Sustaining and Embedding Innovations - wiki JISC Sustaining and Embedding Innovations / Organisational barriers and issues
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Organisational barriers and issues

The JISC Innovation Forum (JIF2010) identified a number of organisational barriers and issues relating to sustaining innovation projects and achieving an impact:


  • In times of financial difficulty Senior Management Teams may want quick wins rather than investing in longer-term impact and sustainability efforts.
  • Maintaining support from Senior Management Teams – projects need to maintain continual engagement and effective communications with their Senior Management Team e.g. to highlight benefits of their projects that will meet senior managers' needs and concerns.
  • Reporting requirements do not always encompass impact assessment and monitoring, both as a baseline and as an on-going measure of success.
  • Inflexible re-allocation of people and effort (e.g. in securing suitable people to start projects at short notice or to secure new people if project needs change).
  • Skills gaps in knowing how to model and measure sustainability and impact (there can be a lack of clarity as to how to approach modelling and measuring sustainability and impact – which  should vary depending on the type of project and the nature of the outputs).
  • A lack of clarity, skills and focus in defining the business case.
  • Programme level change is essential to sustainability yet there can be a lack of programme-level culture in institutions.
  • Funding cycles do not allow for full tracking and evaluation of change and impact (e.g. some project impacts will not become fully apparent until pilot projects are rolled out after the formal end of the project).
  • There are many projects running concurrently resulting in information overload – institutions need to better manage the “information tsunami” (see Communications and stakeholder engagement strategies ).
  • It is not always possible to anticipate an impact and it is possible that unintended impacts may occur – sustainability plans need to have the flexibility to adapt accordingly.