The Hurlingham Club is one of the UK’s most prestigious private members clubs based on the outskirts of London.
Tradition has been at the heart of the Hurlingham Club’s 250-year history and this is reflected throughout the organisation.
With the introduction of a new Communications and IT Executive, a decision was made to review the Club’s internal systems and processes with a view to digitising these for both operational efficiencies and cost savings in the long-term.
With this in mind, our brief was to assess the Club’s needs from a digital perspective, to look at existing systems that could be improved and to make recommendations for the most efficient use of digital technologies to streamline and practically improve Club processes and procedures.
The Hurlingham Club is one of a growing minority of private members Clubs, in that it remains wholly owned by its members and is not operated aby a commercial third party. In fact, the Club has around 13,500 individual members and while there is an operational executive structure to handle the day-to-day running of the Club, the Club members are actively involved in the activities of the Club through its complex structure of committees and working groups.
In short getting to grips with the operations of such a unique organisation was going to be quite a challenge.
As the day-to-day running of the Club is handled largely by its executive staff, it was imperative that we understood the jobs that these staff undertook on behalf of the members. Once we were able to understand the Club’s operations and how each department worked (both individually and with each other) to facilitate the member experience or support the members’ needs, we could then summarise this in a holistic view of the Club.
With that view in hand, we were then able to make assessments of where processes could be improved upon using digital technologies and formulate a plan for progressing the Club’s operations using both up and coming and well established digital and IT services.
Finally, with an overarching view and the recommendations for improvements together in one place, we were able to create and schedule a definitive list of actionable tasks which would improve the Club’s position over the forthcoming months and years.
To gain an understanding of the Hurlingham Club and its operations, Digital Tactics spent five days at the Club shadowing and surveying each of the Club’s departments, speaking directly to key executives and other senior staff members. We observed their day-to-day jobs, the complexities involved in their work and discussed with them pain points and things that could be made easier. From this research, we were able to establish a solid picture of the variety of staff roles and their responsibilities within the Club.
After this interaction, we were able to summarise in a single report an overview of the Club’s operations, detailing both what was good about current processes and what could be improved upon using digital technologies, IT systems and other modern methods of managing systems and processes.
Using this report as source material, we were then able to create a succinct list of around a hundred key tasks that the Club could undertake to improve processes and procedures, introducing efficiencies, cost savings and improving service to its members.
Each task was given a title, brief summary and anticipated key results and was then scored against a unique ranking system produced by Digital Tactics for the Club. This ranking system allowed tasks to be sorted objectively with respect to one another based upon a number of metrics including; cost, time to implement, perceived importance to the Club, technical difficulty, operational difficulty and various others.
The assessment and ranking of identified tasks allowed us to readily determine a selection of quick wins to be actioned immediately; a variety of short to medium-term tasks to be achieved within the next two years; and a set of long-term tasks to be worked towards in the following three to five years.
This well-reasoned timeline provides the Club with a long-term digital plan/framework for achieving progression in their operations over the course of the next five years, increasing efficiencies and improving processes for staff so that they may better service Club members.
While the plan could be rigorously enforced end to end, it is more practically used as a living document which can accommodate change as technology moves on and Club requirements fluctuate over time.
Our assessment of each task as a standalone item against a uniform system means that new work can be slotted into the relevant point in the plan based on its own score; just as irrelevant future work might be dropped from the plan in a similar fashion; and should Club direction or priorities change over time, the task list can be rapidly reassessed against these factors to ensure the order of execution remains relevant and meets Club needs.