We helped local Age UK groups to drive efficiencies and provide better services to their customers:

  • Digital roadmaps provide a prioritised blueprint for action
  • Digital toolkit enables the charity to meet strategic goals and drive efficiencies
  • Leadership workshops uncover service improvement opportunities

The challenge

Regional charities looking to transform

Inviqa (formerly Webcredible) has been working as Age UK's dedicated user experience consultancy and digital advisor since 2015. 

The Age UK network is looking to accelerate its digital maturity so that it can deliver better, more sustainable services and reach more people, with digitally-mature charities being 28% more likely to see an increase in funding (Lloyds UK Digital Index).

As part of its transformation, our latest piece of work focused on helping local Age UKs to identify how to use digital tools to drive efficiencies in the way they deliver services to older people in the UK.

A network looking to drive efficiencies

The local Age UKs – Age UK Hertfordshire, Age UK Lindsey, and so on – are separate, local, charitable organisations, offering free and paid-for support and services to help people and families in later life. 

The Age UK national team had run an assessment with local Age UKs to understand their digital maturity, digital capabilities, and use of technology across their operations. 

While results varied per partner, it was clear that many of the Age UK organisations were still relying on manual processes and had significant opportunities to drive efficiencies and improve services using digital technology.

A grant from the DCMS

Armed with this insight the organisation successfully bid for funding from The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) for a series of workshops that would develop digital leadership and strategic roadmaps with six local Age UKs.

These roadmaps needed to provide each business with a blueprint for improving business processes, driving time and cost efficiencies, and ultimately providing a better experience for older people, families, and staff.

Another key deliverable was a digital toolkit that would enable additional Age UK teams around the UK to conduct the workshops for themselves and develop their own transformation plans.

We’ve got a growing older population, so we’ve got to find more efficient and less costly ways of providing services to far more people. I see digital as being really important in enabling us to do that.

Andrew Gardner, CEO, Age UK Suffolk

What we did

Our work with the local Age UKs included:

  • Stakeholder interviews with each organisation
  • Two-day digital strategy workshops with each local team
  • Group digital leadership workshop with all six brand partners together

We kicked-off our engagement by interviewing key stakeholders from the six local Age UKs including CEOs, marketing directors, service directors, and chief operating officers.

This, together with the initial Age UK survey, provided critical information on each organisation’s mission and operations, helping our consultants to understand local needs, assess digital maturity, and gather existing strategic plans. 

With this information we then developed and delivered two-day digital strategy workshops with each of the six local charities, tailored to the needs of each business.

partner workshops diagram

Above: a pictorial representation of the partner workshops

And lastly we delivered a group digital leadership workshop where all six partners came together to:

  • Exchange learnings and digital roadmaps
  • Discuss common challenges for highlighting to the national team
  • Explore how they could collaborate and make changes together

The digital toolkit we have developed with Inviqa allows local Age UK teams to develop prioritised technology roadmaps and become digital champions in just two days.

Catherine Fraher, head of strategy and technology, Age UK

The individual partner workshops looked at the following key areas:

  • The what and why. We explored the context in which each business operates, including the how, what, and why of their operations.
  • Services review & classification. Together with each local team we identified services that deliver the highest impact to both older people and the organisation, such as information and advice, and home help and care. This exercise established where it made sense for the partner to try to increase impact and efficiency. The two high-impact services were then carried into the next exercise.
  • Service mapping and opportunities. We explored the end-to-end experience an older person has when engaging with a particular service, looking at every touch point they have with staff and the internal processes at every stage of the journey. Throughout the service mapping we looked at how technology could drive improved user experience and efficiencies. The exercise made it easy to identify where efforts were being duplicated and where processes could be optimised.
  • Data and insight. This exercise enabled teams to see where digital tools could help them become more effective and efficient in their processes, creating a plan for collecting data to help manage the business.
  • Prioritisation and roadmapping. We then mapped the opportunities for improvement, prioritising them by their ability to deliver a positive impact for older people and for the organisation, and by whether they could be achieved now, soon, or later. This prioritised list of initiatives provided the foundations for an ambitious but achievable roadmap. 
  • Identifying cultural challenges. Identifying cultural challenges in order to understand and develop an approach to developing an effective digital culture.

We now have a plan for driving digital change across the organisation and driving efficiencies in the way we operate.

Andrew Gardner, CEO, Age UK Suffolk

The results

Our work with the local Age UK teams resulted in the following outputs:

  • A recommendations report and digital roadmap for each local team
  • A digital toolkit for use by other local Age UK organisations across the country

With the prioritised digital roadmap, each local Age UK now has a blueprint for action that addresses required changes in culture and technology and ensures a return on investment from future digital investments. 

Local teams now have blueprints for customer services that are enabled by technology, along with culture change plans that able them to implement a step change in the way they work and integrate technology into their strategic goals and investment plans.  

The digital toolkit provides the Age UK national team with a reusable formula for helping other local Age UKs around the UK to deliver their own digital workshops and establish their own prioritised digital roadmaps. This means that the change frameworks and resources developed and delivered throughout this programme can be scaled across the entire Age UK network.

Together with Age UK we are assessing the impact of the training and tracking progress against each group’s KPIs. We’ll continue to help the charity to assess digital investments and track the organisation’s digital development using our digital maturity benchmarking.

The process has allowed us to view our services objectively and identify new opportunities. It will lead to more efficient processes and systems, helping us to stay ahead of the curve in our sector.

Mark Hanna, operations director, Age UK Hertfordshire

The workshop outcomes will have a huge impact on the organisation. The process has encouraged a focus on specific areas where impactful changes can be made relatively simply, along with a longer-term view.

Jo Reeder, head of marketing and fundraising, Age UK Suffolk