Case Studies

Support from a Consultancy for Social Impact & Public Sector Organizations

Schedule a Free Consultation

We Gave New Life to a Struggling Library

Without an agreed upon mission, and simple strategy the goodhearted, committed board members of the Kigima Resource Centre in rural Western Kenya were struggling to keep the library open. Greater for Good founder, Darla Marburger, facilitated a strategy session that produced the board’s articulated mission, initiatives, and the roles and responsibilities needed to make them happen. With the driving force of a mission, the board worked with unified purpose to secure a new property and expand its programming. Education performance in schools served by the library climbed from the bottom to the top quartile for the region. The thriving library now serves about 1,000 visitors per month and has over 1,200 books and growing.

Missions are empowering!

Challenge

The Kigima Resource Centre faced potential closure within three years of its opening. The library was established by a nonprofit, Serve a Village, to provide books and improve literacy for seven villages, each with a seat on the library’s governing board. The board had officers and aspirations, but little definition of responsibility, and no mission to guide its direction or actions. This lack of organizational structure and common vision stymied the board’s ability to develop the library and its programming, increase usership, and become self-sustaining.

Solution

Darla first taught the library board about the benefits of establishing an organizational mission and how it is done. She facilitated a strategic planning session and engaged each board member to learn his or her desired purpose for the library. Using active listening, and consensus-building, she guided the board in articulating a unified mission that all could embrace. With a mission in place, grand visions and ideas for the library’s future emerged. Darla helped the board capture those ideas and define the roles and responsibilities needed to accomplish the board’s goals

We Averted Mission Failure

The deadline would be missed. The once enabling technology would no longer reliably produce the staffing forecasts needed to ensure public safety. Producing those staffing forecasts was the prime purpose of the government division and delays in production could be seen as mission failure. The leader of the division enlisted Darla Marburger, Founder of Greater for Good, to find the source of the problem. Her team joined with agency stakeholders to define the problems, their symptoms, and occurrences. Through several facilitated sessions, she mapped out the processes used to create the forecasts and re-engineered them to remove inefficiencies and steps prone to error. Working with division specialists, Darla prioritized the needed changes so they could smartly allocate their resources to make improvements, get back on schedule, and successfully fulfill their mission.

Challenge

The government division’s technology investments initially supported quicker production of staffing forecasts, but over time, bugs in programming emerged, greater quality assurance checks were applied, and the processes used to produce the staffing models became more complex. Changes in forecast model inputs, division of responsibility, and a growing mixture of automated and manual processes yielded erroneous figures that would halt the production of the staffing forecasts until the source problem could be detected and fixed. This frequently intensive effort could require several rounds of investigation before resolving the problem, each round adding to the delay of producing the staffing forecasts required for public safety.

Solution

Darla met with division leadership and key staff to discuss the challenge, impact, and desired outcome of a process assessment. Together they agreed to document the processes for producing the models, and identify opportunities for improvement. Darla identified and convened the subject matter experts over a series of process mapping workshops. She not only documented the processes but also pinpointed steps to be automated, duplicate workstreams and other inefficiencies, steps vulnerable to the introduction of error, and more potential improvements. To ensure excellence and reliability, Darla reviewed and validated with government staff the original and re-engineered process maps and helped them determine which improvements merited priority attention. She provided the government division the information they needed to strategically and systematically improve their model production and greatly reduce the risk of delays.   

Get in Touch

Phone

512-791-3774

LinkedIn

Location

Austin, Texas, USA