During the month of September, MURAL's weekly Backstage Pass webinars are focused on working with social impact imagination workers. Each week, a new nonprofit or educator joins the MURAL team to engage in a live, collaborative coaching session to address a challenge they've been facing. Register here.
This week as part of Backstage Pass: Impact Edition, MURAL’s Hailey Temple and Emma Schnee were joined by Gray Miller and David Goeske from the nonprofit Worldbuilders. The challenge at hand: How might we build process flows that scale?
Worldbuilders’ mantra is geeks doing good. They inspire readers, authors, and gamers to support small charities. Worldbuilders has been using MURAL to map out their supply chain process involved in the processing of orders from their online storefront. David and Gray are most excited about using MURAL so that their diagrams can be agile to their processes changing and help to get new team members onboarded.
In this session, we walked through Worldbuilders’ process step by step and mapped their process using standard shapes, connectors, colors, and icons in MURAL. Attendees had the opportunity to serve as guest panelists, sharing valuable insights and lessons learned from prior experiences. Three takeaways from the session:
➕ Allow team members to continuously add ideas for improvement in the process
🚩 Flag pain points
🎉 Mark moments of success to share
Watch the recap and explore the presentation mural to see best practices for creating process flows that scale.
Visual collaboration experts coach nonprofits and educators making change.
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Hailey Temple: [00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to MURAL Backstage Pass: Impact Edition. I'm Hailey Temple. I am one of your co-hosts today, along with the lovely Emma Schnee. We are with our friends here from Worldbuilders to help give you a sense of a behind-the-scenes look at how teams work together in MURAL. And this month in particular, we are working together with nonprofit organizations and universities to understand how we can help them use MURAL to make awesome things happen in their work. So if you have any questions or comments or suggestions, feel free to put them in the chat. And this is really a community space every week that I love joining. It's the highlight of my week, truly.
And then we'll also at some point ask different members of our community here to jump in and help us - almost as consultants - to solve these challenges. And so I'll give you a sense of what we're focusing on for today's topic in a moment. But before I do, I want to recognize that today is an important date to remember. It's September 11th and it's been 19 years since the terrorist attack in New York City and in Washington, D.C. and in Pennsylvania. And I think it's also a good reflection point to think about those 2,500 people who were lost and also I realized - I looked it up today - the 910,000 people worldwide, who have been lost due to COVID-19. So I just want to take a moment of silence and for everyone to reflect and think, and [00:02:00] remember.
Okay, thank you guys. And maybe before we jump in, take one nice deep breath. Always good to take a deep breath, breathe in and out. Alrighty. So with that, thank you guys for joining us to think about the importance of today and with that, we are going to jump into our session. I'm going to actually pass it over to you to share a little bit about what is our focus for today and who are especially guests?
Emma Schnee: [00:02:36] Yeah. So today, we have Gray and David joining us from Worldbuilders and they'll share a little bit about their organization with us. I don't want to take that from them. We are going to be thinking about how we might build process flows at scale. So we're really thinking about how we can use these sticky notes and connectors to build processes that can be replicable as well. So, using them as templates and making these processes as easy and streamlined as possible. So, Gray, I'll pass it off to you to explain a little bit about your organization.
Hailey Temple: [00:03:19] And before we do, Gray, I want to also mention that if anybody here has experience working on process flows and thinking about building them for scale and organization, and you want to help us act as kind of consultants for the Worldbuilders, then please type all caps 'YES' in the chat. Because we want you to come into this MURAL, be on camera, on audio and participate with us. So, if you're interested in joining with this panel, put 'YES', and I'll invite some of you in as Gray is explaining what Worldbuilders is.
Gray Miller: [00:03:58] Can [00:04:00] I share my screen?
Hailey Temple: [00:04:06] Alright, should be showing right now.
Gray Miller: [00:04:12] Yeah, so Worldbuilders is weird and it was started by a weird guy. There's an author named Patrick Rothfuss, who wrote The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear and some other books and posts and stories. And his books are very popular and he was very successful and he wanted to do some good with it. And so many, many, many, years ago; about 13 years ago, I believe he decided to try and start funneling that into nonprofit fundraising and Worldbuilders was formed after a few years of success doing that. We just turned 10 years old and it's a charity that leverages the power of geeks and fandom and partners with creators to try and make good change for the world. Worldbuilders itself is a registered 501c3 charity. And part of the way that we pay the bills is through Worldbuilders Market, which is where the partnership comes through. To give you an example of what kind of work we do, I've got copies of our most recent newsletter here. So for example, we partnered with the one-shot podcast RPG group. And we are selling in our store some of the merchandise from their things; and that partially helps support those creators and then part of it goes to fund our work. We have here, a bookplate that we're doing with the author, Joe Abercrombie, who has a new book coming out. This is a local artist and he will be [00:06:00] signing these Worldbuilders bookplates. We also came up with something called the Masked Hero Initiative, which is a way that we can sell these themed masks, but also funnel those profits into letting us be able to donate masks to anyone who needs it, especially marginalized communities. That, as an example, we have lots of games in our store. Also, again, some of these are donated. Some of these are partnerships with the gamers. They get some of the profits and the rest of it goes to helping us continue our fundraising. Just because we want to try and be good members of the community, we try and come up with something to read, to play, or listen to every time we do a newsletter.
