Have you ever noticed how many programs out there serve only one age group?
Even when we can manage to combine some form of childcare with adult classes, it’s often not free and basically never addresses the needs older children.
This isn’t because we believe that youth and teens are unimportant, or that our students have no children, or that it’s easy for a family to be in four different places for four different services all at the same time. It’s because the funding is dictating the structure of our services, and not the actual need.
That being said, without funding we wouldn’t have any services.
Sometimes we still think like the small program we were just a few years ago.
Our program has seen exponential growth in the past few years. We have accomplished amazing things. Our trajectory is to double again in two years, which is both daunting and exciting. One way to smooth this is to focus on processes: you need them, you need to be able to share / replicate them easily, and they need to be as streamlined as possible. In other words, you should take the time to write them down.
I think we could have been much more efficient even just in these past couple of months by simply writing down everything we taught a temp how to do, or even having our temps keep up the lists. It would have taken slightly longer to do the first time, but would have left us with an easy-to-replicate process. Simple time-investment. Instead, with every new temp and new employee, we’ve had to reinvent the wheel, racking our brains to figure out what to teach them when and how. It’s a waste of time. It happens because we go into it in a one-time mentality when it’s really a piece of a pattern that will repeat.
I’m really not a person who’s all about standardizing and formalizing, but when you have a big program, it’s the only effective way to do it.
How do you go about transitioning your thinking from small-scale to large-scale? What are best practices for understanding what should be a process and creating and using said process?