Organizational Effectiveness

ERG helps environmental, resource management, and public health clients build robust and resilient organizations and programs; fulfill their vision, mission, and goals; and achieve lasting outcomes. Our services span the full continuous improvement cycle—from planning and implementation to evaluation and learning. Through our work over the past 20+ years, we have increased the effectiveness and capacity of over 100 organizations—including federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, universities, and research institutions. In all our projects, we collaborate with our clients—and where appropriate engage their stakeholders and partners—to develop strategies and systems for enhancing effectiveness, durability, and impact. For example, we facilitate visioning and planning processes, and equip clients with knowledge and tools for strategic decision-making and transformation. We design and strengthen governance structures, institutional arrangements, and operational strategies. To provide a foundation for improvement, we facilitate development of monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans and conduct neutral, valid, and reliable evaluations to assess effectiveness and impact. Then we facilitate organizational learning and support clients in developing strategies to improve future performance.

Strategic Planning
  • Systems and network mapping and landscape assessments
  • Needs assessments
    • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses
    • Political and demographic trend analyses, including power mapping
    • Design and facilitation of strategic planning meetings and retreats
    • Development of comprehensive strategic plans
    • Programmatic exit strategies
    Lean and Six Sigma Process Analyses
    • Process mapping, including developing swim lane diagrams
    • Value stream mapping
    • Cause-and-effect analyses, including fishbone diagramming and "5 whys"
    • Failure mode effects analyses
    • House of quality/quality function deployment analyses
    • Statistical process control analyses
    • Voice of customer surveys
    Operations and Governance
    • Feasibility and alignment of new organizational and corporate structures and institutional arrangements
    • Design of governance structures and organizational frameworks based on best practice models
    • Operational plans to facilitate growth, enhance capacity, and prioritize needs
    • Analysis and tools to support strategic data-based decision-making
    • Executive and board transitions
    • Assessment of performance and workflow to improve efficiency and effectiveness
    • Training, tools, and systems to build human resource capacity
    • Staff recruitment support and due diligence
    • Mergers and restructuring, including for-profit and nonprofit corporate structures and hybrids
    • Communication strategies, branding, and products to support organizational effectiveness
    Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
    • Developmental, formative, real-time, and summative evaluations of organizations, portfolios, programs, and projects
    • Development of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) metrics
    • Frameworks and tools to assess and measure contribution, causality, and success/impact
    • Program evaluation and performance measurement
      • Effectiveness studies
      • Systems change
      • Customer satisfaction studies
      • Feasibility studies and pilot programs
      • Impact analyses
      • Network and contribution analyses
      • Return on investment and financial and benefit-cost analyses
      • Budget and performance integration studies
      • Lookback reviews and retrospective analyses
    • Learning sessions for staff and partners on progress, best practices, and lessons learned
    • Methods for improving performance and enhancing success through adaptive management
    Stakeholder and Partner Support
    • Partner identification and recruitment
    • Development of strategies to build buy-in and foster productive relationships
    • Meeting design and facilitation
    • Consensus building, including development of consensus documents
    • Development of partnership strategies and agreements
    • Development of public-private partnerships
    • Comprehensive support for federal and state partnership programs
    • Design and production of branding and communication materials
    Funding and Long-Term Financing
    • Identification of potential new funding sources
    • Design of sustainable financing mechanisms
    • Feasibility analyses of potential alternative revenue streams
    • Fundraising strategies (including donor databases, donor capacity and prioritization, target ask amounts, timelines, and logistics)
    • Concept documents and cultivation strategies for approaching new donors and funding streams
    • Training and technical assistance to enhance funding and financing strategies
    • Institutional arrangements, effective governance models, and operating procedures for ensuring proper management and delivery of funds
    Digital Transformation
    • Business process mapping
    • Alignment of systems to optimize delivery of organizational objectives
    • Digital products and services to support organizational effectiveness
    • Design and implementation of advanced data analytics systems

    Projects

    Male veteran on a phone at a work desk with an American flag in the background.
    Using Lean Six Sigma to Improve Support for U.S. Veterans

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Woman facilitating a meeting, with a whiteboard in the background
    Stakeholder Facilitation for California’s Wildlife Action Plan

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Coastal Quest

    African child in a rural African setting, holding a bagged plant ready for planting.
    Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