So this is a book that one of our employees, Beth, likes. Our Assistant Director, Zay, loves playing Breath of the Wild - Zelda. And then I was recommending this podcast from Radio Milwaukee that has some good perspectives about the various things happening in Kenosha. All of this stuff - this production - goes into an end-of-year fundraiser every year. We've raised over the past - since 2008 - over $13 million total towards various organizations, mainly Pepper International, and at the end of the year, every year, we take donations from these other creators and companies. Then, we have various options and incentives encouraged for people to participate in the fundraiser. It's weird, because we are one hundred percent pass-through when we do the fundraiser. If we raise a million dollars, we give a million dollars to the charity, which has happened in the [00:08:00] past. We use these marketplace partnerships to help fund ourselves and keep the lights on for us so that we continue to do these fundraising activities. We also occasionally will do crisis response stuff. We did a fundraiser at the beginning of the pandemic to help out Project Hope providing key PPE and training and things like that. But there's a lot of moving parts and a lot of different things going on; both on the nonprofit fundraising side and we're basically running a marketplace at the same time. So that's where we have people like David helping us to figure out, how to make that process work better. I should add that we had a large turnover at the beginning of the year, so we're making part of this and not having the benefit of past employees who have been doing this before. So David is kind of getting a chance to start new and come up with new processes that are more efficient.
Hailey Temple: [00:09:17] That's awesome. Thank you. I added some of the links for Worldbuilders and the market and stuff in the chat for anyone to check out. And I love the slogan that you guys have. "Geeks for good" is just so perfect. Before we jump in, I wanted to thank you for the intro, Gray. I wanted to do a little quick check-in because we have our panelists and our consultants here for you today. I'm super pumped and I want to get the chance to introduce them and have a quick moment to see where we're all at today. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to actually invite just the panelists right now into the MURALand I'll invite the [00:10:00] rest of our crew in here later on. I'll make sure I get you guys the right link. Okay. I see we have two Jays: Jay Schuh and Jay Elkerton; Kevin in here and Catherine is also here. So if you guys can't get in, please let me know. I'll send you the visitor link, but I think I'll also send you guys the panelists and the visitor link, just to be sure. Alright, I think I see everyone in there. So I'm going to ask you guys to follow me. I hit the warmup here, but let me reveal it to you guys. So here's what we're going to do: I stole this one from a teammate of mine, so I'd love to know which Nicholas Cage are you today. This is like a quick check-in. So what you can do is put your name on a small sticky note here and drag it over to where you're at today in the world of Nicholas Cage. While I'm doing that, I'm actually going to change this visitor link so that anybody in the audience who wants to follow along in MURAL can do that with our view 'view only'. So, you won't be able to add sticky notes, but you'll be able to follow along. So, putting that in the chat right now. Here we go. Alright. I love it. All right.
Emma Schnee: [00:11:51] There's a request for this to be made a framework already.
Hailey Temple: [00:11:54] Sorry, what was the request for? This to be made a framework? Oh, we totally should. I also [00:12:00] am going to save it to my content library. So, the content library I have, and it's still in beta, it's going to be coming out soon; but you can save this to your own little private content library, which is awesome.
Gray Miller: [00:12:13] Okay, Hailey, I love what you've done with this style.
Hailey Temple: [00:12:18] Thanks! This is from yesterday.
Gray Miller: [00:12:21] I saw the first version that was done and you've made this better.
Hailey Temple: [00:12:26] Thank you. I appreciate it. So, I'm curious: Kevin, welcome. why are you feeling carefree today?
Kevin Luddy: [00:12:36] I brought my youngest to kindergarten for the first time today and he was very excited. So, I feel like that went as best and well as it could have gone. And, it's a Friday, so . . .
Hailey Temple: [00:12:49] It's Friday. True. Cheers to that. Alright. and Jay, tell me, why are you feeling focused?
Jay Schuch: [00:12:57] So, focused because I've had multiple events going on, on different screens all day. The big design conference is going on. I was at a Union T faculty meeting. I've got my work computer and now I'm in this meeting and all of it's going on at the same time, but I'm focused on you right now.
Hailey Temple: [00:13:17] Appreciate it. And I know you have a lot of moving parts right now, but that's awesome. And we have Jessica, who's feeling a little bit mad. Jessica, how can we help? Jessica, why are you feeling mad today? If you don't mind sharing. You're on mute, by the way, if you're sharing.
Jessica: [00:13:46] Hi, sorry.
Hailey Temple: [00:13:47] Hey, no worries.
Jessica: [00:13:48] I'm taking care of a puppy and my little child here. Actually, he's not so little. I'm feeling mad because it's my son's birthday and I'm trying to [00:14:00] figure out how to celebrate a 12 year old's birthday. And also, it's COVID and the smoke that's in the air. So, yeah.
Hailey Temple: [00:14:07] Oh my gosh. Well, happy birthday. We'll throw some confetti in MURAL in the meantime. Hey Jessica, we have a community here of creative thinkers, and I'm going to ask them to share some creative ideas for how to throw a 12 year old birthday party. Is there a particular theme that you have in mind?
Jessica: [00:14:28] Amazing. Why don't we ask him? Here, he's right here.
Leif: [00:14:32] Well, I really like soccer.
Hailey Temple: [00:14:42] Okay. Thank you. And what is your name by the way? And happy birthday.
Jessica: [00:14:47] Leif it's L E I F.
Hailey Temple: [00:14:49] All right. So, while we're going through, I'm going to ask everybody on the chat to give me ideas about a soccer-themed birthday party for Leif. How can we do this? Amid COVID. Amid forest fires going on, affecting air quality. I'd love some of these ideas and thank you for sharing. Appreciate it. Okay. So let's jump into the good stuff. We have our consultants here, our panelists, who are helping us out. Now, we are talking about process flows and billing process flows in MURAL. So, we are going to do a little bit of instructional overview of how to do that. Before we do, I'm going to ask David to walk us a little bit through what you are looking to accomplish with these process flows you're building. [00:16:00] You're on mute.
David Goeske: [00:16:03] That's going to be the theme-word of the year: You're on mute. So, as Gray mentioned, we had a large number of staff turnover this year and we are worried about losing our session preparation or actually losing our information as people came in and came out of the firms. We wanted to not only plan for succession and job training, but also formalize our SOPs: our standard operating procedures within the organization. And we have been growing in this year. And so with that has come new procedures and new steps. We wanted to create not only a written SOP, but also a visual SOP. We wanted to have it on the MURAL. Okay, there's that flow. There's a flow chart, which is the example that we wanted to go off.
Hailey Temple: [00:17:29] Alright, so this is kind of the current, and then this is the ideal state, right?
David Goeske: [00:17:37] We wanted a more formal flow chart of the processes along with the written SOP document. And so we started to brainstorm and I started to rise it, but I'm having trouble going from this: our brainstorm activity [00:18:00] where we use the MURAL to place notes on the different steps of the process. But we want to now break down those steps into a visualized, flow chart; so we can have, like I said, both the visual and the written documentation.
Hailey Temple: [00:18:24] Okay. So for our consultants Kevin, Jay, and Jay, and Jessica: any questions so far about this process for David and Gray or about their approach?
Jay Schuch: [00:18:38] Well, one: you couldn't have invited a better guide to this because I actually served as the animation gaming and visual effects industry rep for the State of Texas. And as you can see behind mez; I love books. I'm an educator, love games, animation. So I'm all about this vibe. Also, I've done nonprofits for years: industry giants, a bunch of short guys in an animation nonprofit. So, I get it. You're losing all that, intellectual knowledge, right, that you've built up over the years. And one of the things that we've been talking about; a big design as you're doing talent strategies, is you almost need a nonprofit strategy for people coming and going into your organization. It's going to happen and it has nothing to reflect on the organization. So how can you have a succession plan that you expect people to be there for two or three years, maybe as very engaged? And then have a scale that, you know, things happen. People have kids, they move jobs, they do different things. So moving forward, that should be something that you expect. So that way you're not constantly being hit and being put back in this situation again in the future. So that's just one thing from an overarching process perspective is [00:20:00] how do you develop a plan to get new blood into the organization, develop a succession or growth plan for the people that are involved and active in it, and then have the expectation that at some point in the future, they're probably going to move on to something else? Or life's going to happen and they're going to get involved in maybe more of their family. Maybe they're at soccer games every weekend and can't devote the amount of time they need to the nonprofit like they could before they had kids. Right? So, that's just 2 cents right off the bat. So I'll throw it to somebody else
Hailey Temple: [00:20:33] Love it. That's awesome. Any other thoughts or clarifying questions, team?
Kevin Luddy: [00:20:39] Yeah. Clarifying question. This is Kevin. You showed two examples: one the ideal state and one where it's more like some notes or sketch collaboration on what an ordering process or something might look like. Are we trying to work on the art and ordering process in the context of a larger set of plans that are meant to preserve this institutional memory, or is it more about - what are we working on specifically? The succession planning slash preserving memory?
