Innovation Process Design Quarterly Newsletter September 2022

Author: leekuntz

Innovation Process Design Quarterly Newsletter September 2022

September 22, 2022 | 12:00 pm

Success story: Implement ACH processes to ease pain and deliver more impact in the community

Situation: A nonprofit organization knew they needed to implement ACH to serve their community because checks were taking up to two weeks to get to the grantee. Now their busy season was coming up. Was this nonprofit going to keep hampering their community impact because they could not pay their grantees in a timely fashion?

Approach: The chief financial officer called me, as I had helped others implement ACH quickly and successfully. I provided the team with IPD’s four-hour Think Differently Process Transformation Training™ to build skills and will to change how work is done. Then I coached an eight-person cross-organizational team through a 24 hour deep dive to design their new ACH process and outline their implementation plan.

Results: The team successfully reduced both the labor required and the turnaround time to get payments out the door. Now, two months later, they now poised to make their busy season less painful and to serve their community faster and better. See a process deep dive happen:

IPD Process Deep Dive Experience Video

This year, plan to succeed! Use process improvement to transform outcomes

Is your organization planning and budgeting for the next fiscal year? Are you tired of fighting the same pain points year after year, such as overwhelming workloads, demands for better or faster results, or challenges to maximize costly technology? During this year’s budgeting and planning season, consider investing in process transformation to recapture capacity and solve pain points.

This Year, Plan to Succeed!

Redesigning the grant process with effectiveness in mind

Rapid growth can create challenges for community foundations, leading to missed deadlines and poor quality. Learn how one organization enlisted me to help them understand their pain points and redesign processes with an eye to improve efficiencies, change systems, and build skills and will to support a more unified team.

Redesigning the Grant Process with Effectiveness in Mind case study link

Installing a new software system?

A process map will create better outcomes for your organization

Recently, a software vendor told me that organizations considering a new software system would do well to supply their vendor with a detailed process map. Having such a map helps the vendor better address the organization’s needs and generate a more accurate quote. In four hours of work with your team, I can produce a process map that will help you achieve a better software outcome. Contact me to learn more.

Hear me speak

Change for Good: Improve How Work is Done to Solve Pain Points and Recapture Capacity

December 1, 2022 @ 1:00 pm–2:30 pm EST
This presentation is a Midwest Series Webinar sponsored by the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, Philanthropy Ohio, and the Council of Michigan Foundations. Members of any of these organizations are invited to register for this presentation with their organization.

Learn more: About Midwest Series Webinar.

 

Redesigning the Grant Process with Effectiveness in Mind

August 18, 2022 | 9:19 am

Rapid growth can create challenges for community foundations, leading to missed deadlines and gaps in quality. Learn how one organization enlisted Lee Kuntz to help them understand their pain points and redesign processes with an eye to improve efficiencies, change systems, and build skills and will to support a more unified team.

Redesigning the Grant Process with Effectiveness in Mind case study link

 

This Year, Plan to Succeed!

July 26, 2022 | 8:29 am

Use Process Improvement to Transform Outcomes.

Is your organization planning and budgeting for the next fiscal year? Are you tired of fighting the same pain points year after year, such as overwhelming workloads, demands for better or faster results, or challenges to maximize costly technology? During this year’s budgeting and planning season, consider investing in process transformation to recapture capacity and solve pain points.

Create a Plan that Succeeds

This is planning and budgeting season for about 30% of the organizations I know. Even with today’s unusual times, many are creating concrete plans and budgets to solve their pain points this year and beyond. If they do not, organizations will experience the same old pain and frustration they have in the past.

Organizations that help and serve others are recapturing hundreds—even thousands—of hours of capacity. They are serving their customers, community, board, funders, and donors in half the time. They are retaining employees. Their secret? Investing to transform processes and results.

Most of us have done process improvement. We have tweaked processes and resolved breaks. Some organizations are taking their improvement work to a transformational level. They are cutting their work steps in half and delivering to their key partners in fraction of the time. They are freeing up thousands of staff hours that can be used for other purposes

These organizations budget for an investment in process transformation training and coaching during their annual plan. Here are the results they are achieving.
•    Recapturing over 4,000 work hours.
•    Sharing services across functions.
•    Maximizing expensive technology.
•    Remaining error-free for 3 years.
•    Delivering to customers in half the time.

