Achieve Process Improvement Success Blog

Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

June 13, 2024 | 8:39 am

Is your organization thinking about electronic payments? Worried about risk and efficiency? Here is how one organization successfully implemented a just-in-time, efficient, and effective paperless electronic payment process. Case study: Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

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Refine Operations Roles and Responsibilities to Increase Community Impact

May 22, 2024 | 11:18 am

What level of community impact is your team looking to create this year? One source of community impact comes through the effective delivery of service or operations. Recently, as part of our sector survey, we found that community foundations and nonprofits are transitioning from traditional operations roles to new ways...

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Experience an IPD Coached Process Deep Dive

April 25, 2024 | 9:01 am

Operations—the work done to execute an organization’s mission—is critical to achieving success. Are you looking to improve processes and related 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...

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How Efficient Are Your Internal Controls?

March 20, 2024 | 7:27 am

Internal controls are one of the most important values a chief financial officer (CFO) can bring to an organization. Yet many assume business process improvement and the imposition of internal controls are the same thing or that they can’t exist together. The truth is that when controls are both efficient...

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Do You Have Opportunities to Improve Process?

January 17, 2024 | 2:19 pm

As the new year begins, you may wonder whether there are ways your team can improve process. I am frequently asked about this, and based on my experience and certifications, I see critical feedback as a sign of a potential process improvement opportunity. Feedback as an Indicator As an organization...

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Thrive During the Busy Donation Season Through this Best Practice

October 19, 2023 | 12:32 pm

Many foundations and nonprofits receive the majority of their contributions during November and December. This makes for a busy donation season, which can result in employee stress and delayed responses to donors and grantees. Instead, some teams take one hour to conduct a process walk through, which enables them to...

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At Crossroads for Making a Real Difference

October 11, 2023 | 1:46 pm

Is your team buried and stressed out? Are they were working overtime to deliver to their partners, members, and clients? Have some employees left, leaving hard to fill roles open? Even with this situation, does your organization's leadership want to take on new programs? If any of this sounds like...

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Process Improvement to Transformation

IPD Newsletter for September – Your Organization’s Operations and Process Opportunities

September 18, 2023 | 1:55 pm

Operations process tip for the quarter: Detailed process maps are the key to process improvement success. If you are facing an operations problem, have your team map out each step of the process that isn’t working well. By doing so, you will gain a clearer understanding of what it will...

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People Are at the Heart of Improving Process and Outcomes

September 5, 2023 | 9:06 am

Throughout the 23 years I have been a process improvement coach and trainer, I have learned that people are the most important factor in achieving process improvement success. Yes, methodologies, training, and tools are important. But engaging the people doing the work in a way that increases their readiness for...

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Nonprofit Builds Muscles to Deliver More Community Assistance

September 5, 2023 | 2:06 pm

Is doing more for your community one of your organization's goals? Situation A community action agency (CAP) was working hard to address all the energy assistance requests from their community while tracking with funder regulations. The agency’s energy assistance department was draining funds from the rest of the agency rather...

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IPD Newsletter for June – Your Organization’s Operations and Process Opportunities

June 27, 2023 | 8:00 am

Operations process tip for the quarter: Successful process improvement creates improved outcomes. When process improvement is done well, it enables organizations to deliver services to their community better and faster. It recaptures capacity and engages employees. In all my firm’s workshops, I help participants identify the outcomes they wish to...

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Build Process and System Success through a One-time Process Investment

April 19, 2023 | 2:17 pm

Is your organization installing new technology this year? You are not alone. About 50% of organizations are installing new software this year. And that is not about to change. Given the cost of technology, managing new software installation and maximizing technology is now a core piece of organization work. Here...

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Newly Published Article: Bust these myths and save 2,800 hours in day-to-day operations

March 30, 2023 | 1:23 pm

Software has become a significant expense for organizations. Yet, many fail to make similar investments in a one-time deep dive that will improve day-to-day operations that would enable them to maximize the benefits of new software. Learn more in my recent article: Bust these myths and save 2800 hours in...

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IPD’s March 2023 Newsletter and Process Tip

March 29, 2023 | 11:20 am

Operations process tip for the quarter: Look at each step of the work you do to see if that specific step adds value to your community. If it does not, consider whether this step can feasibly be improved or removed, thereby recapturing your time. Workshop invitation: Process Transformation and Training...

