How Adapta helped CAFOD to establish the right strategic direction for supporter information systems and technology.
CAFOD is the official Catholic aid charity for England and Wales, working with more than 500 partner organisations worldwide to reduce poverty. In 2012, CAFOD asked Adapta to carry out a strategic review of supporter information systems.
Starting with the systems analysis that CAFOD had already carried out we ran a short workshop with the leadership team, talking to them about their vision for supporter relationships and about the improvements they wanted to see. Further workshops and meetings were held with a wide range of teams both in London and in the regions, where we discussed their more detailed requirements, the options for achieving them, and the likely impact of change on the organisation and on staff.
From those meetings, we were able to develop a “high-level benefits map” showing how key changes to the processes, people and technology at CAFOD would produce the benefits the organisation wanted to see. The benefits map was a very tangible strategy document but our approach delivered it in a way that also secured the informed engagement of managers and staff for the later changes.
Throughout the project, we held several progress meetings with the steering group and with the leadership team, at which we fed back and discussed the feasibility of the different emerging options. We highlighted critical decisions that the leadership team would need to make about the systems being considered, and we facilitated discussion about the risks to CAFOD and about the organisation’s overall readiness for large-scale change.
Our final report was a clear recommendation about the best way forward, including an analysis of the technical options, the risks, and the practical next steps.
Our approach helped CAFOD to develop organisational awareness through providing an objective perspective, whilst nevertheless keeping people on board and focused on CAFOD’s strategic goals. By the end of the project, our consultants had secured the trust of managers and staff at all levels, providing CAFOD with reassurance that the next step was going to be the right one for the organisation.