When I started in my previous position as a social community manager at Ameren Missouri, I didn’t go into it thinking specifically or clearly about process improvement. But within the first two weeks there, I set my sights – and even my goals – on improving what we know as the “Hit List.”
The “Hit List” is a daily email that goes out to multiple functions of the company – executives, managers, Corporate Communications, etc. – to provide a summary of what happened throughout the day in social media.
Sounds simple enough, right? However, it wasn’t.
This daily email, which had been circulated since 2010, took as much as an hour to curate together. On a good day, you could finish in 40 minutes. To put it simply, we had a lot of manual process involved.
Well within the first year of my new position, I decided to improve this process. Stepping back to it, the root problem we wanted to resolve was continuing to provide high-quality content in a snapshot but at a faster pace. Ideally, no more than 15-20 minutes.
I outlined the process as well as timeline to my supervisor, which I estimated would take as much as 8 months to pull together.
My approach focused around human-centered design and understanding how users viewed and used this information in the report as well as understanding what else they’d like to know.
With more than 20 percent response rate, we were able to begin making some notes such as ensuring the report was responsive on multiple devices, context around any issues or rising trends we were seeing as well as continuing to keep it daily.
From there, I hosted a series of small cross-functional user groups to gain a better understanding of the current weaknesses, taxonomy as well as get response to a couple of prototypes.
From there, it was time to figure out the biggest core issue for a social community manager – minimizing the amount of time to curate. The easiest solution – to me – was to automate some of the processes.
This meant playing around with dashboards in our corresponding social media platform – Sprinklr. I created some dashboards that would provide some clear trend lines as well as numbers to remove the manual processes.
Thus, we’d go from manually counting to taking simple screenshots and linking to respective social media posts.
Once the dashboard was in place and having user research in hand with prototypes, it was time to pull it altogether.
Once we determined the final looks and processes, as well as sign off from management, I pulled together our new SOP – standard operating procedures – and began circulating the new Hit List.
Not only did it continue to meet and exceed expectations, but the curation time was cut down to an average of 18 minutes. Giving social community managers up to 40 minutes back in their day.
What we’d call a successful process improvement.