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Day4-Yasar’s Sabbatical / Understanding How to Assist a Social Enterprise!

One of the dynamics of running a consultative engagement for a social enterprise is, unlike projects for corporates, you need to realize and accept from day one the necessity that operations need to continue running as workshops are taking place and you cannot simply lock down people into a room full-time. In engagements with medium or large enterprises, there would generally be a dedicated team that is taken away from operations for full-day, but even they somehow balance their time between the daily chores and project commitments by doing overtime, or sometimes running two shows in parallel. Considering the level of pressure even in case of corporates, in comparison, for a small social enterprise, you can understand dependency on employees is pretty high and everybody is like a superuser or a poweruser or a domain expert, all are therefore needed for the show to run day in and day out. You need to manage the time of these employees very effectively, respectfully and this means, solid scoping by consultants accompanied by bit of sacrifice from the social enterprise at the beginning.

Hapinoy team has been absolutely in tune with this and the commitment we are getting from them is solid. It is easy to see that as we get closer to our journey of 1 month with them, the load balance will shift from Hapinoy team, including Mark, to us as the SAP team and we caught a nice rhythm there.

We are following a very detailed approach to nail down the scope of work to assist Hapinoy by looking at following:

1-As is processes (current business baseline)

2-To be processes (future business model): optimization will be handled later, but as we discuss AS IS, certain points are surfacing gradually.

3-Current barriers to move from as is to to be processes in a phased approach

4-Mapping of process steps to different stakeholders.

5-Identification of manual steps alongside a process.

6-Mapping of process steps to tools and software solutions, or other digital infrastructure

7-Data quality each step generates.

8-Data governance and security at each step

9-Data generation at each step and how the data is maintained.

10-What if scenarios on a base scenario to understand how we can put more stress on business if certain hypothetical issues or daily events would occur.

The scope will be basis for the project plan of course and time management will be more effective. We are putting tremendous emphasis into this and it is already paying back in return as we are getting what we need from Hapinoy team in abundance.

Why is scope definition critical?

Because we need to always remember, social enterprise is a very human driven business and at the end of the day, it is about delivering value to the ones in need while having a sustainable business model that can be scaled up flexibly on a robust foundation of business plan, technology infrastructure, people and processes and policies, and business development lifecycle. There is absolutely no room and time and money to be wasted on fancy add-ons and because of this, because of limited time, we are fired up to identify very tactical challenges that have substantial impact on overall strategic go-to-market approach of Hapinoy from an execution perspective.

Small is Beautiful, Small is Tough

Writing an article of 10 pages and then being asked to make it so crisp that you can reduce it to a page. Or designing a minimalist architecture, where measurements, lighting, etc have to be so perfect that any imperfection will be highly visible to the naked eye.

This is how it is with a small social enterprise that has ambitions to bring more value to the people it is trying to help. We have limited time, we want to make an impact and all the prepwork prior to our engagement, all the detailed scoping, agonizingly detailed questions and iterations of discussions with all our fingers constantly being on FF button (as in FF button of a cd/dvd player 🙂 ), making everything crisper and sharper and clearer is of paramount importance and it is tough. Once we start moving on with the scope, which is hopefully next week, flawless execution to deliver the outcome of this entire work will be the next step we will be keeping track of diligently.

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