Set your scale goal and key targets for the journey ahead
Now that you have assessed where you are on the innovation journey, and how feasible it is to scale, your team will need to define what ‘scale’ actually means for your solution. There is a strong likelihood that you will change your goals over time, but by setting some now, you are providing a ‘North Star’ to guide decisions as you move forward. As you set your goals, you can start to develop a vision of what being at scale will look and feel like.
UN OCHA’s Humanitarian eXchange Learning (HXL) is an information sharing standard that enables humanitarian agencies easily share spreadsheet datasets in emergency contexts.
HXL has successfully scaled using an open source and highly collaborative approach that has resulted in adoption of the innovation by many large humanitarian agencies including UNICEF, the Standby Taskforce and Ushahidi.
HXL engaged from early on with a range of other agencies and managed the innovation through an open-membership steering group. The membership of the group changes over time and the responsibilities are shared.
The innovation is free to adopt and use and is treated as a public good. In addition to the free and open source model their success in scaling is also the result of a modest but continuous investment in outreach, awareness-raising and training about the innovation at humanitarian conferences and events.
Start by considering where you want your innovation (and your organisation) to be in 15-20 years’ time. This is your ‘endgame’. There are many possibilities for what this endgame could look like, from the complete resolution of the problem that your solution was designed to address (eg, the eradication of small pox) where there is no longer any need for your organisation to exist, to being the main solution provider globally for the particular humanitarian problem you are addressing.
Second, create a specific goal for the first stage of your scaling journey. This will be the next goal you are aiming at, having (hopefully) achieved the goal you set for the Pilot stage and will focus on how you will scale, including the numbers of people reached and impacted, the geographies you are aiming for, and how you will do this. It also sets the timescale for the next phase of your journey. Further exercises in this module will enable you to develop strategies for reaching your scale goal, and to plan the activities that you will need to carry out in order to reach it.