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About AI Process Manager

climb those work ladders

Elevator Pitch

Do you make to-do lists?
Do you maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)?
Are you unsure of:
where to start with a piece of work?
what task to do next or how to do it?
how to improve in your role?
who’s responsible for certain work?
the status of work across the org?
Well process management is your task list on growth hormones💪, on nutrient-dense compost🌱.
DALL·E 2023-07-16 19.25.17 - a light-filled oil painting of a tiny cog in a machine that is holding up the earth, in the style of the group of seven, particularly Lawren Harris.png
Process is the machinery that holds the world together.
Think of processes as actionable templates of tasks that you repeat, like onboarding employees, preparing OKRs, writing content, or building a product team.
Come to this tool to:
learn how your organization works from a single source of truth
create projects and tasks from your processes
log feedback as you use processes
make meaningful updates to your processes
AI is tastefully sprinkled throughout the tool, supporting your work by:
creating your processes, their steps, and work resources (templates, checklists, , etc.)
responding to your searches and queries, answering your plain language questions
giving feedback on ways to improve your processes.

Video Introduction

Watch this playlist for more information on AI Process Manager.
note: some features may have been updated since time of recording

Use Case GIFs

Here are some ways you can engage with this doc (disclaimer: AI works slower in person) ​Click the card to see a GIF or
click the ↪️ go to... to head straight to the page.
LEARN about or VIEW a process
ASK a PROCESS
CREATE a process using AI
DOCUMENT an existing process
EDIT a process and its steps
create a RESOURCE
ACTION a PROCESS (create a project and tasks)
MANAGE TASKS and projects
log FEEDBACK
action FEEDBACK

Getting Started

To use this doc in your organization, start with the following:

1. Sign up for Coda

If you don’t have an account, get one. It’s free!
Sign up for Coda

2. Copy this doc

Copy this doc
or if you’re here from processmanager.ca, go to

3. Delete existing doc data

Delete most of it, but save the
@Process
es,
@Step
s, and
@Resource
s
Delete (but save me something)
Delete everything
Delete it all

4. Enter some info about your organization

→ go to the page and provide some info on what your org is all about.

5. Enter some information about you and your colleagues

→ go to the page and identify yourselves 😎.


Doc Decoding

buttons

I use a lot of buttons when I make docs, buttons to open modals (pop-up windows) that make the doc feel more like an app. In general, those buttons are coloured accordingly:
navigate within the doc
add or create something (typically a row to a table)
delete something
Interact with AI

doc process

A
@Process
is made up of a set of
@Step
s. When you run a process, it’s copied as a
@Project
and its steps are copied as
@Task
s.
And that’s pretty much it! Here are a couple of visuals to help:

the Rainbow of Continuous Improvement

Coda Process Doc Map - Frame 4.jpg

AI Process Manager Process Map

Coda Process Doc Map - Frame 2 (4) (1).jpg
Term
Definition
1
Process
A templated set of activities that transform inputs into outputs.
2
Step
A templated action within a process, or a phase of a process. It’s often the smallest unit that can be assigned to a unique person.
3
Project
If a process is a template, then a project is that template made real. It’s a unique, one-time application of a process to a real-world problem.
4
Task
If a step is a templated action, then a task is that template made real. It’s a specific unit of work that needs to be completed within a project.
5
Resource
A resource refers to artefacts that can be used to accomplish a step or task, such as checklists, scripts, guidelines, templates, etc.
6
Feedback
An observation made about a task. This might be an issue, an idea, a feeling, or a suggestion for improvement.
There are no rows in this table

settings

There are a number of settings accessible on the page. I could probably expose more functions for your access, but this is it for now!


Why manage my Processes?

and why ladders in the cover image?
We’re ladder-climbers, humans - upwards in tiny, repeated steps - from single-cell to mammal, from prototype to product. Process is life, it’s embedded in all we are and all we do, as we are in it.
But doesn’t process just happen organically? Do we really need to manage it?
I mean, no you don’t need to manage your processes. But I expect most of you already are to some extent, and there’s a lot to be gained from expanding your practice.

