Today’s issue is #100 of our OG Tuesday email! 🎉
THANK YOU 🙏 for being part of our almost 2-year journey with The Assist. We wouldn’t exist without you and appreciate you tremendously.
Start your morning with this affirmation:
GET MORE SH*T DONE
6 Steps for Handling Any Technical Issue
Help yourself and your team stay focused, efficient, and effective when unexpected problems and obstacles come up with this 6-step workstream for handling any technical (or really ANY) issue.
This process is based on the American Society for Quality’s go-to problem solving process.
Step 1: Define the problem.
Use specific, logical terms instead of hazy, and sometimes overly dramatic, emotional terms.
Spiceworks recommends starting with the who-what-where of your particular problem.
- Example: The Development team (who) has noticed the Intranet (what) won’t load when they navigate to the Key Contacts page (where).
- Compare to: Our Intranet is broken and it’s an absolute disaster!
Because, as Helpscout says, “If you were troubleshooting a car problem, you’d want to find where the leak is or what part needs replacing.”
Identify possible causes of a problem by first establishing what you know isn’t causing the problem.
- Example: Many other pages on our Intranet are still working fine, so I know a global server issue isn’t causing this particular issue.
Step 3: Free brainstorm possible solutions.
Write down every idea possibility you and your team can think of based on your current knowledge and experience.
Step 4: Conduct research and come up with additional possible solutions.
Get on Google. Ask around. Gather all the information you can from people who’ve solved the same or similar problems.
Step 5: Eliminate and prioritize possible solutions.
Score each solution based on:
- Effort: High Effort or Low Effort
- Feasibility: High Feasibility or Low Feasibility
- Evidence: Solid Evidence or Weak Evidence
Example: If three online articles and two co-workers point toward one solution, then you give that a “Solid Evidence” score. A solution based on a well-informed hunch on the other hand would get a “Weak Evidence” score.
Step 6: Test solutions in order by score.
With luck, one of the first few solutions will solve the problem. If not, repeat the process until the problem is solved
TOGETHER WITH DR. NOOR ALI
Figure Out Your Health Insurance in 15 Minutes or Less
Dr. Noor is on a mission to reinvent the customer experience for health insurance for independent contractors in the US.
If any of the below sound familiar…
- “I signed up for COBRA. It’s unaffordable and it’s going to run out, I don’t know what to do about health insurance!”
- “I’m really healthy and hardly use my health insurance, there has to be something more affordable for my level of usage.”
- “I need to figure out my health insurance, but I don’t know the first place to start!”
- “I’m the owner of an LLC and I have some 1099 freelancer employees — what can I do about their health insurance benefits?”
The 3 Ps of Fail-Proof Processes
Processes: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em, am I right? They’re notoriously challenging to document and socialize, and more often than not, they fail, often because the process, while perfect, is too unrealistic or complicated to complete or it’s forgotten amidst turnover.
All that means you have to put extra TLC into developing them and making them fool- and fail-proof. Do this by remembering the 3 Ps of fail-proof processes.
1 – Prepare
Establish the core facts of your process by running through these questions.
- Is it really a process? Or is it maybe a policy or procedure?
- What is the purpose of this new or improved process? What do you want it to accomplish?
- What are the benefits? The expected outcomes?
- How does it work? Take extra time and care with this one. Establish and diagram all the process steps and note who in your organization will be responsible or involved with each. While it may seem obvious, make sure it’s crystal clear when the process begins (what triggers or launches it) and when it ends.
- Some helpful process diagramming tools:
- Process Street
2 – Pitch
Get buy-in from the necessary leaders and participants. This enhances legitimacy and increases the likelihood that others will adopt and consistently use your process.
Create your pitch using this template, modified from a classic business plan:
- Executive Summary
- (This is also your “pitch script,” what you’ll say if you have an in-person meeting or call.)
- Example: Establishing a standardized process for choosing and ordering office lunches has the potential to save us time and money while also better accommodating everyone’s dietary needs and preferences.
- Process Definition
- Example: This is a process designed to streamline and enhance our office-lunch ordering.
- Process Diagram or Flowchart
- (No design chops? A bulleted list of all the steps will also suffice.)
- See an example of a Product Order Processing Swimlane Flowchart.
- Key Partnerships
- Who else needs to be involved in this process for it to work?
- Value Proposition
- Why is the state of your organizational operations after this process more valuable than the state before the process?
- Example: Currently, different admins handle lunch ordering each week. They each select different vendors and have different methods of collecting everyone’s orders, effectively creating new processes each week. If we implement a standardized process, admins could complete orders more quickly and efficiently, and we would benefit from the consistency and cost-savings of using just one vendor and earning loyalty rewards and discounts.
- Channels and Communication
- Explain how you plan to communicate, host, and socialize this process.
- Example: The process flowcharts and documentation will live on our company intranet, and will be given (via email) to admins when they are assigned lunch ordering duties.
3 – Put the process in place
- Gather info and flesh out/tweak your process documentation and diagrams.
- Create a project plan for ongoing process updates and maintenance.
- Test the process. Have people, preferably those involved in the process, test it. Update the process according to their feedback.
- Create a communications plan for announcing the process and also noting where it will “live.” Be sure its permanent home is accessible, granting users access where and when they need it.
TOGETHER WITH EMPULS
Swipe This Engagement Calendar
We know a lot of you live by calendars, so we’re excited to be partnering with Empuls to get the word out about their Engagement Calendar so you can plan for more fun days at work.
In this calendar, you will find:
- 🥳 A list of celebratory days for the second half of 2022. (And we don’t just mean known holidays, we mean days like World Managers Day or World Gratitude Day.)
- 💡 Ideas and cues on how your teams can come together around them.
- ✨ Inspiration to turn them into unforgettable milestones.
Upcoming cultural moments you should know about
Women’s Equality Day
More details >
When: August 26
Why? To commemorate women’s constitutional right to vote and to celebrate progress in closing the gender equality gap.
What do to: Help women achieve economic stability by donating to the J. Wayne Leonard Prosperity Center. See other ideas from the United Way.
Muharram (or Ashura) – The start of the Islamic New Year
More details >
When: August 31 – September 28
Why? This sacred time for those of the Muslim faith remembers Hussein Ibn Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, and commemorates his death.
What to do: Muslims often participate in fasting and mourning rituals. Non-Muslims may show solidarity by participating in safe fasts or even learning more about the faith by reading books like Yassmin’s Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
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NEW & NOTEWORTHY
- Need some virtual employee appreciation ideas? Check here.
- September is Hispanic Heritage Month — find ways to celebrate.
- Whether you’re giving an interview or being interviewed, here’s a list of common questions.