Internal Communications Platform (“Caseyweek”)
A scaled solution for easing the flow of information within given staffing constraints.
Casey Family Programs 1999
As Casey dramatically expanded the scope and scale of its mission, staff relationships were strained by transitional turn-overs and the mass infusion of new employees, increasing the dependence on email for the timely dissemination of key information. However, the proliferation of messages on a daily basis strained staff capabilities to keep up, rapidly reaching a sense of “information overload” at the same time that more information was needed to confidently move forward.
As part of an Internal Communications taskforce, Ken proposed and designed a database-driven system for pre-loading, formatting and disseminating information on a weekly basis, reducing the daily burden and scaling the presentation of messaging to provide a rhythm and framework for getting information out in a way that reinforced a sense of access and connection.
Information was collected from executives, senior management, key departments (finance, human resource development, etc.) and other operational units and formatted into a headline, brief summary, and linkages to the corporate intranet or responsible personnel for additional detail as necessary.
The system was administered by existing personnel; no additional staff was required; editing for conciseness and consistency, formatting and distribution required little more than an hour a week.
As a result, more information was “bundled” and distributed than had been previously scattered throughout the week, and additional “features” could be readily added, such as the introduction of new staff, help desk technical tips, and plaudits from the CEO.
The system was subsequently extended to provide an online, searchable archive, relieving staff of the need to locally store the weekly summaries for reference.
The Finance Department requested a customized version of the database for departmental-level staff news and information, and after installation and orientation, the department’s administrative staff managed the system without additional support for over two years.
An additional version of the database was repurposed to provide a single page summary of key meetings, decision points, and vacation/travel calendars for the Child and Family Services senior management team.
“The SHORT summaries keep me informed of important news…I feel confident that the most important news will be highlighted.”
“I appreciate a single email with all the updates instead of several through the week. This way I can make time for reading this in one sitting rather than fielding a series of Casey-wide announcements that may or may not have any relevance to my day-to-day work.”
“This one email potentially has summarized what would have been like twenty.”
“It is not overwhelming and my mail box is less full.”
“It is nice to be able to get a snapshot of what’s happening within the program in one location.”
“I appreciate the feeling that we are connected to our home office in a more personal way.”