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Plan to Achieve Daily Operations Success

February 3, 2023 | 8:41 am

Is your organization preparing the annual plan for next year? The strategic plan for the next five years? This is a time for big ideas. An important one is how to fulfill your organization’s mission by making day-to-day operations function well. Is your organization being held back by a process...

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Finally Solve the Process Pain Points in Your Operations

January 16, 2023 | 2:25 pm

Community foundations can fulfill their mission only when their day-to-day operations function well. Is your foundation being held back by a process that is no longer working as it should? Do you see pain points in your foundation’s daily operations? Are these challenges taking a lot of time to work...

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How Did Your End-of-Year Rush Go?

January 9, 2023 | 9:54 am

Many community foundations and other nonprofits receive the majority of their gifts in November and December. Even though leaders plan for this hectic time, employees often work long hours under significant stress, and despite their best efforts, they provide slow service to their community, which inevitably results in complaints. Did...

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Innovation Process Design Quarterly Newsletter November 2022

November 4, 2022 | 10:41 am

Operations Process Tip for the Quarter Look at operations processes through the eyes of your community. What do they value? What do they need? Let that data guide your next steps. Success Story: From Frail and Overloaded to Consistently Delivering on Promises Situation I heard this from a community foundation...

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Refine Operations Roles and Responsibilities to Increase Community Impact

October 24, 2022 | 1:10 pm

Who in your organization has the power and responsibility to deliver consistent results to your community? Do these specific staff know that? Recently, as part of our sector survey, we found that community foundations and nonprofits are transitioning from traditional operations roles to new ways of delivering better, more consistent...

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Lead Operations Transformation to Increase Community Impact

October 6, 2022 | 7:19 am

Does your organization face nearly overwhelming demand, yet you have limited resources or staffing to fulfill that demand? I am told that being under resourced and understaffed is a common constraint for nonprofits. Despite such limitations, community action councils (CACs) are doing amazing work as the last line of support...

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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...

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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...

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This Year, Plan to Succeed!

March 7, 2023 | 2:40 pm

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...

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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...

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What Will Your Organization Accomplish in the Next Four Months?

May 25, 2023 | 8:51 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 2023. Others are engaging employees...

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Three Ways Philanthropic Operations Create Community Impact

November 16, 2021 | 2:47 pm

Is your organization looking to make a bigger community impact? Your operations—that is, how work is done—can be a powerful contributor in accomplishing your organization’s mission. Operate for Impact For philanthropic organizations, the nuts and bolts of operations are what enable teams to award and deliver grants quickly, set up...

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Published article: Invest in Your Operations Teams to Drive Your Mission Forward

October 13, 2021 | 10:48 am

Many nonprofits and philanthropies have come under pressure to be more efficient and effective than ever before. Yet, the dollars just haven’t been invested to support the kinds of operations needed to carry out today's heightened level of giving in addition to addressing emergency programs. With organization's planning and budgeting...

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Community Foundation Creates Powerful Scholarship Program

September 20, 2021 | 10:51 am

Is one person in your organization performing a critical role, the responsibilities of which are not even known to others? Then you might appreciate this foundation’s success story. Case Study: Community Foundation Creates Powerful Scholarship Program

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Excellent Operations Help Deliver Community Impact

September 10, 2021 | 2:36 pm

Most philanthropic organizations take pains to carefully design and then redesign their mission, strategy, and programs. They, along with their board of directors, often hire strategic consultants and share best practices with like-minded organizations to frame their goals and objectives. Yet many spend little time improving their daily operations to...

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Process Improvement + DEI = Expanded Impact

April 12, 2021 | 3:52 pm

Many organizations are focused on building their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) capabilities. Yet daily operations continue as a priority. The community continues to need help. Funders need transparency and services. And operations processes need to be improved to deliver more services and better outcomes. With operations and DEI being...

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Process Certification Helps Organizations Achieve the Results They Need

March 12, 2021 | 7:37 am

Many consultants offer process improvement services alongside their other services, but a consultant who is certified in proven business process improvement methods can help your team reach ambitious goals most effectively. A certified process improvement consultant can help you achieve significant, measurable results such as recapturing capacity and realizing a...