Does it work? In a survey of process redesign results, our customers cut their process work steps by 52%, improving quality and speed while recapturing time. Figure 1 illustrates the before and after steps of several organization’s redesigned processes.

Figure 1: Process Change with Process Transformation

In addition to achieving this enviable result, these leaders are committed to building a culture of ongoing improvement. They can easily fix and improve any process and result because they have learned the tools to see and solve transformation opportunities. Their employees are fully invested in the process transformation game because they have been involved as stakeholders since the inception of the training.

Here is a case study about one team’s journey: Case Study: Community Foundation Creates Powerful Scholarship Program

 Invest in Building Process Improvement Muscle

Leaders are bringing the story of process transformation to their organizations’ annual planning discussions. Yet a common question is: What does the initial investment consist of?

The initial investment in transformational process improvement includes two components: dedicated staff time for learning and implementing new approaches and out-of-pocket costs for training and coaching.

A typical employee will spend between 5 and 40 hours annually doing successful process transformation.

The out-of-pocket cost of the training and coaching depends upon the amount, level, and number of hours needed. Our training to help teams think and act differently includes our live online or onsite 4-hour Concepts and our 4-hour Tools think differently process transformation training. After the training, we coach your team either onsite or live online to use their new process skills to dramatically improve a key process. These process team coaching sessions are between 20 and 30 hours together.

See a process deep dive coaching session here: IPD Process Deep Dive Experience – YouTube

Plan to Solve Pain Points in the Coming Year

Organizations that train their employees in process transformation find that work gets done faster and with fewer errors. The time saved leads to better service to the organizations’ customers and community, and greater job satisfaction among employees. You can, too! Contact me, Lee Kuntz, to learn more about how your organization can plan to solve pain points and thrive.

Installing a new software system? A process map will create better outcomes for your organization

July 5, 2022 | 10:55 am

 

Recently, a software vendor told me that organizations considering a new software system would do well to supply their vendor with a detailed process map. Having such a map helps the vendor better address the organization’s needs and generate a more accurate quote. In four hours of work with your team, my firm can produce a process map that will help you achieve a better software outcome. Contact Lee Kuntz, CLSSBB to learn more.

Your Process Improvement News for June 2022

June 16, 2022 | 3:40 pm

Success story: Transitioning from overwhelming growth to more capacity and invigorated employees

Situation: A community foundation CEO shared with me that her organization was growing, but the processes they had in place felt frail. She worried that employee turnover could create the risk of errors and reputation damage. Also, the foundation was moving slowly in performing essential services, such as issuing donor-advised fund (DAF) grants. This CEO knew the foundation had the opportunity for growth, but employees were burned out from regularly working overtime on both evenings and weekends. How could she lead the team to solve these challenges?

Approach: My first step was to introduce process improvement/transformation tools so staff and leadership could see what was actually happening. Then I provided a four-hour “Concepts Training” to project teams to build the foundation’s most powerful asset: their team. After that I coached a 24-hour process deep dive into the foundation’s DAF grants process.

Results: This approach enabled each project team member to learn the process. The team removed 40% of the process steps they had formerly used to issue DAF grants. In so doing, they decreased turnaround time and recaptured about 1,500 hours of staff time. Staff and leaders came to understand that every employee needed to be part of the solution. Now the team has both skills and will to replace FIMS. A delighted project champion commented that the work was done on time, on target, and on budget.

See a process deep dive happen: IPD Process Deep Dive Experience Video

What will your organization accomplish in the next four months?

Given that November marks the beginning of the big donation season, many philanthropic organizations have only the next four months to position themselves for success this year. Now is a great time to engage employees in solving pain points, creating capacity, and getting ready for the year-end donation season. Learn more: What Will Your Organization Accomplish in the Next Four Months?

Installing a new software system? A process map will create better outcomes for your organization

Recently, a software vendor told me that organizations considering a new software system would do well to supply their vendor with a detailed process map. Having such a map helps the vendor better address the organization’s needs and generate a more accurate quote. In four hours of work with your team, I can produce a process map that will help you achieve a better software outcome. Contact me to learn more.