    Global Environment Fund

    Drenched walkway with palm trees with fronds blown sideways by wind at a Gulf Coast beachside area during a substantial storm.
    Evaluating NOAA’s Coastal Storms Program in the Gulf of Mexico

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    Two men standing side by side over an office table carefully examine the contents of a document open on the table.
    FDA Data Analysis and Search Host (DASH)

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Aerial view of rocky California coastline
    Enhancing Management of California’s Marine Protected Area Network

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Ocean Protection Council, Coastal Quest, Resources Legacy Fund

    View from the rear of a seated group in a large room where a presentation with slides is being delivered by a speaker at a podium.
    Support for Organizational Climate Survey

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Commercial fishing boats moored in an Alaskan harbor
    Ocean Conservation Strategic Funding Initiatives: A Study of Successes and Lessons Learned

    The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

    Miner drilling into rock face in a mine.
    Using Lean Six Sigma to Protect Miner Health and Safety

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Close-up showing the hands of a person inspecting a netted ocean fish catch
    Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Marine Conservation Program in Belize

    The Wildlife Conservation Society

    Aerial view of four freight trucks on a highway and off-ramp
    Strategic Plan to Guide the SmartWay Transport Partnership

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Aerial view of a lagoon in the Caribbean Sea
    Sustainable Financing and Operations to Conserve Caribbean Marine and Coastal Environments

    Anonymous International Nonprofit Organization, Coastal Quest, Henry Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

    Close-up of FDA-regulated medication pills on a mirror
    Assessing the Effectiveness of an Innovative FDA Drug Review Program

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Small group wading in and examining shallow coastal water with ring nets
    Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

    University of California, Davis, Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

    Aerial view of houses, shoreline, and ocean along the U.S. coast.
    Evaluating the NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Stakeholder Services

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    View from a path in Lands End park in San Francisco, looking over coastal water with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance
    Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Regional Conservation Program

    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


    Service Area Leads

    Photo of Jan Connery

    I feel profoundly fortunate to have been with ERG throughout our journey from a handful of employees in 1984 to several hundred today. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done these past 30+ years or more inspired to work every day with such great colleagues and clients. My work is just as fulfilling and vibrant to me now as the day I started.

    Jan Connery

    Linda Diamond

    My greatest professional satisfaction has been working with tremendously dedicated colleagues and clients to design, develop, and implement technology solutions for some of our most pressing  environmental, health, and safety challenges. 

    Linda Diamond

    Tegan Churcher Hoffmann

    Sustainable resource management and conservation is about people, communities, and social institutions and their interactions with each other and changing environmental conditions. I am passionate about working with people and organizations to help them design and implement durable, effective solutions that create meaningful positive outcomes.

    Tegan Churcher Hoffmann

    Kelsey Jacobsen

    Synthesizing multifaceted ideas into focused, streamlined products is the work I enjoy most. For strategic planning, evaluations, and more, we gather information from many sources, including interviews, interactive meetings, and the web. The value we provide is to weave that information into a crisp, useable package to help move our clients forward, which ultimately benefits our oceans, coasts, and natural resources.

    Kelsey Jacobsen

    Jennifer Lam

    The most rewarding part of my work is being able to help our clients from behind the scenes, reflect on their impact, and find ways to become more effective and successful at conserving and protecting the world we live in.

    Jennifer Lam

    Lou Nadeau

    Agencies tend to manage what can be readily measured, but with a large toolbox of analytical and data collection techniques and some creativity, so much more is possible! I am proud and inspired to apply my program evaluation and economic valuation expertise to help agencies manage better—by providing them with valid, reliable data to enhance decision-making and by effectively communicating this information to my clients, their stakeholders, and upper management. 

    Lou Nadeau

    Valerie Overton

    In today’s world, pioneering innovative solutions requires collaboration between subject experts, information technologists, and communicators. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is built around that concept and has empowered me to propose forward-looking ideas and develop cutting-edge solutions to meet our clients’ present and future needs.

    Valerie Overton

    Diana Pietri

    Designing solutions for sustainable environmental conservation and management efforts is a constantly challenging, yet rewarding, endeavor. I love collaborating closely with our clients to discover and develop strategies to promote environmental sustainability—including defining priorities for grant-making and identifying innovative methods such as best practices for coastal and ocean planning.

    Diana Pietri