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IPD Process Transformation Services Now Available in Virtual, in-Person, and Hybrid Formats

December 11, 2020 | 8:18 am

The pandemic has caused disruption to many organizations. The top priority for every organization has been finding ways to operate safely. Some also seek the capacity to do even more: more emergency assistance for their community; more internal and external social justice work; more services to donors. And they need...

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CAP Agencies Transform Operations to Deliver More to Families

December 3, 2020 | 11:37 am

Community action programs (CAP agencies) are the last local line of defense for families in need. They feed and heat our neighbors. They step in to ready young children, who would other wise be left behind, for school success. Some CAP agencies want to do more. Therefore, they are building...

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Streamline Through Effective, Paperless, Electronic Payments

January 14, 2021 | 1:27 pm

Did the pandemic impact your grant payments? Are employees moving paper from location to location to get checks out? Are they working extra-long hours? Does it take more time to get checks out? What feedback is your organization getting from grantees and vendors about paper checks? One organization looked into...

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Process Transformation Coaching and Training Create Capacity To Foster Racial Equity

October 22, 2020 | 12:52 pm

Many philanthropic organizations look to increase their focus on racial equity. Yet, how will they find the capacity to do this work?  Capacity to bring in more funds? Run another educational program? Take on added back office work to accommodate these efforts? Some are adding staff and expenses. Others are...

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From Reactive to Results Through Process Transformation

August 20, 2020 | 8:19 am

The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed our time and energy for half a year. Many organizations say it’s time to refocus, to both take care of now and build for the future. These philanthropic organizations are moving from being reactive to transformative to ensure they achieve their mission. How will organizations...

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Incorporate humanity into software

Address Our Humanity in New Software Installation

June 22, 2020 | 8:30 am

Is your foundation installing new grantmaking or CRM software? Many times, staff are excited to have a new system, but they are hesitant to give up what is familiar and proven. Some philanthropic organizations address these emotions by developing a comprehensive software install plan. Such a plan addresses process change...

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Go Virtual to Improve Results During Emergencies

June 10, 2020 | 11:20 am

Here in Minneapolis and across our nation, these are challenging times for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Local emergencies, impactful opportunities to speak up, and the COVID-19 pandemic are creating serious new needs in communities across the country. Organizations that were already operating at or near capacity find themselves trying to...

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How to Reimage Business Processes for Software Implementation Success

May 28, 2020 | 4:15 pm

Have you installed new software that was universally embraced and paid for itself quickly, perhaps even within 24 months? Attaining widespread employee buy-in at an affordable price is a worthy but difficult goal. Yet as new software competes for funding with other good ideas, achieving this is important. Business process...

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Invest in Better Outcomes with Virtual Training and Coaching

April 22, 2020 | 4:33 pm

Most philanthropic and nonprofit organizations were working at or near capacity before the COVID-19 health crisis. But the virus has created serious new needs for the populations they serve, and many organizations are grappling with the disruption caused by a shift to remote work, declining donations, and an unpredictable stock...

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Turn Remote Operations Risk into Amazing Results

March 17, 2020 | 12:47 pm

Is your office in remote mode? So many teams are now working from home as we collectively battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work can reduce personal and community health risk. Yet it can be unhealthy for your organization. Remote work can be slower and less accurate, impacting your organization and...

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New System Install Success

Discover Your Team’s Process Improvement Opportunity

January 13, 2020 | 7:26 am

Every day teams can manage their processes to deliver winning results. By both improving and controlling critical processes, these teams can both make a big impact and get home at night. Most of us have improved processes. We have tweaked the steps of work, fixed breaks, and automated. The next...

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Upgrading software? Maximize your investment with process reimaging

October 19, 2022 | 2:09 pm

When a foundation or nonprofit 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. The most effective way to do that is to use system upgrades as...

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Solve the Donor-Advised Fund Squeeze

October 19, 2022 | 2:07 pm

Donor-advised funds are a big growth area for foundations. More donors are contributing to these accounts at their favorite foundation than ever before. Yet these funds provide little margin to pay for the services they require. Foundations are squeezed between low margins and high service requirements as the number of...

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Achieve Process Improvement Results: Start at the End

October 19, 2022 | 2:05 pm

Have you been part of a process improvement project that required an investment of hours upon hours over months or even years? Was a process improvement effort stopped because the team could not agree upon which improvement ideas to implement? Or an improvement initiative that made things worse instead of...

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Contact Lee today to discuss your challenge.