Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Using scientific approaches to improve an organisation’s effectiveness

“Using scientific approaches to improve an organisation’s effectiveness”
- Pro Bono O.R. (Operational Research)


What is Pro Bono O.R.?


Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme that was launched by The OR Society in 2013 that places volunteer analysts in short term projects with third sector organisations across the UK to assist them in making operational improvements.


Operational Research uses a scientific approach to improve an organisations effectiveness. Areas include: strategy, systems, processes, operations and decision-making.

Benefits of free professional support

Third Sector organisations face extremely complex decisions about the direction they should take and how to allocate scarce resources. These are some of the common issues that organisations we’ve spoken with face:

· ‘We have lots of different options for the future but it’s impossible to decide which to choose in such uncertain times.’

· ‘We’re under huge pressure to do more with less, and we don’t know how we’re going to do it.’

· ‘It’s hard to stay objective when we’re faced with such emotionally charged decisions.’

· ‘We know we’re doing a good job – but how can we prove it?’


Time is always a pressure, especially in the third sector and we are often under pressure to ‘do more with less’. Collating and analysing data, planning strategy, improving processes and measuring impact are all areas that require time and in many cases specialist skills. Pro Bono O.R. can provide the time and the skills.


Don’t just trust us

“I would recommend to other charities looking for consultants to deliver operational projects that they reach out to Pro Bono O.R. in the first instance – securing first class consultants/volunteers who will deliver a project for free is something that no charity should overlook!”                      Head of Fundraising & Strategy
“Pro Bono O.R. developed a resource planning tool that can be used to generate new ideas and ways of working and create a budget plan for 2014/2015 academic year and beyond.”
Chief Executive 

"We are enormously grateful for being able to benefit from the advice and support of such a knowledgeable and experienced professional, who was able to raise challenging issues in a sensitive and helpful way"
Performance manager 

So far…

Since launching in September 2013, Pro Bono O.R. has completed over forty projects and is currently working with a further twenty organisations. We have over 350 volunteers across the UK and these range from retired professionals to analysts in their early career, consultants and others in the O.R./analytics profession who either volunteer in their own time, are given company time or a mixture of both. Ninety of those volunteers have already worked/are working on projects and many more are eager to get involved with helping support third sector organisations.


Here are some of the issues the projects we’ve already completed have addressed:


· Strategic planning/review

· Impact measurement

· Process improvement

· Data analysis

· Business planning

· Efficiency improvement

· Options appraisal

· Decision making

· scheduling


To see all the projects we’ve work on and read the case studies please visit: Case studies


What next?


For further information about O.R. and the ways in which is can help please read: O.R. and the Third Sector

For more information about the scheme, to see case studies and to request support, please visit the webpage.










Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Latest case study with bikeworks: reviewing management information arrangements


One of our volunteer analysts have just completed a project with bikeworks. The project has been summarised in this case study slide below.  

To see this and further case studies Pro Bono O.R. has completed please visit: Pro Bono O.R.





To find out more and to see how to get involved, please visit: Pro Bono O.R.

You can contact me via Email,Twitter or LinkedIn

Thursday, 12 November 2015

NewChoice for Youth: project requiring volunteers

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme run by The OR Society that provides skills-based volunteers to work on short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK. 

Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you.

Please find details of a new project below that we are seeking a volunteer(s) for:

New Choices for Youth

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: To provide and support facilities for education, training and social rehabilitation for young people who are at risk and or vulnerable, and so develop the physical, mental and spiritual capacities of such persons to that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.  

Main activities of the organisation: 
·         Accredited Training
·         Supported Housing
·         Mental Well-Being
·         Youth Activities and Youth Development

Project summary:
Project: Legacy /Impact: NCY has over 30 years’ experience of working with and supporting young people.  We would like to complete a study of those who have experienced our services over the years to see where they are now and what impact our services had on their journey/decisions/achievements.
Time commitment:
6-10 days over 5 months
Location:  25 Claughton Road, London E13 9PN (Mix of onsite and remote working required)

Please read the project scope and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Thursday 26th November 2015.

This project is suitable for an individual volunteer, pair or team of analysts.  If you would like to work on a project with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this.  

Lastly, if you are interested in working on a project but cannot meet the deadline specified please do register your interest in the first instance before the deadline.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch: felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com or 0121 233 9300


I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Diabetes UK: Supporter care and process improvement #ProBonoOR


A team of volunteers from Thales recently finish a project with Diabetes UK. The project has been summarised in this case study slide below.  To see this and further case studies Pro Bono O.R. has completed please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/casestudies.aspx




To find out more and to see how to get involved, please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Great feedback from Diabetes UK


A team of volunteers has recently finish a project with Diabetes UK (case study slide to follow shortly).

This is what Diabetes UK had to say at the end of the project:

'I would recommend to other charities looking for consultants to deliver operational projects that they reach out to O.R. in the first instance – securing first class consultants/volunteers who will deliver a project for free is something that no charity should overlook!'

Here's what the had to say about the volunteers:

'The team were able to pull out the key issues that were causing delays/duplication within our processes and systems and make a wide range of recommendations for us to deliver on. They were really easy to communicate with and took on board feedback from us at various stages and were dedicated to helping us achieve our goals.'

This is what they said about the difference it would make:

'We now have a raft of recommendations to deliver that will help us reduce inefficiencies in our processes. It has also highlighted areas for us to spend more time evaluating and we will now take them forward. Ultimately, this work will help us provide a better standard of supporter care to all donors across the charity.'

All the Pro Bono O.R. volunteers are doing a great job and making a significant difference.

To find out more and to see how to get involved, please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx