Capacity, a word you’ll hear often if you hang around the Clarus office or work with us on a project. We use it so frequently that we’ve just added our own definition for it to the Our Language section of our website. Here’s our version:
Capacity- The skills, resources, knowledge, manpower, and time required to implement and sustain both new and ongoing organizational initiatives; capacity is more than increasing headcount as it can be developed among current employees through effective training, communication, and planning. Clarus brings capacity that builds capacity.
I recently concluded a fascinating project for a large regional company where I was tasked with bringing capacity, process oversight, and project management to a complicated and urgent organizational initiative. On this project, I worked side-by-side company employees to determine and document a workflow process, measure progress, and meet aggressive deadlines.
In many ways, I was literally additional capacity as I brought skills, resources, knowledge, and time to the project. This task required me to quickly assimilate to the company’s culture, norms, and communication systems, something I am proud of my, and my Clarus colleagues’, ability to do easily.
But there were more layers to this project. At Clarus, when we take on a capacity-related or interim staffing project for a client, we make sure we leave the company with just as much capacity (or more!) as they enjoyed during the project. This means our work for and with the client is focused as much on unlocking untapped capacity as it is on accomplishing project deliverables. So while I was developing process flow charts and coordinating complicated project logistics, I was also observing opportunities to improve communication and equip current employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry the current project and similar future ones forward themselves.
As you can imagine, this is rewarding work. On this project, we finished 90 days before a mandatory deadline. This accomplishment alone built internal capacity as it affirmed the capabilities of the team and bred confidence that will fuel future efforts. Other highlights include the formation of a team itself, improved communication methods, and the development of processes. These results increase efficiency and effectiveness, two important factors in building capacity.
I look forward to my next opportunity to actively join a client’s team as it affords me the unique opportunity to help a company maximize its current resources and marvel at its accomplishments.