Turn Ideas into Reality by Hosting a Stretch Project
Claudia Fenelon's Story
In 2011, Claudia Fenelon brought her experience in knowledge, content, and information management to Kaiser as a Business Researcher. Learning about Stretch@KP when it launched, she joined her first project as a participant in a research role with Community Benefit. Enthused by a program that supports employees in pursuit of their interests, Claudia was inspired to start defining an idea she had for the creation of an information portal. The scoping process helped her think through and realize the many critical elements and benefits of her project. She presented the project to leadership, who were impressed with the demonstration so much that subsequently a new position was created for her in a Knowledge Management role for MSSO – her dream job!
With a new sense of achievement, Claudia set out to bring her vision of a knowledge sharing portal into reality. While pinning down what she needed to make this a success, she decided that tutorial videos would be an important component for the portal. However, she had no idea how to create them or the time to learn it. Claudia turned to Stretch@KP, asking for people who had experience or were interested in gaining experience in making videos. “The team I recruited was awesome. They came from diverse departments and all had experiences in different platforms of technology, so we all came together and taught each other.”
Use Stretch@KP as a network builder... It’s also a terrific low-risk prototyping tool.
Claudia’s project produced 14 videos for her newly launched KPIQ site. As a first-time host, Claudia explains what made her project so successful was 1. articulating scope, 2. making the project mutually beneficial and 3. project management. Claudia advises, “Articulating scope is critical, so everyone signing on knows exactly what is expected and to keep the project on track. You must take the time to understand and be able to articulate why the project was initiated, what you are trying to achieve, as well as the key objectives and deliverables.” She also recommends offering different kinds of roles as people have different skills and different time commitments but still want to contribute.
As for making the project mutually beneficial, Claudia encourages hosts to make sure everyone gets something out of the project. That means to approach the project with the intention that it just can't be about what you need, but also what is in it for someone else. “Respect the need for the participants to come away with something of their own out of this. It couldn't be just all about my videos. It had to be about my teammates’ videos and what they wanted to learn too,” says Claudia, “When screening candidates, ask what they are hoping to get out of it and where they would like to develop.”
If you think there's a more efficient way to do your job... there's a lot of smart people here with loads of expertise who are available to help.
Lastly, project management is important, keeping in mind that the team is offering their discretionary time to the project. “I made a long timeline and stayed flexible, knowing deadlines can slip because what's most important is your core job. In fact, we were so effective, we finished the project early!” Claudia also recommends setting up a Teams site where discussions could continue without interrupting each other in the middle of the workday. The team was able to upload videos for feedback, everyone knew where things were in the project plan, and work was not getting duplicated.
Claudia’s last piece of advice for anyone thinking about Stretch@KP is to realize it can be used in many ways. “Use it as a network builder – I’ve made connections with people I still stay in touch with. It’s also a terrific low-risk prototyping tool – I used video sources that were already at Kaiser that didn’t involve extra money. Finally, if you think there's a more efficient way to do your job, but you can’t quite figure out what it is - there's a lot of smart people here with loads of expertise who are available to help. If there is a better way to do something, Kaiser is going to support that, and they're going to support it through the Stretch@KP program.”