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Evolve workshop (GMCVO/NCVO)

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How to increase your efficiency and effectiveness.
Pro Bono O.R. was invited to run a workshop at Evolve. This handout shows what was covered during the workshop. The workshop was very well attended and had a very positive response.

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Evolve workshop (GMCVO/NCVO)

  1. 1. 1 EVOLVE  GREATER MANCHESTER  Friday 13th June, 2014 How Operational Research can  improve your organisation’s decision  making Graham Rand Jane Parkin Felicity McLeister For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com An obvious question– what is Operational Research? • Sometimes known as Management Science,  OR/MS or MS/OR • Called Operations Research in some countries • "OR is the application of objective methods to  complex problems arising in the direction and  management of large systems of people and  resources faced by industry, the public sector and  other organisations." • "The purpose of OR is to enable managers to  make more effective decisions." For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com How does O.R. help managers  make better decisions? By using techniques such as problem structuring methods  and mathematical modelling to analyse complex  situations, operational research gives those who run  organisations the power to make more effective decisions  and build more productive systems based on: • More complete data • Consideration of all available options • Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk • The latest decision tools and techniques For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com What types of problem? • Decision to be made • Choices of action • Significant effect o not worthwhile for trivial decisions • Suitable client o willing to consider recommendations o able to carry them out For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Strategic "one‐off" decisions Examples • Warehouse layouts o where should my products go? o aim – minimum work • Relocating offices o to where should we move? o aim ‐ minimum cost, minimum travelling time for  staff • Characteristics o important to get right! o costly to reverse • Output – recommendations  For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com
  2. 2. 2 “Tactical" not strategic decisions Examples • Inventory management o what to buy, how often, where to put it, etc. • Allocating grants o how to design the scorecard • Characteristics o about processes ‐ not one‐off decisions • Output o probably recommendations o possibly also a computer system for future situations For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Extremely detailed issues Examples • University timetabling o what is taught when, where, by whom to whom o aim – high quality of education • Organising appointments o matching providers and clients, at specific times o aims – good match, minimum wasted time • Characteristics o best possible solution not vital ‐ good enough will do o not clear what "best" means anyway • Output – computer systems o for use by technical person – maybe the developer For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Providing good information Examples • Keeping track of performance o collecting measurements and using them to  highlight changes  • Forecasting market share for a new service provision o maybe after 6, 12, 24 months • Characteristics o not recommending action but providing a system o an aid to future decisions • Output  o a computer system for client's use For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com So what does an OR problem‐solving  approach consist of? • Problem structuring, formulation o always • Data gathering/analysis o sometimes   • Helping managers to understand o this may be all that's required • Producing computer systems o quite often • Most OR involves MODELLING o quantitative or qualitative For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Models: thinking through consequences, "reflection before action" OK to "suck it & see"  for simple issues. Rather disastrous for  complex issues and  designs Alternatives to modelling • Do nothing • Seat of the pants (intuition) • Experiment on the real system o Cost o Time o Danger For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com
  3. 3. 3 Hard or Soft OR ? • Soft OR ‐ qualitative, subjective o less prescriptive, more descriptive o help stakeholders see the issues more clearly o facilitation rather than recommendation o usually the start of any project • Hard OR ‐ quantitative, objective o measure what you can o may have to ignore what you can't o make specific recommendations • Many projects combine the two approaches For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com O.R for the Third Sector Some of the problems third sector organisations are faced with: • ‘We have lots of different options for the future but it’s  impossible to decide which to choose in such uncertain  times.’ • ‘We’re under huge pressure to do more with less, and we  don’t know how we’re going to do it.’ • ‘It’s hard to stay objective when we’re faced with such  emotionally charged decisions.’ • ‘We know we’re doing a good job – but how can we prove  it?’ We felt that O.R. could help and set up Pro Bono O.R. For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Pro Bono O.R. • Set up as a service to third sector organisations by  The OR Society o ‘provides some of the head to your  organisation’s heart’ • Some organisations we have helped: For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Some comments from clients • “We’ve benefited hugely from your work and support in all  areas of the project, and from an organisational perspective  you’ve enabled us to take a highly professional approach to  increasing the efficiency of our charity” • ‘The work is already supporting our planning and development  for next year and allowing us to focus our thoughts and  decisions on the places of most importance for our  organisation’ • “Resource planning has been a stumbling block for years. As a  new CEO I know how important it is to motivate staff and a  key part of that was re‐thinking how we plan our services.” For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Example 1: Crimestoppers Help police solve and prevent crime In 2011/12: • Received 95,276 calls and online forms o with useful information • Resulted in: o 8,097 criminals arrested and charged o £22,340,328 worth of illegal drugs seized o £7,723,373 worth of stolen goods recovered Expecting 60% increase in business but no more funds  available for staffing call centre  For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Simulation Model using current shifts  For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Target: 90% of  calls to be  answered in 20 seconds
  4. 4. 4 For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Modelling alternative shift patterns Results for an average week Alternatives modelled 1 CS initial proposal ‐ longer shifts 2 as 1 with some part time weekend shifts  added 3 as 2 with amendments to weekend shifts 4 as 3 but extending one shift 5 as 4 but changing start times for early  shifts Implementation New shift patterns introduced Jan 2013 January performance compared to 2012 average • Service levels increased o From 90% to 94% • Abandoned calls decreased o From 12% to 6% • Average time to answer call decreased o From 28 secs to 13 secs “We are grinning like Cheshire cats and I wanted to  share the good feeling with you both. Thank you for  all your efforts – I feel now it really was worth it.” (Performance Manager) For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com Example 2: Reach  The client:  Reach: an organisation matching skilled volunteers to charities that need  them The problem:  to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of matching processes, free up  resource, develop more value adding activities The approach: we • interviewed staff  • facilitated focus groups of matching staff and IT support • work shadowed a ‘matcher’ and the Foundation Services Co‐ordinator • discussed potential  measures of impact with Research and Business  Analysis Manager  • examined available documentation, collated and distilled the  information • discussed issues  identified with  a process improvement expert For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com The Solution • Identified short term efficiency  improvements • Recommended additional value  adding activities • Identified ways of measuring impact • Recommended a roadmap for  moving to  a new service delivery model The benefits • A new perspective on processes, helping develop, challenge and validate internal thinking • Skilled staff  freed up to deliver more value • Reach services better targeted and marketed,  through improved impact measurement For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com What happens next? • Expression of interest. • Registration form. • Speak with O.R. specialist to discuss if there is a  potential project. • Project scope sent to volunteers. • Organisation selects volunteer. • Project proposal drawn up. • Project commences. • Feedback sought. For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com For more information  Webpage:  www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx Blog: http://probonoOR.blogspot.co.uk/ @FMcLeister Felicity McLeister I look forward to hearing from you. For more information Email felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com

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