Hailey Temple: [00:21:15] It's a little bit of both. So I know we do want to take some time at the start of this to talk about like how to build flow charts in MURAL. Because, as you can see, of course, the core of MURAL when you first start is like: yeah, it's just a sticky note tool, right? I know that there was a specific ask from David and Gray to show and walk through how to use shapes and connectors and things like that for these purposes. I think then, once we do maybe like 10, five, 10 minutes of that overview; shift into what approach could we use to Jay's point and make this something that we can used iterate to share and maintain knowledge [00:22:00] and things like that. There was also a question Jeremy asked in the chat about the decision points. I think to clarify, maybe let's focus a little bit on the process and improving the look and feel of this process flow with MURAL because there was the question in the chat about this process flow and the ideal state and these decision points and things like that. So, maybe I'll ask you, David, before I jump in. Why is this ideal for you?
David Goeske: [00:22:37] It gives individuals a very visual way of determining what their next step is. And so the example that I gave to use today was sorting packages into three different carts: UPS, USPS, and Mail Innovations. So, someone could very easily see through this, going down from the start, going down to make a choice of what cart and what their next step of business is. So, they don't have to read an entire document to complete the steps. They can do it more "on the fly" as you're walking through the flow chart.
Gray Miller: [00:23:33] And I'll also say that because supply chain is having a lot of difficulties right now, and things change every day. We wanted to use MURAL because it can be a live document and we can easily change it if we see places in the process where things have changed or where things are having difficulty or it's easier to figure out [00:24:00] solutions or establish adaptations that everybody can use the same.
Hailey Temple: [00:24:05] Got it. Okay. So with that in mind team, I'm going to bring these over here, because I kind of want to do a side-by-side comparison and say if we look at this as the ideal state and looking at this as the current state; understanding the steps in here. What's the best way to tackle this? Part of me thinks, okay,the smaller one. Yeah.
David Goeske: [00:24:38] Over here is the order story process. So just one of the steps of that MURAL. Within this, it's sort of in a flow chart type state right now where the three top items are the beginning, middle; and then the long list is sort of in the end in order of completion. Then the final yellow post-it is the final step of the process.
Hailey Temple: [00:25:19] Okay. So, let's see. So in a process flow, I'm going to pull the other one back over here. I think it's important for us to make a key, in a way, where we would have the start, the action, the question, and then these decision points. So Jeremy, I see you pulling some shapes in here. So for everyone, who's new to MURAL, the shapes are over here in the shapes and connectors section. [00:26:00] What might we use use different shapes for? If you've built process flows up before, what would the diamond versus a circle versus a square be?
Jay Elkerton: [00:26:15] Diamonds for decision, right?
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:26:18] A dominant diamond is traditionally a decision point and usually an oval or a curved edge shape is for an endpoint or beginning point.
Hailey Temple: [00:26:33] Okay.
Jay Schuch: [00:26:40] So Hailey, one of the things that we sometimes do in my organization when we're working with flow, is we want to understand: is that a process? Is it a document? A what type of communication is it that's happening at a particular point in time? And what happens then is let's say, it's a document, right? You could put a document icon on the sticky note so it represents that this is a particular thing that needs to happen. And sometimes it's a communication thing. It might be a phone call or an email or something like that. So what that does is it gives context to the roadblocks. Does that make sense? Like sometimes, people are in a place where, unless I get this email and it gets approved, then it's not going anywhere. So having those icons as to what you're doing at a particular point in the flow helps people understand the context of the process. Right? So, you know, we have to have a meeting. Okay. Then, you have people icons that show there is a meeting that needs to take place in order for people to make decisions and get it approved. And then, what happens after that? Well, yes or no. If it's no, then you go [00:28:00] here and do this. If it's yes, then you go here and do this. What happens is that the flow then becomes really visual because then people have a have a way of saying: Well, how might we think differently about this process in terms of the flow and how these things are being delivered, because this is now being put in Salesforce or something and what happens to it? And you'd be surprised when you get all the people in the room and they say, "Well, I don't know. What do we do with that thing once it's created?" And people go, "Yeah, I don't touch it," "I don't touch it," "I don't touch it. And you're like, "Oh, that's a problem." Everybody's doing this work. And it's going to a repository where nobody knows if it's updated or yes or no. And there's multiple instances of that same document and people don't know how to do it. So providing a visual context of all the different places within the flow helps people get a better visual sense of how this thing's happening. So again, I'll throw it back to you guys.
Hailey Temple: [00:28:59] That's awesome. No, I love that idea. And I see we're already starting to pull some of these in these icons. And so document, I think it was this phone call? I think, what was the box with that represent package?
David Goeske: [00:29:12] Well, packaging is a big part of this, like there's products. There's finding the products and putting them in the packages. Printing out the labels is a big part of it. In this particular step, we're just bulky on, not pulling items, but only placing our items into the boxes and sealing and labeling them and taking those and putting them into sealed bags.
So we're past the packing, spec sizes, clarify stuff. They're done packing and we are getting them ready to be shipped or presented to a [00:30:00] shipping service. Whether it's for international or national or domestic.
Jay Elkerton: [00:30:11] I have a thought on this too, that it sort of builds on I think what the other Jay mentioned. I love that. So, in my experiences, this is my experience: These types of flow diagrams are handy, but people are lazy. People are satisfied so many times these things don't get referenced. And so what has to happen is you have to think about, well, how will they act? How can we encourage their use? So it gets back to, you know: is there some way that we can represent the status of things going through this role, this process? And that's really important because I think it it may impact how you structure your flow to some extent, visually. So, I'll get back to the old simplified Kanban type of approach for tracking things. That's sort of the thought that for it to be really useful, you want to be able to act on it, right? So that's just a thought
Gray Miller: [00:31:27] I'm a big fan of Kanban. I can see that for the status of things, I'm not clear and maybe I just haven't done enough Kanban to know how it would work when it comes to a decision process.
Jay Elkerton: [00:31:41] Yeah. I don't know if it's applicable, that specific structure, but thinking about how you could encourage active use of the artifact; that could be the decision process that you have of care crisis [00:32:00] could be important, right?
Hailey Temple: [00:32:05] So, Jay, what I'm hearing is not just making this document in MURAL in a way, just a standalone process flow, but then using it as a point to if you were going through different orders or something saying, "You know, this is the step of the process that this current order is in and it's being moved across from the backlog in process to what's been done." So as a task management tracker, as well?
Jay Elkerton: [00:32:34] Yeah. It's the whole thing that things get used when they're architected for use, right?
David Goeske: [00:32:41] That's more dynamic, in the sense of what we've used, is that brand aesthetic document. That is just reference.
Hailey Temple: [00:32:52] Yeah, I like that, and I put the Kanban board on here just to give a good reference. I think something that will be helpful because we have some of these icons on here already, with visual library - which is great. And what I'd love to do, and I think this is a great suggestion from Jeremy, before we get to building out a process flow in MURAL; I'd love to have you, David, walk us through this process out loud. And we're going to ask our consultants to do, maybe in the space over here as you're hearing it, build out what you imagine this process flow to look like.
Jay Schuch: [00:33:38] Yeah. Can I apply, maybe a thought is, it sounds like most processes are some bit of a journey, right? Something happens first, then something happens next, then something happens next. So we're looking at a journey map, right? You're going on a trip, you're packing your bags, then you're getting an Uber. You're going to the hotel or you go to the airport getting on the plane. [00:34:00] You guys get it. So, most processes take some sort of journey, and then you have hiccups from the first part to the second part; and that's typically where you have gaps or things that happen. So I think if we look at this, maybe from a journey perspective, as what happens first? What happens next? What happens there? And then we can look at the different sticky notes within that part of the journey and then we can isolate maybe pain points or insights around that particular part of the journey. That would then give us a ways to potentially optimize it in the future.
Hailey Temple: [00:34:33] Love that. Does this sound good to you? Would that be helpful for you, Gray and David? If you can walk us through that journey.
Gray Miller: [00:34:41] Sure. David, you want to go ahead? You're the one who did the brainstorm with Mike? I'm not sure if you're on.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:34:52] David, you're on mute.
David Goeske: [00:34:55] Sorry. We are in a overall stage into all of our process where the packages are packed and sealed and labeled and ready to go, to be leaving our facility.
Hailey Temple: [00:35:11] So, that's the start?
David Goeske: [00:35:20] So we're getting packages in the process that are relabeled, sealed, ready to go. From there, they're placed on a rolling conveyor belt. Then, we look at them and determine whether they're one of three things: whether they're USPS packages, and we tell that by the label; whether they're just standard domestic UPS. [00:36:00] Or whether they're part of a service that UPS has for international mail called Mail Innovations. And so, if they're part of the UPS domestic, we place them on the UPS cart. If they're a USPS labeled product or package, we place it on a USPS cart. Then, if it's part of Mail Innovations, we place it on the Mail Innovations cart.
Hailey Temple: [00:36:36] Okay. I'm going to stop you there, because even that one little piece is like, wow. Okay. There are a lot of different potential decision points to make or to think about.
Jay Schuch: [00:36:48] So, really quickly: you're doing a great job by talking through this, David. I'm dyslexic, so maybe it's just me and maybe it's the process. How about if I put these little numbers on the side, over there, at the top, and there's these big numbers for us? And I was saying, let's maybe map out literally what is first, second, third, fourth, and fifth. And then maybe we can draw some "swim lanes" in between all these and start putting the sticky notes, all the different sticky notes, in the first step. So, you can help guide us as to what all happens in stage one, from your perspective; what all happens in stage two, from your perspective; what all happens in stage three. And that would help me keep up along with what appears to be an interesting process that you've got going on.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:37:47] I guess the sorted place is the first aspect; [00:38:00] and of the sorted place, these are the three steps of the sorted place, if that makes sense. David, that this third one on Monday and Friday "start Mail Innovation stage," it's sorting staging process sounds different than what you said. There's a Mail Innovations cart that stuff goes on. And then is that Monday through Friday thing an additional step for on those days? You're going to do something with the stuff on that cart.
