goals of the organization. We project manage through an organizational development lens. We incorporate a systemic focus into our processes.

ABOUT OUR TEAM:

We bring two expert-level consultants to each project to ensure consistent, responsive service with the ability to bring in junior-level resources for administrative and supportive tasks.

WYNONA GIANNASI, MPA (FOUNDING PARTNER) is a strategist and skilled evaluator specializing in the public and not-for-profit sectors. With 15 years of experience working primarily in BC Wynona skillfully manages projects, adeptly facilitates teams, engages stakeholders, expertly synthesizes data to develop strategies to support transformation and effectively incorporates sound change management principles into her work. Wynona utilizes a unique style to engage stakeholders of all roles and brings together differing perspectives to drive organizations forward. Wynona works with senior stakeholders, industry partners, staff and users to leverage organizations’ strengths and facilitate the development of effective strategic priorities. Wynona has worked with numerous public and not-for-profit organizations in BC including the BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada, the Provincial Health Services Authority, the BC Care Providers Association, SafeCare BC, the City of Vancouver and the City of Nanaimo.

Wynona holds a Masters in Public Administration, with a specialization in performance management and evaluation, and a Bachelor of Science, both from the University of Victoria. Wynona completed the PHSA Indigenous Cultural Competency, has a certificate in change management from the UBC Sauder School of Business and is working toward a credentialed evaluator (CE) designation.  

www.linkedin.com/in/wynonagiannasi  

JENNIFER HYSTAD, MSC (PARTNER) is a facilitation/engagement specialist with expertise in change management, project management and qualitative data analysis. Jennifer has worked with agencies, health authorities and associations in Alberta and British Columbia including BC Ministry of Health, Fraser Health Authority, BC Centre for Disease Control, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and Patient Voices Network. Jennifer brings expert advice and counsel along with proven methods to ensure high quality final products that align with project purpose and organizational strategy, goals and objectives. Jennifer partners with clients to apply best practices supporting organizational change and learning.

Jennifer holds a Master of Science in Health Promotion from the school of Public Health, University of Alberta. Jennifer completed the PHSA Indigenous Cultural Competency, has a certificate in change management from the UBC Sauder School of Business and is working toward a credentialed evaluator (CE) designation.

www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-hystad