Once a project or pilot has been successfully implemented, the next step is to build upon this success by sustaining and growing it further. Essentially this means extending the reach of your work to a bigger population. There are many ways of scaling up – from replicating the project across geographies, to collaborating with different organizations towards a shared vision, or even expanding upon the problem your work addresses.
Social organizations can face quite a few challenges in scaling up their work: keeping a clear focus (e.g. strategic spread rather than just sprawling out); negotiating cost structures and revenues (e.g. sustainable income rather than one-of grants or capital); handling effective supply and demand (e.g. demonstrable results, at the right costs, for a receptive audience); leading organizational change (e.g. founders are replaced by managers); choosing the right organizational form (e.g. grow the organization, partner, merge, take over, license, franchise). There are several resources that need to be in place for a pilot project to be scaled without compromising the necessary impact it must have. Regardless of how and when you decide to scale, it is key to first build a shared vision for scaling within your organization. The Scaling Plan aims to stimulate serious dialogue about this with key internal and external stakeholders.
Business Model & Money
- Is there a viable business model, with a clear overview of cost structures and revenues?
- Is there evidence of sufficient demand?
- Can you handle effective supply at a larger scale?
- Are the resources necessary for expansion readily available, affordable, controllable?
- Is the timing for demand and supply chains at larger scale clear, and can it be matched?
Reputation & Effectiveness
- Can you show evidence of the effectiveness of your work?
- What is the state of your brand?
- What coalition of supporters can you call on for help?
People & Governance
- What are the skills of the key people?
- Are they fit for the purpose?
- How does accountability and governance need to change?
- Is there a clear choice for the form of the organizational change?
- Is the management capable of a strong focus and leadership?
- Are the systems/processes capable of operating at higher volume, or capable of expansion?
- Is all the knowledge needed on organizational change, accountability, finance and skills available in house?