Digital Workforce & Operating Models
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.
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.
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.
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.
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