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Driving cultural change with a digital platform

How we helped a Federal Government Agency transform a simple performance assessment survey into a digital platform for cultural change impacting Australian sporting communities

About our client

Our client is the Government Agency responsible for driving and investing in the Australian sports sector, responsible for roughly 70,000 sports clubs and more than 130 funded sports. Focus areas include participation, physical activity, and industry growth. 

Business challenge

Many sporting club committees consist of local community volunteers who love their sport and are passionate about how they run their club. Our client’s responsibility is to help these organisations effectively manage their resources and build independent internal capabilities across their network. Their goal is to provide the best outcomes for clubs while growing the Australian public’s participation in sport.

 

When dealing with the state and national bodies governing their sport, communication has traditionally been formal and deemed of limited value by the clubs. However, building long term collaborative relationships within the state and the national sporting network remains a key focus for our client.

Problem statement

The management capabilities that exist across the state and national sporting networks vary and are dependent on monetary and human resources available. Sporting organisations need insights to consistently know where to focus their efforts and how to make improvements to existing functions and services.  

 

The existing approach of conducting an annual survey to measure a sporting organisation’s performance did not fulfil this need. Often the survey was met with resistance, low response rates, and poor-quality responses. This resulted in our client not providing actionable insights to the sporting network but instead generic recommendations, which further fuelled their mistrust of the governing body.   

Our involvement

Initially, Hypothesis was engaged to help identify improvements to the annual performance survey to lift response rates. Leveraging the Hypothesis Product / Market Fit Model (see Figure 1 below), we began by researching the Australian sporting community to get a better understanding of the problems to solve. 

Figure 1: Discovery and Delivery Model
Figure 1: Discovery & Delivery Model

Identifying the customer

We developed a series of personas by interviewing and actively listening to the personal experiences of volunteer administrators and committee members across a range of local, state, and national sporting organisations and clubs – covering more than 20 individual sports. Common themes and pain points were identified, as were their ambitions, frustrations, and motivations.

 

Understanding the current state

Key Federal Agency employees were interviewed by the team. Our consultants reviewed the usability of the existing performance assessment survey and conducted a competitor analysis of survey tools in the market. 

 

Collaborating for an aligned approach 

With a clear picture of our clients’ user base, their challenges, and the current performance assessment survey, we identified an opportunity to improve the value they provided to the sporting community significantly. Reframing their approach to their challenge, Hypothesis collaborated with various client teams. We developed and tested different ideas against user personas and actual users to identify several viable and desirable solutions.

 

Prototyped solutions and recommendation

Three working prototypes were developed with supporting recommendations to improve the collaboration and trust between the sports clubs and the state and national bodies governing their sport. Hypothesis identified a series of ‘quick win’ usability improvements to the existing performance assessment survey tool that would improve the user experience of club members. Representing a step in the right direction to build trust with their customer base, these improvements were implemented immediately. 

 

The strategic solution, however, was to build an immersive digital product that would enable complete transparency between sport’s governing bodies and clubs, promoting open communication and collaboration. Enabled through a data-driven governance approach to provide improvement recommendations and insights for the sporting network. This solution would be backed by club benchmarks so clubs could track their improved performance. 

 

Delivery 

A Hypothesis team delivered the digital platform, leveraging short feedback loops, user testing, and incremental and iterative delivery techniques. Partnering with our clients’ cross-functional development team, Hypothesis facilitated an uplift in our client’s internal delivery capability, transitioning seamlessly to our client, who continued to grow the product.

“It has been a great experience seeing what can be achieved in a relatively short time frame.”

- Federal Government Agency Official

Outcome

By helping our client understand their short and long-term needs, Hypothesis was able to deliver on both. In just four months, the product was developed, and an internal capability built. Providing all sporting organisations with the insights they needed to understand their current capabilities against a benchmark, as well as access resources to help them improve and track their progression. 

Key success measures

Hypothesis implemented several technical and delivery improvements into our clients way of working, which were adopted and continue to be used as the standard on other digital delivery work across the portfolio. 

 

But by reframing their approach to challenges, we helped them transform a simple survey into a platform for culture change.

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