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The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW is a member and volunteer‑based organisation that has been assisting people experiencing disadvantage and hardship in NSW for 140 years.

Client

St Vincent de Paul’s NSW

Industry

Not-For-Profit

Organisation Size

1,200

Country

Australia

Technologies

Viva Goals

Service

Adoption & Change Management

Context

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW (Vinnies NSW) is a not-for-profit organisation that assists individuals and communities to achieve security, stability, and community connection. They do this by delivering impactful, transformative, and responsive services and support. To support their mission, there are currently 1,200 staff and approximately 10,000 members and volunteers across New South Wales, with a small corporate team guiding the articulation of wider goals and objectives.

After completing an internal review and setting out their five-year strategy, the senior leadership team were on a mission to deliver real change for the future, by setting a series of goals they could work collectively towards with progress and success measured along the way.

With an investment in M365 already in place, our Adoption & Change Management practice helped to articulate, create, and refine strategic objectives through the adoption of Viva Goals.

The challenge

Setting goals at Vinnies NSW isn’t a new concept and has been an integral part of how they have achieved their social objectives over the last 140 years. In those days their goals were written with pen and paper, but as modern technology was introduced their goals transitioned to Excel. It was the perfect tool for a long time – no more misplaced pieces of paper, changes could easily be made, and in theory goal progress could be accessed by the relevant stakeholders given the right access.

However, whilst Excel was a far leap from pen and paper, it didn’t quite tick all the boxes to adequately measure and monitor the efficacy of Vinnies NSW strategy. Excel didn’t enable measuring the real-time value, impact, or the progress of each goal. The lack of alignment of the company goals made it hard to easily view, track and present progress to relevant stakeholders and the wider business. Plus, there was no adequate mechanic to identify interdependencies between business units.

“It became clear that we were focusing on outputs and activity rather than the outcomes of our objectives”
Phil Petersen - Director of Strategy and Outcomes

Their requirements of implementing a new tool were simple:

  • A tool that would support the implementation and adoption of a new strategy.
  • A tool that was easy to learn and could be used by a diverse and distributed stakeholder group.
  • A tool that could be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
  • A tool that provided visibility to the interdependencies and collaborations required to achieve goals.
  • A tool which provided transparency and the progress of each goal, allowing stakeholders to filter each goal down to the relevant team members who were accountable and tasked with managing the progress.

The answer? Microsoft Viva Goals.

Viva Goals Strategy
Viva Goals Strategy

Our approach

Viva Goals is part of the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform and has been designed to ensure an organisation is focused on the top business priorities through aligned goals. Viva Goals uses the OKR framework to set clear, specific, and measurable company OKRs aligned with business objectives and aims to shift the focus from ‘effort and activity’ to impact and outcomes – perfect for what Vinnies NSW was setting out to achieve. Accessed through the already heavily used Microsoft Teams, it appealed as a complementary and integrated tool that was likely to receive high adoption given people’s familiarity of the interface.

By introducing Viva Goals into Vinnies NSW, the aim was:

  • Everyone could work to same outcome: Connect employees across Vinnies NSW to the organisation’s strategy and drive business results through increased visibility.
  • Clearly defined ownership of core outcomes: Build team and individual accountability and manage OKRs in one place with deployment and best practices guidance.
  • Faster and better decision making: Aligning OKRs across different business units and integrating the workflow with automated updates from critical work systems.

Our Adoption & Change Management practice worked closely with Microsoft and Vinnies NSW across two-months to deliver an initial Viva Goals pilot. The aim of the pilot was to understand their requirements and how it would support their wider business.

The outcomes included:

  • Developing a Viva Goals rollout strategy to support the internal strategy implementation plan, working together to brief executives and key stakeholders on the change ​impact and roll out best practices.
  • Configuring Viva Goals to accommodate the exact needs of Vinnies NSW and their team structure​.
  • Identifying and training key groups such as senior leaders, OKR champions and admins on Viva Goals to support the rollout of the pilot.
  • Launching a pilot to test the deployment before the wider launch to the remainder of the leadership and support teams.
“Engage Squared provided great subject matter expertise on Viva Goals and the wider Microsoft suite. Viva Goals was new when rolling this out, so their support in understanding our requirements, product training, and insight into how to successfully deploy a solution were essential to the success of the project”
Phil Petersen - Director of Strategy and Outcomes

The result

To date, Viva Goals has successfully been launched to over 100 senior leaders and executives at Vinnies NSW. “We’ve seen an extremely positive response to Viva Goals across the organisation” said Azul Medina Strategy and Performance coordinator, “we’ve had a high number of returning users to check in and update their OKRs across the first few months”.

By launching Viva Goals, the foundations of successful leadership across the organisation has been formed with everyone working together to achieve their part in the overall goals of the not-for-profit.

Through our work with Vinnies NSW, we are proud to share:

  • Across a three-month pilot, Viva Goals has launched to over 100 senior leaders with 100% active users reported.
  • There has been consistent executive buy-in and engagement throughout ​the project with all stakeholders committed to implementing a tool that will achieve outcomes.
  • By adopting Viva Goals, it has helped to facilitate conversations about strategic direction of the business and helped to set up the team for success by planning measurable goals within realistic timeframes.

The impact of launching Viva Goals includes:

  • The progress of goals can now be measured in real-time, with the progress of each goal clearly monitored.
  • There has been high engagement and adoption across Viva Goals, with 90% recurring check-ins completed when comparing MoM data.
  • The business now focuses on the activities to achieve their goals, rather than the outcomes.
  • Their goals are now accessible to all stakeholders and can be shared with the wider organisation which is helping to keep Vinnies NSW moving forward together.

Want to learn more about how Viva Goals can help you achieve your company’s mission? Get in touch with our specialist team.