discovered Compression Planning back in 1990.
I was at a meeting held by the coordinating body for higher
education in Ohio. We were responding to a request for proposals
from the State of Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Sinclair Community College
was one of about ten colleges that came together on a Friday
afternoon. Basically, we were to put together a $3,000,000.00
grant to provide training for Job and Family Services employees
statewide, including carving 88 counties into service areas,
selecting the budget fiscal officer and the evaluator, planning
the whole thing.
Frankly, to accomplish
this on a Friday afternoon…I thought "no way this
is going to happen!" That is, until I saw the process
I was just blown away
by what the facilitator was able to accomplish in a short
period of time. We were able to do everything we'd set out
to do. After the planning session I asked the facilitator
"What is this process?" and she referred me to Jerry
I attended the training
session in 1990 and I've been using it ever since.
shortens the amount of time you invest in the planning
of a project, and you get better outcomes as well. It's true:,
it shortens the planning time, and you end up with a more
I've used it over 100
times here at the college and in the community. It's phenomenal.
People just really get engaged in the process. They can't
resist getting involved, because it's totally painless. You
get to express an opinion, and it gets spun into an idea.
Your ideas go up on the
boards in front of the group, and you participate in a democratic
fair process for the final selection.
Everyone's ideas get
heard, and the ones with the most energy rise to the surface.
I estimate we complete
projects in about a third less time with Compression
Planning. The process allows us to be one of the
most productive grants offices in the United States. There
are only two staff members in our office, and last year we
completed 182 projects.
Personally, the largest
project I've designed with Compression Planning
was a $5,000,000 proposal, which we put together as a result
of a series of sessions, and were awarded.
We use Compression
Planning in all sorts of groups with project planning.
We've used it with non-profit agencies, businesses, school
districts, and with huge universities like Purdue. Their engineering
technology division is the largest in the country. And they
turn to us to facilitate joint planning sessions for grants.
I've heard a comment
that most business meetings go as long as the highest ranking
people keep from falling asleep. When they fall asleep, the
meeting's over. Compression Planning wakes people up, physically
and mentally. It gets them involved.
Jerry McNellis is a marvelous
person. He's an extremely deep thinker, very methodical, and
compassionate. He's a genuinely wonderful person, who really
cares about his customer's success.
Planning system has revolutionized the way we do
business. It makes us much more effective as employees, and
working with our internal customers. It helps us out-compete
other colleges to get grant funding. So much so, that I've
given a number of presentations across the country on how
we do it.
Because grants offices
have learned that when they adopt this process, they become
much more effective. It gives you the competitive advantage
over anyone else who's not using it.
is definitely a formula for success."
Director of Grants Development
Sinclair Community College