With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) introduction well underway, many not-for-profits (NFPs) have reported that they are struggling with implementation. The NDIS is a holistic change that requires a well-planned approach. There are five key steps which can help your organisation become NDIS ready:
1. Identify your customer
Firstly, organisations need to figure out who their ideal customer is. Who do you need to make aware of your services? This will drive your marketing plans. What are the right services to be delivered and can they be provided in a financially sustainable way? By developing a service catalogue and undertaking some financial modelling under various operational scenarios, organisations can acquire the right customers at the right cost to be sustainable.
2. Transition your processes into the new world
It is critical to transition service delivery processes into an NDIS world. At this point, organisations will need to figure out what to keep from the old world, what to change to build up capability, and critically, what to throw out. The biggest challenge will be bringing workers along for the ride – clear communication of the organisation’s purpose and future vision helps here.
3. Find ways to collaborate
Structurally, organisations need to consider better ways to collaborate across divisions. Successful organisations have implemented a dedicated Finance Partner role to connect the finance and service teams. Previously, these teams were usually separate, and didn’t have much to do with each other in a general sense. Now, these teams need to operate hand-in-glove to be ready for financial sustainability for the NDIS challenges.
4. Provide clear direction and support for employees
Employees will take a greater role under the NDIS to advocate your services directly to customers. Employees have the challenge of balancing their established passion and purpose with the new organisational sustainability imperatives. The biggest challenge will be bringing workers along for the ‘bumpy’ ride as unforeseen transition issues continue to emerge. Organisations need to coach and mentor their service teams with the goal being alignment of their purpose and communication of a clear, coherent future vision.
5. Measure, measure then measure some more
To better manage their customers, processes, financial sustainability and employees, organisations will need to invest in automated tools to monitor and manage performance. Modern reporting and business intelligence tools are not that expensive and make operational performance management much easier. Technology can be used as an enabler to improve services and provide better client outcomes.
The NFP sector is undergoing a long and sustained period of transition which will impact different organisations in different ways. Adjusting to a new operating model will require wholesale changes to organisational structures, business processes and how providers support each customer’s individual care journey. The good news is that is not too late for organisations to evolve, giving a unique opportunity to thoroughly examine how your organisation operates to create an efficient and successful organisation moving forward.
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