Communicate why impact management matters

Engage colleagues in meaningful conversations about the importance of impact management

Impact management can help your organisation improve the quality of your programme or service and achieve more for the people you exist to support. The information in this page helps you explain three sections of this website to your colleagues and why planning, data and culture are important. It also provides tips for talking to different groups: trustees, managers and frontline staff.

Planning

Planning

The planning section helps you consider—and get agreement about—who and who not to target in your service, how you will work with them, the issues you are trying to address and the impact you want to achieve. Doing this helps you to avoid staff and volunteers working at cross purposes, wasting resources and missing opportunities.

Having a clear purpose will also help you to monitor your progress and show funders and stakeholders that you have defined and articulated your aims.

Data

Data

Everyone who is involved in delivering a service will have a sense of whether or not it is making a positive difference. But a more systematic approach to collecting, analysing and using data can be helpful for the following reasons:

  • Because you can't see or understand everything that is going on across growing services, consistent data will help you to test your assumptions and get a better overall picture.
  • Formal data collection methods can help you to engage those who don’t automatically volunteer their views. This reduces the risk of generalisations from one or two success stories or informal observation.
  • Structured data collection can help you find out about a range of people's experiences, including those people who stop using a service or never start using it.
  • External stakeholders are more likely to be persuaded by a diverse and consistent selection of evidence rather than your own observations and judgements.
  • Data helps donors and taxpayers feel assured that money is being well spent.

Culture

Culture

The culture element of impact management relies on the view that everyone involved in delivering services has thoughts and insights they can share to help services be as effective as possible. Also that involving everyone in this process should be motivating and engaging—which may indirectly help to improve services because everyone maintains a focus on doing the best they can.

Communicating with different members of staff

To get support from managers and trustees, you could explain that an effective impact management system will:

  • Give us insights on where our services are working and where they are not, and showing us how to improve.
  • Give us confidence that we are collecting the right information, and not wasting resources collecting data that we don’t need.
  • Ensure that all data collected is actually used. By ensuring we collect that right data in the first place and encouraging / enabling everyone in the organisation to use data to generate their own insights.
  • Give you the data and information you need in a timely basis to identify any problems and make improvements as quickly as possible.
  • Give us the data we need to meet funder and stakeholder information requirements.
  • Enable us to have a better conversation with funders and stakeholders, based on robust data about our achievements.
  • Foster a positive improvement focussed attitude across the organisation.
  • Enable us to be more confident in our achievements; to motivate staff and volunteers and to impress external stakeholders.
  • Help us to speak more confidently about the issues our service users face, and to help us lobby and campaign for improvements.
  • Ensure that we are accountable to our beneficiaries and funders- and that failures or weak performance area identified and addressed.

Meanwhile, to get support from frontline staff you could explain that their engagement in impact management will:

  • Give everyone frequent insights on where our services are working and where they are not.
  • Ensure that our service users' experiences and voices are properly represented.
  • Ensure that we collect and use the right sort of data so that we don’t waste time collecting irrelevant information.
  • Reduce tedious form-filling and data entry by developing sensible systems and processes.
  • Provide users, staff, volunteers, funders and other stakeholders with better information about services.
  • Give you access to data and information that you need to support your day-to-day work.
  • Help you to personally contribute to the development of the service to improve users' experiences.
  • Enable you to develop new skills around data, analysis and problem solving.
  • Make this a better place to work and volunteer where we celebrate our successes, learn from mistakes and value everyone's views.

Next steps