Let's face it, impact measurement often makes us panic. Especially when we don't have good systems in place to record the number of people who we help or the impact we are achieving. Deep down we know that our work is making a difference but if we're honest with ourselves, there's a lot of guesswork that we're doing in terms of quantifying the difference being made.
Fortunately it doesn't have to be this way. At Makerble we are familiar with organisations starting from zero or close to zero when it comes to impact measurement. In this blog we outline how we could take your organisation from zero to hero in just a few simple steps.
Step 1: Understanding where you are now
The question of whether you are doing impact measurement is not black and white. It's a grey area and one that we add colour to by thinking of it as "Impact Maturity": the gradual process that takes an organisation from not doing anything with regards impact measurement all the way through to being able to harness their impact data to improve their outcomes, increase their revenue and inform their communications. At some point, every organisation has been at the beginning of this journey. Where do you think your organisation is positioned on the Impact Maturity Curve?
Step 2: Staggering your rollout over time
When you start discussing Makerble with us, we will help you figure out where you are now on the Impact Maturity Curve and crucially, where you want to be over time, say over the course of a year. Then we'll examine your operations - your programmes, projects, services and campaigns - and decide with you when each of them should migrate over to Makerble. It is often the case that we stagger the rollout based on these variables:
- Projects: choosing which programmes, services, campaigns to manage on Makerble
- Processes: choosing which forms, surveys and aspects of data storage to manage on Makerble
- Locations: choosing when each of your offices and regions projects will be managed on Makerble
Step 3: Starting with the simple things first
Because impact measurement is about more than pure measurement and is actually about creating a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation; your journey to impact measurement needs to be well considered so that you bring your colleagues with you on the journey. We find that a sensible place to start is at the Streamline Reporting level. This is about getting your colleagues to use Makerble to capture basic information that makes their lives easier. Often this is as simple as:
- attendance data in a register
- participant data in terms of their contact details and demographic information
- anecdotes about the difference being made as observed by your colleagues
All of the above information can be captured quickly and painlessly using Forms and Stories. And once the data is collected, it is immediately visible on the Newsfeed where colleagues who have permission to access it can see the latest updates from your projects as well as Like your progress and add their comments.
Once organisations have these basics underway, three things start to happen.
- People save time because internal communication has improved across the organisation. There are other benefits to better internal communications aside from saving time, but time saved is the easiest to quantify. And for Managers, we have seen a time saving of 50% on the time they would spend on sifting through data.
- People feel more motivated and their productivity can in some instances double. This is because when you don't have a system, it is difficult for people to be aware of their own progress, let alone receive recognition from colleagues and managers for the work they have done. However on Makerble, everybody earns progress badges based on the updates they share.
- People want to elevate their progress tracking so that it is more sophisticated and a more accurate representation of the difference they are making. This is because people ultimately don't want their project progress boards to look like this; busy with Activity and Participation metrics but empty when it comes to Outcomes and longer term change.
Impact measurement doesn't have to be complicated. At Makerble we understand the multiple layers that make up impact measurement and we have designed a system that supports you as you start that journey to better impact measurement.
To find out how we can help you, contact our Client Services Team on 020 8123 6253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org