When you are getting started with proving and improving there are ten elements to consider as part of any proving or improving process. They are not necessarily separate from what your organisation already does. They can play a greater or lesser role depending upon where your organisation is in its development and what your needs are.
The Ten Elements
You can read the précis of each element below. Each aspect will be taken up further in other parts of this toolkit to help you build your skills and knowledge.
Précis of each element
- Your motivation. Identify the key reasons why you want to engage in a proving and/or improving process, your expectations about the process, ‘windows of opportunity’, the available resources, leadership issues and the appropriate tools or methods.
- Your vision. Set forth the organisation’s mission, values, and objectives. Identify its major activities.
- Stakeholders. Know who is affected by or affects your organisation in all of its activities, whether intentionally or not.
- Impact Map. Specify what the organisation does and how it does it; how it intends to achieve its social, environmental/economic mission as well as its financial sustainability; and how it plans to live up to its values.
- Your indicators. The organisation needs to be able to identify and show progress and identify both intended and unexpected outcomes. Here, you’ll prioritise what is most important to measure and choose the ways in which you will see change happening.
- Make a plan. After prioritising the indicators, decide on methods for collecting information relating to the indicators.
- Collect data. Collecting information can be done in a number of ways as outlined in your methodology or plan, as long as it can be stored and drawn upon usefully.
- Analyse information. Seeing what the data you collect tells you can happen throughout the process, and can also be summed up at the end of a cycle to make some conclusions.
- Sharing information. Make what you have learnt a part of a dialogue or conversation, offering different stakeholders the opportunity to learn from the process and feed their thoughts and opinions into the next round.
- Learning & Action. A proving and/or improving process is a chance to do things better in the future. Make what you have learnt part of a plan for improvement –the necessary actions, changes and the resources needed to enable the desired changes.
After exploring the key elements of proving and improving, you can visit the Measuring Impact section for guidance on measuring the outcomes and impacts of your work or investigate Tools to introduce you to further frameworks and methods for proving and improving.
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