How we created scalable empowerment

How we created scalable empowerment

May 2017 - Sep 2017
How we created scalable empowerment

Project results


Market Saturation

Project Objectives

In order to better serve the priorities of our local campus chapters, we produced a campus event toolkit.  I decided this would be a good project to prioritize for our summer internship program.  This allowed us to both involve the end user in the project team as well as develop future project managers for the organization.

The key objectives included:

  • Perform research to determine what resources are needed.
  • All needed resources packaged together for a leader to plan a major chapter event.
  • Campus chapters identified to test the first version of the toolkit.
  • Internal communication and onboarding plan.

Project Execution

Strategic and Business Management

Key organizational goals included increasing empowerment and resources to the local chapters.  The major fall and spring events play a critical role in shaping the culture and community of these chapters.  In alignment with the strategic objectives, this toolkit was designed to serve the fall events.  We later created a similar resource for the spring events.

There was also a business need to significantly reduce overhead and barrier to entry for those leading these events.  We involved student leaders in the project team in order to design a product that any student leader could use immediately.

Technical Project Management

I led the team to take an agile approach and taught them to keep our work on a Kanban board.  Because the work was done over the course of a summer with student interns, the iterative approach helped us manage the scope and schedule well.

We used interviews with our target users to identify quality standards and converted them into success criteria.  Throughout the project, we iteratively reviewed the quality of the product with both stakeholders and users.

In the area of communications, I helped teach the team how to provide regular updates and develop a communications plan.


Team leadership examples

This team was primarily composed of summer interns with various levels of experience.  Much of my leadership was focused on the following areas:

  • Defining their roles
  • Training in human-centered design and project management skills
  • Providing regular feedback and coaching

I also used this project to develop them by applying different methods and tools.  I taught them skills like a RASCI (Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consultive, Inform) matrix, stakeholder management, Kanban boards, interviews and focus groups. We used both the Myers Briggs and Strengths Finder profiles for coaching and development.


You don't need to solve all the problems, just the important ones.  With the constraints of time and resources, you can't do everything.  We took an iterative approach and tried to solve the key pain points first and then worked toward a full product.

The power of an agile approach.  We regularly received key feedback from the target audience and even included them in the project team.  This user center approach, combined with regular feedback, allowed us to move quickly but also provide a quality product.

Project Outcomes

We produced an initial product by the end of the summer. It was beta-tested a few months later during the fall by a few chapters.  After some making some adjustments, the tool was adopted by over 35% of chapters in the nationwide pilot.  The project was then passed on to ongoing operations and continues to be updated and improved.

Ready to level up your company? Get in touch today!