Tuesday, 4 March 2014

See how Pro Bono O.R. helped Springboard with its resource planning

'Resource planning has been a stumbling block for Springboard for years. As a new CEO I know it’s important to enable innovation and growth at Springboard and a key part of that was re-thinking how we plan our services.' 

Mary Dawson (CEO) 

A resource planning tool 

Springboard for Children:
Working to change the effects of underachievement and social exclusion among children in deprived communities

The client’s problem:
To develop a resource planning tool that can be used to examine different options together with a short report

The solution
Pulled together the key financial and staff information into one spreadsheet
Created a summary of key statistics that updates automatically as resources are adjusted The charity was able to get a fresh perspective and benefit from an innovative solution in a short timescale The volunteer enjoyed using their skills to improve processes within a charity that is working to improve the lives of children in deprived communities
The charity was able to get a fresh perspective and benefit from an innovative solution in a short time scale
The volunteer enjoyed using their skills to improve processes within a charity that is working to improve the lives of children in deprived communities 

Created a user friendly tool to conduct scenario analysis on various resource options and allows the user to easily compare options

The approach
The charity runs two literacy schemes amongst schools in London and Manchester. It has a range of staff working on the schemes from managers to volunteers, each with a unique salary and working pattern. I began by pulling the information together into a spreadsheet, allowing for both unique and average salaries, so that the key information could be extracted easily for reports to the Trustees. I created a tool that could conduct scenario analysis by varying the inputs (schools, pupils, staff). The tool had to be flexible to allow for different staff roles (and associated costs),  but with constraints to ensure there were enough staff to meet the staff to pupil ratio. This tool is now being used to generate new ideas and ways of working and create a budget plan for 2014/2015 academic year and beyond.

The benefits
Staff now have ownership of their planning and we have already generated some interesting new ideas to help more children 


'The work is already supporting our planning and development for next year and allowing us to focus our thoughts and decisions on the places of most importance for our organisation. It has helped us to come up with new solutions already.'