Time for a digital spring clean?
This sounds a lot fancier than what it actually is!
This week I was introduced to the idea of a ‘System Ecosystem’. It’s a pretty simple idea, but could be very useful to you and a good starting point for tidying up how you do things and streamlining your processes. Perhaps this doesn’t sound all too exciting to you, but hear me out…!
System Ecosystems start with you listing and mapping out all the digital tools, processes and outputs that occur within your organisation.
These are split into three types:
- Internal organisation and communication – these are programmes/tools that you use in your work or to communicate with your colleagues e.g. MS Teams, Salesforce, Whatsapp
- Client facing – programmes that you engage with your users on e.g. WordPress, Eventbrite, social media accounts
- Product orientated – programmes that you use to create outputs that you share with your users e.g. Adobe, Canva, Survey Monkey
From the map you can begin to identify key areas where there are bottlenecks (areas of limited capacity), pain points or even tools you’d like to implement. This gives an indication of areas that need a more detailed review and potentially where staff can be trained in order to address inefficiencies or reduce the strain on a team/colleague.
Here’s a first draft of ours:
You can watch this video if you’d like a more detailed explanation.
If you’re interested in giving it go, I would recommend doing it with others in your team or chatting about it with a friend to get another perspective.
Whilst everyone in the group was focusing on their own organisations, we were also all able to see what each other had put. This helped prompt ideas I hadn’t thought of and make connections I hadn’t seen. You can also ask yourself questions like – are there areas of work that are being duplicated? Is there one single point of failure? There are multiple communication tools, is there a reason for that, or could this be reduced to one?
This task might sound as appealing as a ‘deep-clean’, but as Doug from WAO said to us: “The difference between good organisations and AWESOME organisations are their processes.”
Probably worth it then, right?
For me, this activity highlighted the importance of reflection.
We are now a few weeks into the Catalyst definition programme – I have learnt some really cools things (stakeholder mapping, personas, open-source working – see previous blogs below) and we’ve covered a lot. It was useful to spend some time looking back at what we had done, the outputs we had created (or needed to catch up on!!) and what this means for our overall project.
I’ve particularly found that writing blogs has been extremely useful for an end of week ‘cleanse’ to organise my thoughts. I gain a deeper understanding of what I have learnt, which has given me the confidence to share this with others and enabled better decision making.