7 benefits of process management

Faster, Better Work when you write down work as steps, unwanted redundancies and inefficiencies become apparent and surprisingly accessible. Then you can make changes.
Embed Strategy it’s hard to step outside of day-to-day work and see the point of it all: see from a larger perspective. Process management helps people make connections between disparate work activities and creates stronger links between team work and organizational strategy.
Strong Collaboration perspective again: when you see how your work connects with your team’s, you make more people-positive decisions.
Easy Adaptation → why wait for evolution to make our processes better? Active process management gives you control over your work, helps you simplify it, and targets effective improvements
More Automation making work explicit - identifying and breaking it into steps - is the precursor to assigning machine-work to machines and keeping the people-work for people
Efficient Onboarding new hires can refer to best practice processes to help them understand their work. When they get stuck, they can ask a process directly or quickly find the process owner and reach out.
Reduced-risk Offboarding departing colleagues have already documented their knowledge, or at least those aspects of their expertise that can be made explicit.

why AI?

There are a few problems with process and knowledge management that AI can help address.
First, it can be hard for some people to start thinking in terms of process. So this doc uses AI to create the processes while you focus on observing, amending, and adapting them.
Second, there’s always a risk that knowledge will go stale, or that people will have to spend time updating their processes to keep knowledge relevant. To that I say, well, good? You should be spending some time thinking about and working with your processes from a second-order perspective. But not all your time. The application of AI in this doc, along with the use of feedback for continuous improvement, is designed to help you reduce time spent on bad work, and make space for value-add activities.

About the Maker

👋 I’m Andy Farnsworth, and I handcrafted this doc with several thousand key presses and mouse clicks.
I’m the founder & principal of - a work design agency based in Toronto, Canada. We aim to make work feel natural, and to put the people back in “people spend 1/3 of their lives at work.”
You can find me in these digital spaces:
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PXL_20220511_203303577.PORTRAIT.jpg
I trained for 7 yrs as an , and practiced 10 yrs in nonprofit and public sector bootstrappery, coupled with an “anything can be better” affliction.
But before that I worked 20 jobs in 5 years. They weren’t glamorous jobs, including at least three box factories:
gluing together box-halves with a paint roller (trad box)
assembling the lids to Baskin Robbins ice cream cylinders (round box)
moving boxed kitchen cabinets from an assembly line to palettes (wood box).
My oft-repeated process through each job was intuitive and unconscious:
find the best paying job that’s a sure thing if I apply
write a good resume
mask my introversion and ace the interview
throw myself at the work until I feel I’ve mastered it or am the best at something
bore myself (as in both ‘boredom’ and the )
quit
So then I settled down and into my 10 year public sector stint. But I became unhappy there. Last year I took my wife’s advice and found a career counsellor to help me deal with work-related depression and anxiety (shout out to Haley and !). Through that work, I was cured! No, far better and worse, I realized that my whole life has been been about process. I’m an optimizer, always on the lookout for the atomic units of a task to tweak.
And I learned something else: the gains I got from focusing on small-scale improvement doubled when I wrote the process down. Who knew the power of writing things down.... Like, look at that process above. If I had honestly written down the steps I was following, I can’t believe I’d have kept following them. I would have addressed individual steps, thereby fixing my own mental health issues (e.g., step 1, which was my attempt to swing low enough that I wouldn’t damage my ego.)
So now I embrace process. I help organizations design better processes. I design process-based Coda docs. I hope this one works for you, and please do reach out with any questions or comments.

Page Images

All images (except the one of my face), were created using OpenAI’s Dall-E image generator and prompts like:
an oil painting of a non-gendered human running in a foot race through the desert, where the only other competitor is a tumbleweed made of household tools like hammers and pencils, in the style of the group of seven, particularly Lawren Harris
DALL·E 2023-07-14 10.19.27 - an oil painting of a non-gendered human running in a foot race through the desert, where the only other competitor is a tumbleweed made up of househol.png

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