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Cambridge Press & Assessment approached Nine Feet Tall (NFT) with concerns regarding an underperforming programme. The University was grappling with creating a unified web presence for the recently merged organisation of Press & Assessment. The programme had encountered significant delays over the years, so NFT’s expertise was required to assess and recommend improvements through a healthcheck process that would accelerate the integration process and eliminate the prevailing concerns. The university recognised that the programme was in a challenging state, experiencing clarity issues around reporting and on its overall health. NFT was engaged to conduct a thorough review of the programme, identify any underlying issues, and provide recommendations to restore the programme’s health to a positive state.
NFT commenced the project by setting the context through active engagement with key stakeholders. Through conducting interviews with key stakeholders and collaborating closely with the university’s representatives, NFT aimed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the programme’s health and highlight any existing challenges. A separate document review was also conducted with an aim to identify changes needed within the team around processes and approach. This review uncovered that tracking and accountability measures within the programme could be improved. Notably, NFT identified a need to work with Cambridge University to develop a clear project and programme plan, outlining key dates, responsibilities and reconsidering the programme structure. Finally, NFT conducted their validated programme health check assessment tool, providing oversight of key programme areas and their corresponding health. Together, these inputs formed the foundation for initiating recommendations tailored to the programme’s specific needs.
Based on the information gathered, NFT compiled a key findings pack, which served as a dynamic document that enabled the implementation of recommendations on-the-go. To ensure the validity and suitability of the recommendations, validation calls were conducted, confirming that the proposed findings aligned with delivering the best value for the project. This interim report provided the University with early insight into their programme status. Focussing on some quick wins initially, NFT addressed some of the key issues raised and shared programme planner documents and best practices with the Cambridge team, empowering them to refine their programme effectively in house. Furthermore, a final recommendations report was created, encapsulating the key insights and proposed actions to improve the programme’s health both in the short and long term. Finally, NFT presented a comprehensive health check report, providing an opportunity for key stakeholders to provide quality and assurance. Once confirmed, this served as a final assessment of the programme’s status.
Throughout the project, NFT also provided ongoing consulting support to the university, focusing on key areas such as decision-making processes, prioritisation, data analysis, and upskilling the university’s programme management skills. Multiple aspects of the programme were addressed, including scope definition, communication and engagement strategies, partner support, and reporting practices.
NFT’s engagement with Cambridge University successfully addressed the central question of how to bring their programme back on track. The NFT team provided a set of short and long-term recommendations that served as a roadmap for program recovery and improvement. These recommendations encompassed various aspects of the programme, including project management practices, communication strategies, resource allocation, and stakeholder engagement. NFT’s expertise and guidance left the university equipped with pragmatic, actionable steps to rectify the existing challenges and enhance the overall performance of the programme.
By leveraging NFT’s services, Cambridge University gained valuable insights into the critical areas requiring improvement. Although NFT did not directly implement the recommendations, their role was to identify and highlight the key areas for improvement, empowering the university to take the necessary actions. As a result of the collaboration with NFT, the university was better positioned to navigate the complexities of their programme, make informed decisions, and implement changes with confidence.
Overall, NFT’s involvement brought clarity to the project, cleared the ‘fog’ surrounding the programme, and provided Cambridge University with an action plan for success. The collaboration empowered the university to address its challenges effectively, leading to improved programme health and enhanced outcomes.