Change & Organisational Development

Digital Workforce & Operating Models

The challenge

Despite all the talk about change, leadership, agile, data and modern application platforms, your organisation will not benefit from digitisation unless staff can adopt and look to further exploit the platforms you have invested in. This can be hard as it can require changes to ingrained behaviours: new ways of working across teams, new tools to get familiar with and new information to use.

Adapta’s consultants often see organisations that have modern cloud platforms but still suffer from silo-based working behaviours or still struggle to find the right content or data. Despite a plethora of on-line training options, staff still feel they are “scratching the surface of what the tools are capable of”. Your organisation may have capabilities to “keep the lights on” but staff need targeted help to better use the platform functionality and data relevant to their role. Perhaps functions wish to build their own expertise on the platforms and data they use rather than be dependent on IT or a 3rd party. Perhaps some champions are employed. But mostly no-one seems to quite have the time. “Digital workforce” is not just a buzzword – it represents the idea that your staff are confident with the digital investments made; that they are better able to fulfil their roles and contribute to your organisation’s success. What is the point of investing in digital technology without a digital workforce to exploit it?

As organisations digitally evolve, this also raises the question of what the role of a modern IT function should be. What specialist digital and data capabilities should your organisation develop internally? What is best outsourced? Are the suppliers you have today offering the right levels of service that compliment your internal skillsets? How do you define staff accountabilities within your organisations for digital, data and technology? What is SMT/SLT accountable for? What is the right digital technology operating model for your organisation?

As digital becomes ever more pervasive in an organisation, deciding where to build technology skills and digital capabilities is getting more complex. Models that pin all this on a single IT or digital person is inherently limiting for all but the smallest organisations. By taking the time to think about your digital operating model you are ensuring that your workforce can continuously evolve and improve the use of digital and data over time.

The challenge
How we can help

How we can help

Adapta has been helping charities, membership bodies and others of all sizes for many years. Our consultants have held CEO, CIO and HR positions in both large and small organisations and recognise that such organisational development questions require a different blend of skills from delivering technology change.

We have advised small charities without dedicated digital/IT roles and staff that describe themselves as “technophobes” through to large organisations with established IT teams, modern platforms and pockets of digital and data excellence).

The ways that Adapta can help are varied but could include:

  • Engaging your workforce directly to understand what is inhibiting use and comfort with existing tools.
  • Identification of high impact/no cost “quick wins” that result in staff doing more with digital in incremental steps.
  • Identification of high value business use cases - that may require investment – to provide compelling new reasons for staff to work digitally.
  • Reworking how you can better store and provide access to your content and dashboards to your staff or external parties.
  • Reviewing the purpose of any intranet or approach to internal communications and knowledge sharing.
  • Digital literacy assessments and approaches to staff learning including training, champion models etc.
  • Team specific approaches i.e. to help fundraising or HR teams work better with digital and data focusing on tools and data relevant to them.
  • Scoping new automation and integration opportunities.
  • Reviewing and advising on the optimum resourcing model for your IT, digital and data functions – whether through in-house staffing, restructuring teams, changing responsibilities and roles, outsourcing or selecting the right portfolio of technology partners.

For digital/technology operating model concerns, we can perform an “as is” analysis of your current operating model to independently assess what capabilities you have (suppliers and staff), what you don’t and what you need. We do this in a way that is objective, respectful and backed by our knowledge from other organisations. Further we can then help you determine a “to be” digital and technology operating model that considers the whole organisation. If wanted we can further help with change planning, restructuring or merging IT and digital teams, recruitment, switching suppliers and more.

How we can help How we can help

What we will deliver

The detail of our approach varies according to the circumstances facing each of our clients – but we always start with where you, your organisation and your managers and staff actually are. In practical terms, that means we have a “toolbox” of consultancy deliverables that can be employed if appropriate to your needs.

Digital workforce deliverables include:

  • “As Is” analysis of your digital workforce to help you better understand staff sentiment, perceptions on digital literacy, perceived blockers to digital working and key actors to help own and drive change.
  • Identification of business use cases that organisations currently do “analogue” but wish to do “digital”. This can create quite an extensive list which we break this down into near-term/low-cost quick wins through to more major change initiatives.
  • Information and collaboration architecture (a high-level vision for a modern intranet including where staff store what and what work to do where. Often this can act as a scope of work for your Microsoft supplier or in-house team to develop).
  • Content/Information management processes and end user security controls (how to manage records; what meta data to employ (if any); what various cohorts of staff can and cannot do).
  • How to improve staff experience; digital literacy; production of staff guidelines, targeted support offers.
  • Team based use cases (to scope out in detail compelling use cases for specific teams and what needs to change in the wider organisation to realise them).

Digital Operating Model deliverables can include:

  • “As Is” Digital, data and technology capability analysis. What capabilities are lacking? What are over worked? What are lacking? What are internalised? Or externalised?
  • “To be” digital, data and technology operating model. Recommended staffing and suppliers mapped against capabilities needed.
  • Individual supplier assessments including contract renegotiation, relationship fixing or replacement.
  • Independent and objective assessment of staff skills (using the SFIA framework); recruitment; function reviews.
What we will deliver
How we can help

Our credentials

Adapta consultants are experienced practitioners with many years’ experience in the sector. The people we bring alongside to work with your own teams have all worked closely with similar organisations facing similar challenges. Culture is often the main impediment to organisational change and our focus on the charities, membership bodies and others has been our best training for helping to achieve success.

Our credentials

What our clients say

, Rebecca Pritchard
Client Quote

Rebecca Pritchard
Former Director of Operations, Crisis

"Adapta have been honest and realistic with us throughout. They are clear where they can add value and where we can do things on our own – so it feels like a partnership..."

, James Kliffen
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James Kliffen
Head of Fundraising, MSF UK

"You have had a huge influence in our fundraising, and I would enthusiastically recommend you to other charities (and often have)..."

, Phil Durbin
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Phil Durbin
Former Head of Corporate Systems, Salvation Army

"Unlike many consultants, Adapta won’t tell you what you expect to hear. They will be very honest and challenging and, even if some of what they say is uncomfortable to hear, it means you end up getting better advice."

, Dawn Varley
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Dawn Varley
Operations & Strategy Director, Badger Trust

"I knew I could task them with my problem, and leave them to undertake the work in a professional yet friendly way, bringing their expertise and experience to the project…"

, Iain McSeveney
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Iain McSeveney
Finance Director, Medical Aid for Palestinians

"I’m very pleased with the professional way that Adapta managed the project for the selection of MAP’s new accounting software. It was obvious that they have great experience in the charity sector and on the range of suitable accounting software currently on the market..."

, Rachel Rand
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Rachel Rand
Strategic Director - Finance and Corporate Services, NCB

"I would not embark on any IT project without first meeting with Adapta to understand how they feel they could support me. I have found their guidance and practical support invaluable…"

, Rosalba Leonelli
Client Quote

Rosalba Leonelli
Head of Finance, Client Earth

"Thank you to you and your team for developing and facilitating an excellent workshop. You fully understood our needs which were evident in the workshop structure and content…"


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