Here you’ll find ideas and observations regarding facilitation, community design, process design, and automation that enables the human touch.
“Wasted” time encompasses tasks that don’t require human execution and could be automated. Ten minutes of wasted time daily adds up to a workweek yearly. An employee earning $50,000 whose time is wasted in such a manner can justify a $3,000 automation investment today.
The recent transformation in software development has been marked by the proliferation of no-code and low-code tools, democratizing software creation. However potent these tools might be, they are means to and end. Start with a deep understanding of the underlying objective, and develop mastery over a set of foundational tools.
In business process automation, the choice is between crafting bespoke solutions or enhancing existing systems. Custom software, like a tailored outfit, offers unique advantages but can be resource-intensive. Systems integration is akin to updating a wardrobe: faster and economical but potentially complex.
Volunteerism in the U.S. is declining due to various challenges, including the impact of COVID-19. While nonprofits often focus on boosting motivation, effectively reducing barriers might be the key.
A patient, sustained, and incremental approach to business process improvement yields results over time and mitigates the risk of push-back. If you see a silver bullet, pick it up. Just don’t make your process improvement strategy dependent on finding one.
The Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model helps us understand the nuanced interplay between job demands, resources, and employee performance. While job resources enhance motivation and subsequently performance, job demands contribute to strain, negatively affecting performance. For successful process improvements, evaluating the impact of changes on the demands-resources ratio is crucial, as subtle shifts can lead to considerable performance variations.
BPMN visually details operational processes for nonprofits and small businesses. No-code/low-code platforms help efficiently execute these processes, optimizing clarity and adaptability.
Personal process automation shifts focus from routine tasks to meaningful work, much like the washing machine changed laundry habits rather than just saving time. Automation enhances work quality, not just quantity.
New digital tools are allowing small businesses and nonprofits to customize and connect their software solutions, making operations smoother and more cost-effective. It’s essential to select software that can “talk” to other tools (using something called an API) and use connectors like Zapier to automate and streamline tasks. In this evolving landscape, even established software is adapting to offer more flexibility.
Personal automation boosts individual efficiency and insight, complementing business process automation (BPA). While personal tools streamline specific tasks, BPA promotes team collaboration and organizational cohesion. Mastery in personal automation enhances broader organizational process understanding and optimization.
The business landscape is being reshaped by artificial intelligence (AI) and no-code platforms and automation, blurring traditional roles. Nevertheless, the benefits of specialization are unlikely to go away. That means we need to rethink how we approach work, develop new skills, and continue to learn how to collaborate more effectively. The performance bar for everyone is rising. That represents an opportunity for us to engage in more intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding work, but it’s also a significant personal and organizational challenge. Learning and adaptation are rarely effortless.
The processes underpinning a collaborative learning community tend to be more administratively complex than we anticipate. Don’t be afraid of the complexity. Be clear about it. Clarity lends itself to effective management. That makes our role as hosts more sustainable—and enjoyable.