STEAMLabs

Process Design

About | STEAMLabs is an educational makerspace in downtown Toronto that offers memberships to independent makers, and project-based technology programs for beginners. A full year into operating, we needed to move away from our ad hoc operating habits, and prepare for the possibility of scaling to new locations by documenting, developing and streamlining processes. The most central of these was the process by which programs were planned, uploaded and promoted – the programming pipeline. See below for details about how I led the re-design of this central process.

Contribution | Project Lead / Director of Operations

 

Current State

Our approach involved producing and testing an initial spreadsheet using evidence of current workflow from prior meeting documents and emails, collecting feedback from staff, researching and selecting an appropriate project management tool, and continuously iterating on the workflow while in flight. 

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Resulting Process

Process moved to project management tool and "In Development" programs separated into an '"in development" phase, which required proof of concept and market validation before being included in the pipeline – minimizing risk and allowing for safe experimentation with new ideas for programming. This was one of many processes that were consolidated and collated to produce the STEAMLabs Living Handbook, which was cross-linked to the project management tool and used to train my replacement. Spreadsheet illustrating the first attempt to document and track the programming pipeline – used once and then abandoned by all but one staff member.