Lee coaches a foundation team to think differently while redesigning grants processes for a new system, thereby improving implementation success.
A nonprofit foundation team knew they needed to upgrade their old grants system and the related software. An increasing volume of high-touch grants was stressing the foundation’s capacity and margins. The foundation was finding it difficult to deliver on their promises to their community.
Given that the new system investment was going to be substantial, this foundation’s CFO needed the team to think dramatically differently to ensure the success of both the project and the overall investment.
The CFO contacted IPD’s Lee Kuntz to discuss the team’s goals and challenges. Lee then recommended a quick-start package of process transformation training and coaching that would offer the right tools and the right-size project for the situation.
Lee kicked off the project by providing IPD’s four-hour Think Differently Concepts Training™ to a joint finance and grantmaking team. Through this training, attendees learned to spot wasted process steps and practices, moving from resisting to driving improvement. The CFO then selected a small subgroup to attend IPD’s four-hour Tools Training™, which enabled them to better dissect and substantially improve their other processes.
Next, Lee coached the team through four days of rapid improvement meetings, completing a deep dive into the organization’s existing grants processes. Through coaching and application of proven improvement tools, the team’s grants process of 125 steps shrunk to about 40 better steps. The foundation was especially pleased that IPD delivered the project on budget and on time.
The team promptly rolled out its newly designed grants process, which included 30 separate process and practice enhancements. Full incorporation of the new methods took place over six months. Upon completion of the work, errors and reputational risk became minuscule, and the team consistently delivered on promises. In addition, they could say ‘yes’ to new ideas from the president, board, and donors.
With their new process transformation skills and confidence, this foundation continued improving other processes in preparation for the next new system. Leadership was pleased that the implementation went more smoothly than expected, resulting in spending less time and money on the installation.
These success stories demonstrate how Innovation Process Design's proven approach cures operational pain and creates measurable improvement for organizations that rely on a smooth delivery of services.