David Goeske: [00:38:29] I'm sorry, you're right. We're sorting by these three carts: by USPS, by UPS, and by a cart for Mail Innovations. It's only on Mondays or Fridays that we package up the Mail Innovations. So, every day of the week, we then process the USPS and the UPS packages. So we just keep them on a cart and we then roll them out here to the loading dock every day. So we should, yes.
Hailey Temple: [00:39:27] So if I'm looking at UPS, because I see there's a step, a UPS specific step, here.
David Goeske: [00:39:35] Yeah. That's the Mail Innovations. The number two is Mail Innovations. Really, that should be on two. Then, the next step really is to roll the UPS and USPS carts to the [00:40:00] loading dock because once they're sorted, they're ready to go. Yeah, it's only the Mail Innovations that we do it differently. We actually don't need to do it like that note said on Mondays and Fridays and that's where it's a bit more complicated.
Hailey Temple: [00:40:21] Interesting. Okay. So maybe I'll put the Mail Innovation sticky note over here?
David Goeske: [00:40:29] Yeah. Because that will be a different process. Jay, is this doing what you want?
Jay Schuch: [00:40:37] So here's what it is. You guys can see the swim lanes below. What I was thinking is we kind of label each swim lane. Where we put one. . .
David Goeske: [00:40:47] Oh, I understand. Down here.
Jay Schuch: [00:40:51] Right? So we put one here. And then we put two here, and three, and go across. And then in this first lane, we're putting all the steps that need to happen and we can put what happens first as the first sticky note. What happens second is a sticky note. Third. And if there's a decision tree, then we can do a loop around. Does that make sense? But we understand what are all the tasks in that first stage. All these things need to happen in this first stage. Then, we can go to the second swim lane, and then all those tasks will happen in that. And if we need to draw arrows between, we can. So, we might draw an arrow down for the next sticky note in the first swim lane, right from that first sticky note to the next thing in the swim lane. But what happens is we now have distinct stages and all the sticky notes then identify all the activities that happen within that particular swim lane. Does that make sense?
David Goeske: [00:41:52] So, the first step here is determined whether it's Monday or Friday. [00:42:00] After we put them on the carts, the number one at the top here is probably the first one, is a sorting. And then the next one, this Monday or Friday, we select the Mail Innovation bag. So we're going to process the Mail Innovations cart if it's Monday or Friday.
Jay Schuch: [00:42:38] So, what I would do is I'd say if it's Monday, are there different tasks associated if it's Monday or Friday?
David Goeske: [00:42:45] No, they're both the same.
Jay Schuch: [00:42:47] Okay. So, what happens? What happens after we've determined if it's Monday or Friday?
David Goeske: [00:42:52] Then we will grab the Main Innovations cart and start to process it.
Hailey Temple: [00:43:02] So, if it's Monday or Friday - I'm just moving this down here - at 3:00 PM, start Mail Innovation staging process.
Jay Schuch: [00:43:21] Why is it important whether it's Monday or Friday?
David Goeske: [00:43:24] Because we only ship out international on Mondays or Fridays. Because the process, unlike regular UPS or USPS; the internationals all have to be put in a special bag, a plastic bag, and counted and labeled, in a particular way. So we can't - we've already talked about - can we start the process on one day and finish it on another day? And we felt that it's [00:44:00] easier to just keep everything on the cart and to complete the process from the cart itself.
Jay Schuch: [00:44:07] Okay. So let me walk that through. So when you're shipping stuff, you put everything on a cart and you to put them in a bag. Is that what I heard?
David Goeske: [00:44:15] That is correct. Right here is the next step: collect the plastic UPS and Mail Innovations bags and shelf.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:44:26] And David, does that happen on Monday and Friday only?
David Goeske: [00:44:29] Yes.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:44:30] Okay. That's part of the Monday/Friday process, then.
Hailey Temple: [00:44:32] Good. I'm moving this into per-process flow fashion. Putting that in a rectangle.
Jay Schuch: [00:44:45] Thank you, Hailey. You're doing awesome.
Hailey Temple: [00:44:47] Thank you, Jay. You're doing awesome. This is really helpful.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:44:51] And David, is counting packages an everyday thing or is that just a Monday/Friday?
David Goeske: [00:44:54] Mondays and Fridays for this. I really only count packages for Mail Innovation.
Gray Miller: [00:45:03] Okay, do we count packages for USPS and stuff like that?
David Goeske: [00:45:07] No.
Gray Miller: [00:45:08] Okay.
Jay Schuch: [00:45:13] So the first part of your whole process is you're determining if it's a Monday or a Friday. And if it's a Monday or Friday, you do particular things for Mondays and for Fridays, correct?
David Goeske: [00:45:24] And we start at like, this post-it note here says, at about three o'clock because the time is important because we can complete and ship out any international ship packages that have been processed during the day. And so as long as late in the day that we can go, we want to complete this process.
