Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
With so many organisations in 'survival mode' right now, it's difficult to think about investing in the future. But life doesn't stand still and neither should we. At Made Open, we have a fantastic platform that is achieving many successes for our clients, but we recognise too that we must continually improve our product and services in order to respond to the changing needs of communities and our clients.
So what's next for the Made Open platform? In this post, we share our future development plans for the platform and the reasons why they are important. Like every small business, we're not immune to financial risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we do have a clear vision that we aim to achieve.
We believe we can achieve this faster if we work in partnership with others. If you would like to support our future plans in any way, so that maybe we can support yours too, please feel free to get in touch. Perhaps we can land on a star together?
1. Global reach (language translation)
For the past few months, we've been working on a major language translation project for the West Wales Care Partnership c/o Public Health Wales. We'll be launching three fully bilingual English / Welsh platforms in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire at the end of June 2020.
This epic technical development means that we'll soon be able to create bespoke platforms in many more countries across the world. Italian? French? Spanish? Portuguese? … no problem. All we need is the translation – the technical side is almost done.
2. Measuring impact
Next, our focus will turn to measuring platform impacts. Our clients (many of whom are frontline organisations) need to extract specific community data relating to volunteering, participation, connectivity, health and well-being of users and so on.
We already provide platform reporting to a degree, but a higher level of data capture and analysis will help our clients to better understand and evaluate the value of their community platform. It will also enable them to continually acquire knowledge about community needs and behaviours.
We will focus on three key developments within this project:
- Self-defined outcomes: From reducing hospital readmissions to minimising unnecessary GP visits, our long-term goal is to demonstrate that community interventions can support clinical goals, but also that our platform can support community goals too. This development will deal with the latter - allowing members to self-define their needs, goals and outcomes; and help our clients to identify if their needs are being met.
- Platform reporting: Currently, the data we produce is output related and presented in data format only – meaning clients are not utilizing their platform stats effectively. We would like to improve how our clients access and interpret this data by helping them to produce more visual reports to share with their stakeholders, and have more effective ways of translating outputs into outcomes (e.g. social value measures).
- Improvements to registration user flow: Currently, a high percentage of users are not completing their full profiles because we felt it was best practice (and GDPR compliant) to capture minimal information at the point of registration. On reflection, we feel we can improve user experience by capturing more information within the registration process. This will also help clients to produce better reports.
3. Corporate volunteering (The 'Asset Bank')
As COVID-19 has epitomised, private sector businesses have significant strengths, assets and resources that could, if harnessed properly, counteract high levels of demand for support within communities. So, going forward, we will build in features to help businesses and communities make an even bigger impact together.
Our plan is to build an 'Asset Bank' - a new online feature that activates the skills, assets and resources of organisations, large and small, across all sectors.
This feature will focus initially on 'crowdsourcing volunteers' from organisations with corporate volunteering schemes, and will be extended in due course to other valuable assets within their gift (e.g. meeting spaces, apprenticeships, equipment, supplies).
The 'Asset Bank' will help to direct the social responsibility commitments of businesses around community priorities, increase engagement between local business and resident communities and enable local businesses to measure their social impact.
4. Platform improvements
The modular nature of our platform means that it offers a high degree of flexibility to organisations who wish to build and support communities for different reasons. Whether their aim is to build a bank of volunteers or facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise, measures of success look very different from one community platform to the next.
Moving forward, we plan to make general improvements to the platform that respond to both user needs and requests from our clients. We currently have a large backlog of enhancements we'd like to make - everything from better user notifications through to introducing different administration levels and access.
This project is about improving every facet of our platform to make it truly world-class.
For more information, please get in touch.