Our challenge

We knew that committing to a digital transformation would mean radical change for the charity –  our people working in ways they never had before.

We needed to make sure we understood where we were beginning so we could create a successful roadmap for the future.

Our solution

Man and woman looking at wall chart

Our service design team led a research project, Understanding us, to discover:

  • how and where we all work 
  • what resources we use
  • what obstacles we face 
  • what skills, resources and technology we need to provide so our teams can provide the best possible services for children and young people

Our approach

graphic representation of our approach

Before asking a single question, we began our research with a hypothesis: 

If we know ourselves better, we can design our digital services around more specific groups of user needs.

We set out to prove or disprove this statement through interviews, site visits and workshops all across Barnardo’s.

The outcome was a set of 12 key themes: from how our teams feel about the way we ask them to do their jobs, to how they perceive their interactions with technology. 

We also explored the subject of change to help prepare for the culture shift that a digital transformation would bring.

Our results

We completed the research in 2018 and the findings have inspired a wealth of new projects, from apps to help service users at the point of need to the ways we procure and roll out new technology to our employees and volunteers.

We’ve delivered a range of discovery projects looking at solutions for:

  • our IT and working practices
  • the needs of social care commissioners
  • sustainable innovation

Next steps

Our research doesn’t end there. We’re a learning organisation. We'll carry on using discovery projects to guide our planning and development.

Find out more

 Visit our blog to read about some of the projects this research has led to.