Jay Schuch: [00:45:49] So Hailey, could you do me a favor as my co-awesome person,? Could you create a pink sticky note with a clock that says a 3:00 PM, because [00:46:00] that helps it understand that that's a big, important kind of headline or insight for us and sticky notes kind of designate either pain points or insights or processes that we really need to pay attention to. And so, David was telling us that 3:00 PM is an important thing. That's a part of this process. So those pink sticky notes help us highlight those important factors within each of the stages.
Hailey Temple: [00:46:28] Okay. Got it.
David Goeske: [00:46:38] Okay, so we are counting the packages on the cart and then, next, we place them inside the bag that we pulled up here. And as we're pulling it into the bag, we are recounting the items. Just to confirm, you know, belts and suspenders. Just make sure we have the right number listed or we know the right number in the bag now.
Gray Miller: [00:47:08] Should that be another decision point? Recount things? If the number is correct, proceed. If not, then what to do?
David Goeske: [00:47:17] Yep. That would be very wise. Because if not, we need to recount again. So, if that second count doesn't match the first count, we need to go back and recount them. So if the count from the cart is 20, and we're placing them in the bag and at the end of the count, we have 21; we need to find out what we did wrong.
Jay Schuch: [00:47:49] So Hailey, that would be another insight as a pain point: is that there are times when you miscount and that means you have to start over, [00:48:00] or find out; what I'm hearing from David, that you have to go back and figure out what happens. Is that correct, David?
David Goeske: [00:48:06] That's correct.
Jessica Borich: [00:48:07] Is there a maximum number of items that you can put in a certain bag so that you'd have to divvy it out into different bags?
David Goeske: [00:48:16] There's not. Just as many as you can put into a bag and have it seal. So it could be two larger items or 20 small items.
Jay Schuch: [00:48:29] So, I originally had an idea thing in there as an insight. Let me see if I can, or maybe - Hailey's better at this than I am. If you can put a little light bulb somewhere off to the side as an insight. And I'm wondering if we had a particular number of items that we put in a bag, if that would help recounting be easier?
David Goeske: [00:48:54] We're trying to minimize the number of bags going out so, as may items as we could put in there is ideal so we don't have a half-full bag with only [unsure]
Jay Schuch: [00:49:11] Got it. Hmm. Could you say that you maybe make sure that you have odd or even numbers like 10 or 15 or 20 to make it easier to count? Is that an idea? Or does the variety of size make that not work?
David Goeske: [00:49:33] Not, I would say the variety of sizes, because although we have some standard sizes of boxes that go out. We have a sword that we sell, all the way down to a pair of earrings.
Gray Miller: [00:49:49] Yeah, exactly. It's likely we all the way from a, a single coin to a actual replica sword and [00:50:00] boxes and games and books and everything in-between.
Hailey Temple: [00:50:02] That's amazing.
Jay Schuch: [00:50:03] That's another pain point, then. Hailey, can you imagine counting items where there's 25 coins in it, plus something else? So the variety of sizes in that box make it difficult to potentially count the number of items in a box, which can delay the process. Thank you. Hailey. You're being awesome.
Hailey Temple: [00:50:26] You're being awesome, Jay. Thank you. You're picking this apart and this is great.
Gray Miller: [00:50:36] I really appreciate this, Jay.
David Goeske: [00:50:36] This is great. And the visualization of the colors will really help in the process. It will make it a hot dynamic, as Jay talked about earlier. Someone can look at this and use it regularly rather than just a one-time reference.
Jeremy Varo-Haub: [00:50:58] Hey, can I give a couple of pro-tips to the whole crew about connectors? There's a couple of things I want to say about them. Just because I think David and Grey, this is something you're going to want to take away with you. So to make a connector in MURAL, you'll hold down C on your keyboard. And then if you mouse over an object, you're going to see the box around it. And Hailey can do that. She can show you what this looks like when you, when you hold down C and mouse over an object. So, throw that over there. Yeah, when you get closer to an object, the object will light up and you can see where you're connecting it. As long as you see that thing light up and, and that connection happens now, the objects are actually connected to each other inside MURAL. And what that means is if you watch my mouse, this 'yes' box, I can actually drag this now and the connection doesn't get lost, which is a thing I want you to all take note, because it's really important when you're building these kinds of flow charts; that you make them actually connect so that if you do move them, you don't lose your connections. Cause that's data that's important, right? That's the biggest protest for me is make sure that when you make a connector, that you can see that blue box around the edge of your items as you're connecting them to each other
Jay Schuch: [00:51:59] That's a [00:52:00] huge pro-tip. Thank you for that, man.
Hailey Temple: [00:52:02] Yeah. Thank you very much.
David Goeske: [00:52:04] I know the other flow chart applications that I've used in the past, Visio and stuff like that, have that feature. It's good to know that I could do that here also, because that's a big win when you're moving around.
