Goal! Making Sport Wales grants reach further
A CDPS partnership to make community sporting grant applications more inclusive has already led to faster processing and fewer rejections
1 August 2022
Following a discovery phase and an alpha phase, a multidisciplinary team made up of CDPS and Sport Wales has just finished an extended 14-week alpha (which we called alpha+). This extra time let us focus solely on designing and testing an end-to-end grant application process, while exploring changes to back-office processes better suited to the needs of users and Sport Wales.
Top findings from usability research on the prototype
After evaluating 8 prototypes, covering 5 user journeys (eligibility, create account, application, offer and learning), this is what we’ve learned from participants in the research:
- they got through the application process 100% of the time and were very positive about how easy it was
- the design patterns performed well across desktop, tablet and mobile
- the prototypes met research participants’ expectations of the order of steps
- participants felt in control of the application process
Impact of previous Agile phases
As a result of recommendations emerging from earlier phases of this Agile project, here are some changes Sport Wales have recently carried out:
Changes to the assessment process
Since 1 April 2022, applications are now only assessed by a panel exceptionally.
Panels used to assess every funding application. Now an individual investment officer assesses each one, unless there’s a reason for it to go to a panel.
- speeds up the decision-making process and increases the autonomy of individuals in the investment team (who award grants)
- fewer applications rejected and better relationship with applicants and partners
Cementing partnership between CDPS and Sport Wales
CDPS and Sport Wales’s intentions at the start of our partnership have been realised as we’ve worked together. We’ve:
- gained a better understanding of the original problem statement (“How can Sport Wales increase the reach and impact of its community investment?”) by realising, for example, that we had to work more closely with partner networks to build relationships with hard-to-reach groups
- tested a more user-centred application process
- supported knowledge sharing and upskilling in Sport Wales in Agile and digital skills beyond the core team
- uncovered other areas of work for Sport Wales to consider (for example, exploring the role that Sport Wales’s partners can play in supporting applicants)
The team presented its alpha+ findings and recommendations to Sport Wales sponsors in mid-June. Sport Wales is now considering how to implement the recommendations, whether related to the application process or other service or policy improvements.
The partnership between CDPS and Sport Wales has come to an end in its current form of a multidisciplinary team, but we’re discussing future collaboration.
If you have any questions about our work, please leave a comment or email email@example.com, a product manager at Sport Wales.