Always be prepared – A dedicated solution for the World Organisation of the Scout Movement


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Project Plan Services (PPS) speaks to World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) Director, Ruth Potts and PPS Consultant, Andrew Gerrish to discuss the recent project launch using Smartsheet.


The World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) delivers tailored support and assistance to National Scout Organisations around the world by pairing them with a volunteer consultant who provides guidance and advice for the duration of a project.


“The platform we use to do this is very bespoke and has been created from scratch. The challenge that we have always had is how to report on how things are doing within the services” explained Ruth Potts, Director of Membership Services at the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.


With the demand and uptake of the platform growing, the need to understand and report on the results became more important and integral to ensure the right services were being offered at the right time.


“We have a pool of 200 volunteer consultants, we need to know who has been appointed to a project. You can go into the system and you can search their name and see where they are but there's no way of being able to see the key stats to see what areas we need to focus on and improve.”


Potts described how due to the type of information being input into the system required an equally complex way of pulling data and reports back out from the system. “I was having to create the report every month which was taking a week's worth of man-hours. Downloading the spreadsheet, cleaning in Excel, putting in pivot tables, cleaning the information, putting it in the right format and then sending out a PDF of a report to everyone each month. That was a huge amount of cash being spent in additional time and resources.”


PPS were able to support WOSM to build a reporting central Smartsheet dashboard, Andrew Gerrish, PPS Consultant, who worked with Potts on the project, outlines the detail. “The World Organisation of Scouts needed to report on a whole range of metrics covering the different “Services” being offered across the globe. The challenge was to produce multiple Smartsheet dashboards analysing the data and presenting the metrics in chart format so that monthly trends were clearly visible. Analysis was required by geographical region and by Service. It was also a key requirement that the amount of time spent entering data was reduced to a minimum. Historically, these reports had been produced by a very lengthy process utilising Excel and numerous pivot tables.”


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Non-profits are often faced with limited budgets however PPS were able to tailor solutions and services to implement the reporting dashboard for WOSM. In addition, continued support from PPS meant that once the custom solution was implemented and launched, the PPS team were able to always be on hand to answer questions and make any necessary amends. “The PPS team was super helpful and kind, working with us on the budget that we had to find a solution and we could not have come up with that solution on our own” explains Potts.


Gerrish details that the solution developed has meant that once the essential metadata (export from the Scouts computer system) is pasted into Smartsheet, all the data manipulation that previously had to be performed manually in Excel has been eliminated. An existing Smartsheet capturing essential information about volunteer consultants is also utilised. Two key Smartsheets then perform numerous calculations and cross sheet lookups to compile all the necessary data sets, and they, in turn, provide the information to produce a whole series of reports, charts and dashboards.


A central Smartsheet dashboard is used as a portal, or landing page, to access a global dashboard, 6 regional dashboards and 13 Service dashboards. The reports and charts within each dashboard very clearly show information spanning the last 12 months, and this enables trends to be recognised and appropriate management action to be taken promptly, without the previous huge administrative burden.


“What we have now is a really clear approach that gives every one of our six regions and our global support centre level a really clean way of being able to see information and most importantly, the trends because that's what we were missing before.”


WOSM hopes that this project and the results are really going to change the way in which they target their energy of what needs to be looked at and the resources allocated to each area.


“It is safe to say that this has saved us at least three days per month for one member of staff. We are already getting feedback from the service areas that it is incredibly useful and will pay more attention compared to the previous reports.”


PPS works with organisations from all industries and sectors including non-profit, finding a tailored and personal solution for you and your business. If you would like to find out more, contact the PPS team today.