An efficient workflow turns noble intentions into real and practical good.

Overview
Planet Water is a nonprofit that brings clean water to the world’s most disadvantaged communities. By providing filtration systems and education programs on water health and hygiene, Planet Water is working to end water poverty for 5 million people by 2020. Volano Solutions created a workflow management system for them that would efficiently track their programs and projects all around the world, making it possible for the organization to grow and meet their goals.

Challenge
Thirsty rural schools and villages all around the world, and Planet Water had the resources to help. They were anticipating a big leap and knew their current spreadsheets – as essential as they were at the time – were not going to be able to scale with the organization’s anticipated expansion. So Mark Steele, CEO of Planet Water, asked Volano to build a system that would efficiently track all of their international operations.

Solution
Our goal was to develop a workflow based web application that would empower Planet Water with the tools and practices they needed to fulfill their important mission. Starting with the spreadsheets Planet Water had already developed, we integrated them with the functionality of our Steelwool application to create an elaborate workflow management system that would not only support organizational growth, but also take it to a higher level of efficiency and performance.

The solution manages all projects from start to finish. From the initial assessment of a village to the deployment of a filtration system to its on-going sustainability reviews, the application was built to keep every project moving forward – and every person on it aware of their specific responsibilities. We’re especially proud of the creative approach we took to building a system of “work queues” that help each team to know their responsibilities. The work queue system proved to be so effective for Planet Water that it has become a feature of many of the workflow systems we build today.

Efficiency was improved with the streamlined method of requesting assessments on potential project locations. Accuracy was increased through a new validation process in the assessment and deployment checklists. Accountability was gained with the implementation of a checklist that provides collaboration around actionable items. Authentic sharing happened when project summaries were seamlessly displayed on Planet Water’s public home page as they were completed.