Foundations Increase Impact through Operation

The past two years have been defined by disruption, causing some leaders to worry about overwhelming staff with process changes. In reality, however, thoughtfully examining and optimizing day-to-day organizational activities can actually help philanthropic and nonprofit organizations recapture time, improve accuracy, increase coaching, and otherwise enhance their community impact. Learn more in my article recently published in Candid’s Philanthropy News Digest. Change for good: How foundations can increase impact through operational improvements | The sustainable nonprofit | Features | PND (philanthropynewsdigest.org)

Hear Lee Speak – Lead Operations Transformation

MinnCAP Annual Conference, Willmar Minnesota
July 26, 2022, 1:30 to 2:45 pm
Minnesota CAP agencies: Learn more and register: MinnCAP Annual Conference 2022

What Will Your Organization Accomplish in the Next Four Months?

June 7, 2022 | 6:32 am

Many philanthropic organizations have only the next four months to position themselves for success this year. Given November marks the beginning the big donation season, that means there is only a limited window for completing this year’s agenda. Some organizations are focused on just surviving 2022. Others are engaging employees to solve pain points, create capacity, and get ready for the year-end donation season.

Challenges on the Horizon

Because of the far-reaching effects of the pandemic, this year promises to bring added challenges to the philanthropic sector. To be most productive and successful, you need to ask yourself several key questions: Are employees engaged? Do they have the skill and time to solve these challenges?

Return to Office: Just when remote work procedures are running well, many foundation staff are returning to the office. Once there, what process will they perform? Is the team ready to redesign processes for in-person success?

Regular Plus Special Programs: The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that charitable giving is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels. That is good news for our communities, but it means philanthropic organizations need to be poised and ready to process those forthcoming gifts and grants. In addition to managing that workload, will your foundation continue to offer emergency assistance programs? Are social justice programs also on the agenda? How will your employees find time to do their regular work, plus take on any special programs?

System Replacement Goals: How are your systems holding up? With so much new technology available, did your organization include a systems change in its 2022 plan? Will it be in the 2023 plan? If new technology is on the horizon, where will you find the skill and time to redesign processes to ensure successful implementation?

Hiring in the Post-Pandemic Economy: More jobs are available as the economy regains its footing. Employees are taking advantage of new opportunities by changing jobs. As always, it’s challenging to find great candidates. How will you attract and retain good employees? How will you get new employees up to speed quickly so they can be productive when the end-of-year rush gets underway?

Pairing Challenges with a Solution

The consistent thread tying these challenges together is the need to engage employees in deciding how work gets done, create more capacity, and redesign processes for maximal effectiveness. Philanthropic organizations have successfully addressed these needs and achieved their goals through our process transformation coaching and training.

Learn more about our certified process skills in this blog post: Process Certification Helps Organizations Achieve the Results They Need. Whether it is through our hybrid approach or all in-person, we help employees learn how to work more efficiently and effectively. By actively engaging employees in identifying opportunities for improvement and creating solutions, we foster an organizational culture characterized by nimble skill and empowerment.

An Example

Recently a California foundation sponsored our training and coaching package. First, through our four-hour hybrid Think Differently Concepts Workshop™, we taught attendees how to spot work steps that were value-added and those that were a waste of resources. They learned to solve these pain points. Employee feedback on the training included the following comments.
• “I liked the exercises and examples pertaining to our organization specifically.”
• “I liked working in small groups with people from other departments, and having time for questions.”
After the training, Lee meet with leadership to design steps that will keep transformation skills in use.

Next, Lee coached this team in a deep dive into their gifts process. They took the process from 86 steps to 58 better steps while retaining strong internal controls. In the past, each pile of paper checks gifts was passed between staff 13 times. The team designed a new electronic, document-based process that cut handoffs in half. Error proofing is now a well-known and practiced skill.

The team will implement their new process before October so they can face the year-end donation season in a stronger position. Foundation leaders said that through this work, they expect to recapture capacity and deliver acknowledgements more quickly. They appreciated that the project was done on time and on budget. Said one leader about the combined training and coaching approach, “Lee used empathy, understanding and extensive knowledge of Community Foundations to help us streamline our process.” Added another leader, “We accomplished A LOT in a short time!”

