"Every problem can be solved and every process can be improved."
- Joy E. Mason
Our clients are a diverse group that come to us with a wide range of problems we help them solve. Below are just a sampling of the situations we've provided solutions for, actions taken and results achieved.
Situation: A social enterprise focused on recruiting and retaining teachers of color did not have a robust strategic plan with clear goals, metrics and actions. This critical gap negatively impacted outcomes and funding.
Action taken: We worked with the client to identify their key focus areas and core processes. We also developed goals, objectives, metrics, and actions. The new strategic plan was overhauled to drive results.
Result: The client's new two-year strategic plan enabled them to secure multiple six figure grants and additional funding through the RFP process.
PRIORITIZATION IS KEY
Situation: A program provider for urban youth treated most tasks with equal priority, resulting in a staff that was stretched and stressed out.
Action taken: The Optimist strategist worked with the client to create customized tools for project tracking and process mapping for the client’s major programs. The strategist also created tools for managing unexpected stakeholder project requests.
Result: The staff can now track program milestones and better prioritize their work. The tools used have improved communication within the organization and communication with community stakeholders, as well as reduced the stress felt by the staff members.
INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY & EFFICIENCY
Situation: The project management firm's procurement process was taking far too long. Once an agreement was reached with a new client, it was taking the organization a long time to complete and sign the contract.
Action: The Optimist strategist worked with the client’s team to map out the contracting process. This allowed the team to identify opportunities to eliminate unnecessary steps and to execute other steps in parallel. The future-state map created by Optimist for the client revealed an opportunity to go from a 49% process efficiency to a 77% process efficiency.
Result: The Client is already seeing the benefits of a more efficient formal process for completing and approving contracts.
40% INCREASE IN CLOSURE RATE = SATISFIED CLIENTS
Situation: This woman-owned marketing firm has recently experienced a significant decline in its client closure rate (the finalizing of a contract after proposal submission), and they didn’t know why.
Action: The Optimist strategist worked with the firm’s leadership team to apply six sigma strategies for obtaining customer feedback and identifying root causes for the decline.
Result: The firm responded to the customer feedback by adding another touchpoint to the contract closing process to hear and address client concerns. The client closure rate increased by 40%.
OVERWHELMED WITH DATA
Situation: The leader of an educational institution was overwhelmed with data. With 1000+ data points, a plan was needed for data analysis and an action plan was needed to address themes. The institution's limited capacity and competing priorities were prohibitive for getting this work done.
Action: The Optimist strategist analyzed the data and interviewed key stakeholders for context. The strategist extracted four major themes from the analysis and created a communication road map for the leadership team.
Result: From the analysis and key themes, an action plan can now be developed and implemented.
STREAMLINING PROCESSES & INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY
Situation: The community development organization felt a need to realize a higher return on investment from the funding of a ‘Section 8’ program for the homeless. The program spanned several agencies and involved processes that were not clearly defined.
Action: The Optimist strategist facilitated a detailed process-mapping exercise with members of the multiple agencies. The process-mapping resulted in three key outcomes: a written document describing the processes being utilized, a new dashboard to report metrics to key stakeholders, and a accountability plan for agencies and stakeholders.
Result: The new process-map revealed opportunities to streamline the housing process by 16%. The analysis and streamlining also resulted in a 49% increase in families moving forward from the voucher waiting list to the voucher application step.