The client call
“I know you can do organization re-design in face-to-face workshops but our team is locked down on two sides of the Atlantic and we’re in a hurry. Can you still help us with this?”
In the few seconds we have to answer, the following thoughts go through our heads…
– Can we still productively hold the difficult trade-off conversations needed in the redesign processes virtually, or are face-to-face conversations essential for this?
– How can we replicate our plenary and breakout conversation formats?
– How will we replicate our approaches to activity mapping design options, which we would normally do on large meta-plan boards using post-it notes?
In those few milliseconds we realised we had a choice to make…and we responded “Yes. We can run this process virtually.”
What happened next?
Our first thought was that Zoom plenary and breakout rooms would work well and answer our first two questions and we started the process through a series of Zoom workshops with a core design group following a number of inquiry calls.
The Zoom platform soon proved to be up to the challenge, but we struggled as a facilitator team with the process of activity mapping using Power-point:
The preparation for workshops took an eternity:
– The process was so manual, which took our attention away from attending to the important team dynamics involved in the design process
– Instead, we were having to attend to the more mundane and less value-adding job of moving boxes around on Power-point charts
– Even after the workshop we had to find a way to record the outputs and we had no efficient way to export the designs in a way that would be helpful to the client.
“There has to be a better way…” we told ourselves.
…and so the idea for Orgwith.com™ was born
We spent the second half of 2020 building a web-based app, with our brilliant digital agency partners Audacia (www.audacia.co.uk), which makes the process of facilitating organization design virtually (via Zoom or other web-conferencing platforms) much simpler and far less time consuming. The app is designed for in-house organization designers to build design options and populate them with activities using simple or more complex design templates, based on the work of Andrew Campbell. We built the app for us to use with our clients but realised that if we would find it helpful, so would our clients and other in-house organization design practitioners.
What are the features of Orgwith.com™?
– Drag & drop user interface to minimise hassle & maximise participation
– Import, add and edit activity listings as the building blocks of design options
– Build designs and compare options easily
– Work together in plenary or assign Breakout Facilitators
– Save and name design options
– Compare options easily
– Export design data in Excel to create role definitions
– “Save as you go” functionality
– Stable and secure as hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform
– Built to run on Chrome and Safari PCs
Interested in finding out more?
Finally, if you are interested in developing your skills in facilitating participative organization design we have some spaces available on our programme in November. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more.