Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Using scientific approaches to improve an organisation’s effectiveness

“Using scientific approaches to improve an organisation’s effectiveness”
- Pro Bono O.R. (Operational Research)


What is Pro Bono O.R.?


Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme that was launched by The OR Society in 2013 that places volunteer analysts in short term projects with third sector organisations across the UK to assist them in making operational improvements.


Operational Research uses a scientific approach to improve an organisations effectiveness. Areas include: strategy, systems, processes, operations and decision-making.

Benefits of free professional support

Third Sector organisations face extremely complex decisions about the direction they should take and how to allocate scarce resources. These are some of the common issues that organisations we’ve spoken with face:

· ‘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?’


Time is always a pressure, especially in the third sector and we are often under pressure to ‘do more with less’. Collating and analysing data, planning strategy, improving processes and measuring impact are all areas that require time and in many cases specialist skills. Pro Bono O.R. can provide the time and the skills.


Don’t just trust us

“I would recommend to other charities looking for consultants to deliver operational projects that they reach out to Pro Bono O.R. in the first instance – securing first class consultants/volunteers who will deliver a project for free is something that no charity should overlook!”                      Head of Fundraising & Strategy
“Pro Bono O.R. developed a resource planning tool that can be used to generate new ideas and ways of working and create a budget plan for 2014/2015 academic year and beyond.”
Chief Executive 

"We are enormously grateful for being able to benefit from the advice and support of such a knowledgeable and experienced professional, who was able to raise challenging issues in a sensitive and helpful way"
Performance manager 

So far…

Since launching in September 2013, Pro Bono O.R. has completed over forty projects and is currently working with a further twenty organisations. We have over 350 volunteers across the UK and these range from retired professionals to analysts in their early career, consultants and others in the O.R./analytics profession who either volunteer in their own time, are given company time or a mixture of both. Ninety of those volunteers have already worked/are working on projects and many more are eager to get involved with helping support third sector organisations.


Here are some of the issues the projects we’ve already completed have addressed:


· Strategic planning/review

· Impact measurement

· Process improvement

· Data analysis

· Business planning

· Efficiency improvement

· Options appraisal

· Decision making

· scheduling


To see all the projects we’ve work on and read the case studies please visit: Case studies


What next?


For further information about O.R. and the ways in which is can help please read: O.R. and the Third Sector

For more information about the scheme, to see case studies and to request support, please visit the webpage.