How Platypus helped Royal Marsden Cancer Charity plan a digital skills development programme

10-second summary

  • The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity raises money to support The Royal Marsden, a world-leading cancer centre. 
  • We conducted a digital review with them, and identified some skills gaps preventing them from hitting their digital goals
  • We did a follow up deep-dive to improve the level of digital skills in the charity

What was the challenge?

When we first reviewed The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity in 2020, staff told us that they didn’t feel as though they knew enough about digital to make the best use of the channels available to them. 

There was a broad understanding that developing digital skills would help the whole organisation to:

  • make better decisions based on data
  • constantly test and learn from digital
  • plan campaigns for specific audiences and channels

So the charity decided to implement  a digital skills development plan across the organisation. They asked Platypus to develop a skills audit to inform decision-making to ensure any development and training would have the biggest impact possible.

What did we do?

We knew what The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s digital goals were from the original review. 

What we still needed to find out was:

  • how staff felt about their existing skills
  • how relevant it was to their work
  • whether there were any skills gaps
  • what resources they needed to fill those gaps

We arranged a series of stakeholder interviews, talking to people across the organisation, at different levels and from different teams. This allowed us to really explore their levels of skill and confidence in the tools that they need to use every day.

Then we conducted an extensive online survey to  map out what kinds of digital skills the digital, marketing and fundraising teams had, the levels of expertise, and  the most pressing concerns.

We planned the survey using three guiding questions:

  1. Do you have this skill?
  2. Do you need this skill to grow?
  3. Can you develop this skill?

We then wrote more detailed questions, and analysed the answers by department, type of skill set, and level of seniority.

What did we achieve?

We delivered a detailed report with recommendations for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

We were able to report back which teams had the highest level of digital skills and confidence, and what collaboration and planning other teams needed.

We identified specific skills gaps the organisation needed to fill.  Our report included an analysis of which digital skills were the highest priority, together with who should learn them, and when.

We also developed a draft training plan to really bring that timeline to life. This addressed the needs of everyone from hands-on digital specialists to those who only need to be consulted on digital projects.

The team at Royal Marsden Cancer Charity is happy with our report and recommendations. They’ve since asked us to build on our deep understanding of their organisational goals and training needs by working with them further.

Emma Callagher, head of digital at The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, said:

“We loved working with Platypus on this review. They brought valuable expert insight and knowledge to our digital operations. The team were a joy to work with, regularly providing different perspectives for us to consider, and helping us to bring our stakeholders on the journey. Their project management and communication is always excellent, and it felt like we challenged each other in a really productive working relationship.”

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