Continuous Improvement blog Know Your Audience - That’s My Audience

Over the last 8 years or so, the CI Directorate has delivered training on “Evidencing the Benefits of Change”.  In the past the training was an in-depth, day-long session predominantly aimed at staff involved in projects and change.  

We continuously review our training based on the feedback that we receive and have practiced this over the years in relation to our benefits training, which has evolved over time.

But is this in itself enough? Was our focus too narrow? Did we know our audience?

A ‘one size fits all’ approach is unlikely to yield the best outcome for our colleagues across the University.

The day long training was a great platform to impart our knowledge about benefits and showcase our skills, but did it help embed a systematic approach and drive the desired behaviours around benefits management? Probably not, because our focus, or our intended audience, was too narrow. We were only targeting those involved in projects and change management, therefore excluding a large proportion of our colleagues and missing an opportunity to build awareness, knowledge and capability much more widely across the organisation.

This might sound obvious and perhaps it is, but it also highlights the importance of building in regular points of reflection, time to think, time to change and innovate.

So where are we now?

Well, we have changed our approach. Several inputs have driven this change including feedback from attendees and colleagues, remote/hybrid working, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement. We’ve also had lots of inter-team debates about objectives, deliverables, outputs and benefits. We believe it’s healthy to have these debates and to have diverse views. We’ve also found that lots of coffee, tea and caramel wafers (other delicious chocolate biscuits are available) also helps stimulate debate!

Our new approach is a tailored one, with different options, putting the customer requirement at the centre of the development of each approach.

Benefit Realisation for Success – An in person or remotely facilitated hour long session targeted at anyone with an interest in this area, aimed to provide foundation knowledge that can be applied immediately and at an individual or team level.

Benefits for Business Case Development – A digital offering, accessible as a supportive tool for completing a business case. A more mechanical offering looking at measurable benefits and how to identify them. Targeted at leaders to add value to business cases and help inform investment decisions.

Benefit Management - An in person or remotely facilitated session aimed at anyone who has completed ‘Benefit Realisation for Success’ and colleagues involved in projects or change. The aim is to provide a depth of understanding and practice through relevant scenarios and use of tools.

Each offering above targets a different audience and offers a development pathway in manageable stages to an advanced ability in the identification, realisation and management of benefits.

The above approach is a result of listening to and putting our customers first; and co-creating approaches suitable for each audience. It also reflects an evolving level of maturity relating to benefits management. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. We will continue to listen to feedback, to evolve, to build in time to reflect and innovate, and we’ll keep eating chocolate biscuits while we do this. We’ll let you know how it goes.

If you’d like to know more about our approach to benefits identification, realisation and management please get in touch: