Moving from the What to the Offer?
Our series of blogs is exploring a model to develop an effective MAT, using industry best practice and our research having worked with a range of Multi Academy Trusts.
Just to remind ourselves, our first blog set out the principals of the research out there already. In our second blog we explored the work from Simon Sinek which included:
- The “Why” in a MAT setting represents the reason this Trust exists – Fundamentally, why does your Trust exist?
- The “How” in a MAT setting represents the functions or teams needed to deliver the vision of the MAT.
- The “What” represents the services they provide or the processes they oversee.
To continue this series, we are going to focus this blog on the 4th stage of this approach, developing an offer:
Defining your Offer
Having defined your “Why”, the “How”, and the “What”, we can then begin to define the offer for each service area. Fundamentally, the offer sets out:
- The deliverable for the service
- The responsibilities of the Trust and academy
- The processes that underpin each deliverable
- Documentation for that service
In our experience when working on your offer, it is best done by getting each leader to spend time drawing up their list of key ‘services’ and process that make up their service.
Having completed this exercise it can be good to share this with key stakeholders to check the alignment of the leader and the customer matches. Where is doesn’t, use this as an opportunity seek alignment and the approach to centralised vs. decentralised.
The Offer for each service can largely use the following format:
An example of a completed one for Accident Reports is as follows:
Evaluating and Mapping Processes & Documentation
It can be good when starting to define your offer and the details of each deliverable to start with the ‘top 10’ processes. This can help leaders to distil down key deliverables to those that are most important.
Having set out each responsibility, the next step is to critically evaluate each process, diving into each process and providing robust challenge and support to each functional lead in respect of each process. We believe the fundamental questions to be asking are:
1. Does the current process meet the necessary compliance requirements?
2. Does the process meet and reflect users’ needs / Trust needs?
3. How long does it take to complete?
4. Can it be automated or eliminated? Consequently, what happens if this process doesn’t exist?
5. What documentation or guidance is needed to make the process effective?
6. Are there any risks with this process?
The output from the approach will mean that processes are prioritised and evaluated according to the impact and urgency they have respectively in the Trust and across your academies. This approach can help identify where processes operate across functions and where this happens, you can then look to clearly define the functional ownership of each responsibility.
Mapping each of the areas of the service out now allows each leader to map each key element of documentation needed to deliver that service. When doing this, you can consider developing a common filing structure to make the documentation you are creating easily available to all across your Trust.
We usually see Trusts use for this purpose Microsoft SharePoint, however depending on the technology choices of the Trust this can be delivered in a number of ways.
Next time we will explore the development of KPI’s to monitor the effectiveness of your offer, alongside developing a Quality Assurance system to assure the board and stakeholders are aware as to what you are offering.
Our next blog will land in the next few weeks!
EPI partners with the DfE, Local Authorities and Multi Academy Trusts to deliver school improvement and resource management support.
EPI was founded in 2015 by our Managing Director, Nathan Jeremiah to support the education sector in the UK with strong school resource management support. Since then, we have built strong relationships with the Department for Education as a School Resource Management Advisers (SRMA) Supplier and latterly as the sole Accreditor for all new SRMA’s until 2024. EPI is also an approved supplier to the ESFA for financial support for schools where we are supported numerous Trusts and Academies.
We are proud to work with schools, academies and trust in the UK and Internationally through a range of Resource Management projects, providing Interim support as well as supporting specific projects.
Learn more about EPI at www.edupi.org.uk