The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) are the national body for careers education in England, delivering support to schools and colleges to deliver modern, 21st century careers education and helping every young person to find their best next step.
In need of a digital change partner, CEC engaged Manifesto to act as an extension of its digital team to deliver a programme which seriously considered the future of both CEC as an organisation, and – perhaps most crucially – of the young people they support.
This saw Manifesto help CEC bring new products to market under tight timelines, all the while delivering a training and coaching workstream to upskill CEC’s teams throughout the project.
Delivering on two frontiers: change and training
This project challenged Manifesto to deliver on two fronts. Our team was tasked with redeveloping three of CEC’s core digital resources – its corporate website, digital hub and future skills questionnaire, whilst simultaneously spearheading a lean training programme to get the CEC team up to speed.
CEC wanted a corporate website which was clean, inspiring and well-organised, and resting on an easy-to-update CMS. As for its digital hub, CEC envisioned a consistent one-stop shop for learning, information sharing, and communication. Its customer questionnaire also needed a rethink. To become more effective at gathering students’ perceptions of how CEC has helped them, Manifesto needed to transform it from a simple tick-box exercise to a more robust, secure and easy to use tool.
Manifesto would need to kick off the project by conducting an overarching discovery process. Its findings could then form the building blocks for each aspect of the programme. This required the team to host a variety of technology immersion workshops, survey reviews, analysis, and prototyping.
A phased digital transformation
Using the insights gathered in this discovery phase, Manifesto endeavoured to spearhead four concurrent projects as part of the CEC’s overall change programme. The first involved rebuilding CEC’s corporate website to streamline it and re-focus on promotion to external audiences. This saw Manifesto deploy a variety of tools and softwares, including Micro for UX planning, Invision for wireframes, Umbraco Cloud for hosting and the CMS, and Sketch for design.
For the new Digital Hub, Manifesto undertook a market place review of E-Learning systems that would provide for CEC’s requirements. These requirements fell under three major pillars which were:
- • to provide online e-learning delivery of courses
- • to provide a social space for networking, knowledge sharing and ideas
- • an events platform for finding in person and online events run by the network, whilst providing a place to register for and share event content.
Manifesto delivered a recommendation report and worked within CEC’s budget to find a partner capable of delivering the hub. Once the recommendation was accepted, Manifesto acted on CEC’s behalf as technical advisors to guide them through the initial implementation phase.
Coaching and upskilling CEC’s team began with a series of problem framing workshops, engaging a cross-section of the company’s team members. This way, Manifesto was able to identify CEC’s capabilities, opportunities for improvement, who the key individuals were, and how CEC measures success. As a result, our team developed a methodology for establishing team roles and responsibilities in a project. We also enabled teams to share their knowledge, introduced new processes to make them more effective, and instilled a ‘fail fast’ rather than a ‘fear of failure’ mentality. Other training mediums included agile leadership and product coaching, lightning talks, and team lunch and learns.
A team ready to succeed
This project saw Manifesto work with a large cross section of people throughout CEC’s organisation, creating a foundation of shared skills, capabilities and leadership structures to support the company on its transformation journey.
The outcome was a team which felt confident to carry on the work Manifesto started. By engaging CEC every step of the way, we ensured its team could take on full ownership of the project going forward. Slicker user journeys, established spaces for content and a bank of expertly curated training resources can now form core parts of CEC’s digital transformation.