Automating the Coaching Request – Working Out Loud

Our internal coaching network currently has a convoluted, manual process for processing a request for coaching. We, like many others, are tightening belts and therefore have limits around what technology we can leverage in applying a bit of automation. Therefore, I am now exploring how we can make best use of the various apps and tools available via Microsoft365, which is the current operating system for our organisation.

In the spirit of working out loud, and providing me with somewhere to expand on my thinking this seems like a good place to record my ideas, and possibly receive some feedback on whether I am heading down wrong or overly complex routes.

Our current route looks like this:

Blue boxes denote actions that have to be taken by our team.

Issues with this process:
– requires a lot of manual input from Admin Team and Coaching Network Lead
– initial coaching request can be waiting long periods before being opened, due to heavy e-mail traffic into inbox
– volunteer request can also be waiting long periods before being opened by network members, due to heavy e-mail traffic in their inbox
– additional time lost whilst waiting for Coaching Network Lead to confirm volunteer as best fit for relationship
– volunteer coach does not always notify Admin Team when relationship has concluded


Things to keep in mind when making changes:
– requests linked to formalised HR processes need to be identified to Coaching Network Lead
– requests made on behalf of others (e.g. by line-manager) need to be identified to Coaching Network Lead
– full details of coaching request only being made available to limited number of people (i.e. Admin Team, Coaching Network Lead, Confirmed Coach)
– Admin Team likely to be reduced to single member of staff
– no additional monies available

Initial possibilities with known apps/tools if functionality allows:

Next steps:
– check limitations on functionality of MSFlow for identified activities
– consider activity content of initial MSForm (i.e. identifying if request is linked to formal HR process or on behalf of other) and whether this can trigger activity
– check for alternate process, using other MS applications
– using PowerBI for snapshot dashboard and reporting

Anything else I should be considering? Anything I have misunderstood or missed entirely? Do you already have this flow created and are happy to share?

Image: organicwal – created in PowerPoint

Creative Commons License

Automating the Coaching Request – Working Out Loud by David Wallace was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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