In this blog post, learn more about how our training and coaching program works and why it is a worthwhile investment: This Year, Plan to Succeed!

What Will Your Organization Accomplish in the Next Four Months?

The very busy year-end donation season is coming soon. Rather than struggle through that hectic season, contact Lee Kuntz to learn what you can do reach your performance goals and thrive this year.

The Common Theme: Operations Change

April 11, 2022 | 1:11 pm

Process and operations improvement has continued despite the pandemic, according to our recent study of philanthropic foundations. Yet according to the survey, leaders are worried about staff readiness for more change.

Learn more about the challenges and opportunities uncovered in this survey through this executive summary. 2022 Operations Improvement Survey Results

Then hear detailed survey findings and the related solutions in our live, short, free, “About Transformation” webinars.

To see how we conduct an operations process deep dive, check out this deep dive video.

 

Invitation to Three Live, No-Cost Operations Improvement Webinars

January 24, 2022 | 6:58 am

Is your foundation looking to do more? Are employees stressed out? Are you looking at new systems? If you see any of these challenges, consider joining my firm for one of our live, no-cost webinars.

This About Operations Transformation series focuses on helping foundation leaders understand how they can improve work outcomes.

Webinar: Three Ways to Ready Operations Staff for More Change

(New webinar)

Registration Link

Thursday, February 17, 2022; 1:00–2:00 pm CT

Is your operations staff ready for more change?

Many operations employees—the people who are most accountable for implementing new ideas—are worn out and not ready to take on the challenges that inevitably accompany change. In this webinar, Lee Kuntz will share three ways to get operations staff ready to make positive, productive changes.

 

 

Webinar: Maximize New Software Investment and Success with Process Redesign—Three Case Studies

(Updated webinar)

Registration Link

Thursday, February 24, 2022; 1:00 pm–2:00 pm CT

Upgrading software? Maximize your investment and success with process redesign. When a foundation updates its software system, the purchase typically requires years of research and a financial investment that can run well into six figures. So it’s important to make the most of that purchase. In this live, no-cost webinar, you will learn the best practices for redesigning and maximizing business processes and practices during new system implementation.

 

 

Webinar: Your Next Operations Opportunities

(New webinar based on recent survey)

Registration Link

March 24, 2022, 1:00–2:00 pm CT

Operations—the work done to execute an organization’s mission—is critical to achieving success. In this webinar, you will hear how foundations have improved their approach to getting work done. Next, we will help you identify potential opportunities for maximizing how processes, people, and systems can lead to better outcomes and enhanced impact. Finally, we will explain the steps needed to achieve great results from operations and process improvement.

Experience an IPD Process Transformation Deep Dive

January 11, 2022 | 9:26 am

Operations—the work done to execute an organization’s mission—is critical to achieving success.

Are you looking to improve the operations outcomes of your organization? Are you looking to make service to your community better, faster or more impactful?

Our coached process deep dive helps teams see and solve their process pain points. They improve quality, reduce turn-around time and deliver more efficiently and effectively to their community. Experience our process transformation deep dive in this short video.

IPD Process Transformation Deep Dive Video Link

Invitation to participate: IPD 2022 Operations Opportunities Survey

December 28, 2021 | 11:46 am

Operations–the work done to execute an organization’s mission–is critical to success. Given this, Lee Kuntz of Innovation Process Design is conducting a ten-question operations survey. The purpose of the survey is to gather information to help philanthropic organizations identify their next opportunities maximize their people, systems and processes to improve their operations outcomes.

IPD 2022 Operation Opportunities Survey

 

This survey asks about changes organizations expect to make in 2022 and also looks back at the operations improvements organizations made during the pandemic. Because operations include people, processes, and tools, the survey questions cover each of these areas.

Are you a philanthropic operations leader interested in identifying your organization’s next operations opportunities and in helping others in the philanthropic sector? Then we invite you to share your expertise by answering this ten-question survey.

Lee and Innovation Process Design look forward to sharing the survey findings and analysis in a summary report and in webinars in 2022.

Contact Lee today to discuss your challenge.