Jay Schuch: [00:52:20] Awesome. Well, let's, I want to help if we can get as much of this process. I know we're limited on time, here. How much time do we have Hailey?
Hailey Temple: [00:52:30] So we actually have five minutes. Time got away with the us, which is good. We got really into the weeds here on building this out.
Gray Miller: [00:52:41] This is helpful; and then seeing the process has been really educational, too. The level of questioning that Jay was doing was something that I think we'll try and emulate.
David Goeske: [00:52:52] Yeah.
Jay Schuch: [00:52:56] Let me - I know I'm kind of monopolizing this - I'm sorry to my other facilitators. I hope I didn't step on any toes. The idea, then, is to ask these questions. As soon as you kind of go through, like you mentioned, the 3:00 PM - why is that important? Right. And then I started asking about how many things can we put in the boxes? Because recounting is a pain point. So you want to start asking those questions. What do we have to do at this step? Are there ways that we could do it and do things differently because that's how you then relook at this process. Hailey, I almost, this is a fantastic case study. I'd almost love to see this built out and then go through the next process of saying: here is the current flow. What is a future flow that you could do that would optimize the system, right? As a POC. And how could you show the difference between the first flow and the second flow and design it in MURAL to communicate those potential changes. Right?
Hailey Temple: [00:53:57] Especially like, Jay, I love that you are, you're adding in [00:54:00] ideas, but you're asking these questions and saying, what if you did it like this? And I imagine once the Wealthbuilders team has the current process built out, being able to bring in, as they're bringing in new people as well; they're able to ask them, how would you do this differently? Or what can we change to make it more efficient or clearer? Or things like that.
Jay Schuch: [00:54:21] So, yeah. Well, I'm an advocate of the pink sticky note and what I've discovered in these sessions, that if you have a method like a pink sticky note, that people can do big pain points or insights and do it in the moment because people forget, right? They'll have an insight and then they'll just go on and they don't write it down. So in person or a MURAL, also write that down, do a pink [sticky note], right? So that way you don't lose it, as people are going through. Yeah, that's a big insight for me and a pro-tip to everyone else. And why I love having that reserve color of that pink sticky note, because then when you look on here, you know that the pink sticky notes are the big pain points - themes that I need to pay attention to when I'm reporting the analysis of the flow to higher ups or other stakeholders.
Hailey Temple: [00:55:09] Right. Yeah. And Jay, you did a really good job also saying to me, "Hailey that's great. Can you mark that down?" Like delegating the responsibilities.
Jay Schuch: [00:55:18] We've talked about the importance of co-facilitators and MURAL. It's absolutely essential, I think.
Hailey Temple: [00:55:23] For sure. What do you have to say? Yeah, go ahead, Jay apologies.
Jay Elkerton: [00:55:28] No, I just want to build on that and this process. I've done this a lot, too. Generally, you'll find that your current process is very, very messy. Right? But that visual representation really helps you focus your area of, let's say redesign, right? "Oh, this is really messy. We've got to simplify that." So visually, it really helps you to sort things out as to where the complexity is. So it is [00:56:00] okay. It is okay for it to be messy.
Hailey Temple: [00:56:03] Yeah, there's beauty in it, for sure.
But if it's messy, you're probably expect it to be messy, part in real life and messy in MURAL, to get maybe messy in the process.
Jay Elkerton: [00:56:17] Yeah. You want to represent what you've got.
Hailey Temple: [00:56:19] Yep. Yeah. Jessica; one last one last thing from Jessica and then I'm going to wrap up, being mindful of everyone's time, too.
Jessica Borich: [00:56:25] Yeah. I was just going to build on a lot of your thoughts, but, to Jay, one of the Jay's points around links and journey mapping. I've done something similar where as you start to understand the flow and the different stages, the really beautiful part I think that, Gray and David with your teams; you have a big, focused on impact on your nonprofits and whatnot. And there's rich storytelling to be told. I think that one of the layers - because I'm a social impact strategist - I think that as you understand it, there are ways that you can identify those potential moments that you can then infuse more storytelling into the nonprofits and different aspects of that. And so that's where someone like me usually comes in, to then rip open that supply chain or that particular stream. So, to Jay's point, I think that this being a case study would really allow you to not just understand that end-to-end flow, but for you to then infuse in these additional insights to then create impact for all stakeholders involved.
Gray Miller: [00:59:17] Yeah. Thank you very much.
David Goeske: [00:59:19] Thank you.
Emma Schnee: [00:59:20] Thanks everyone.
Jay Schuch: [00:59:22] Have a great weekend.
Hailey Temple: [00:59:23] You too. Thanks guys.
About the author
About the authors
Integrated Marketing Manager
Emma is a a marketing manager at MURAL where she champions the stories of educators, students, and nonprofits to highlight the creative and impactful ways they incorporate visual collaboration into their work. She is passionate about the intersection of social impact, business, and design.