Balanced Value Impact Model

The BVI Model in 5 Stages

Conceptual overview of the BVI Model

The BVI Model must deliver actionable evidence or information of change that is useful, otherwise it is not functioning as designed. The structured outcomes from use of the BVI Model should advocate for a digital resource through the Strategic Perspectives.

A narrative summary might state the following.
  1. Rich digital content is available for existing users and new audiences, placing content in every home and hand to share and make new personal experiences. This resource has changed our stakeholders’ behaviour in ways that link to benefits in education, social life, community cohesion, a sense of place and improved welfare. (Social impact)
  2. Because of these changes we are also delivering substantial economic benefits to our stakeholders that demonstrate the worth and value of our endeavours in clear monetary terms. (Economic impact)
  3. Innovation in the building of the digital resource and its functionality means that we are gaining a strategic advantage in a vital area of activity for the future sustainability of services and engagement. (Innovation impact)
  4. This digital resource enables our organisation to be more effective and efficient in delivering change and resultant benefits to stakeholders, both internally and externally. (Operational impact)
Providing a strong narrative backed with clear evidence of the change achieved will ensure that decision makers can make better-informed decisions and are more likely to follow the recommendations made. Each organisation can learn from its activities and thus become better at planning for the future so as to make the most significant impact and benefit for its stakeholders.

In combination, stages 1 and 5 express the essential novel components of the BVI Model. These stages provide an additional sense of perspective on the overall impact assessment. Perspective drives all assessments of impact, and so the BVI Model intends to ensure that perspective is clearly understood and purposefully decided. Impact derives power from providing actionable evidence to decision makers.

Without engaging in the process of understanding context and then applying that context to the review and respond stage of the impact assessment, it is highly possible that the impact narrative and results are partial, unusable or lacking in actionable meaning.

The middle stages (2, 3 and 4) are standard activities in almost any assessment of impact. They are required to fulfil the BVI Model. It is notable, though that it would be entirely possible to ignore the first stage and jump straight to Stage 2. Where this happens, then the BVI Model is set aside. However, there are many situations where impact assessment is an exercise of fulfilling a government requirement, measuring a key performance indicator (KPI) or a simple evaluation. In such circumstances, it may be entirely sensible to jump straight to the process from Stage 2 onwards.

The BVI Model is best suited for memory institutions and presumes that the assessment is mostly (but not exclusively) measuring change within the ecosystem of a digital resource.

A user’s journey through the BVI Model to Framework might look as follows.
  1. In thinking about the memory institution’s strategic direction, they map their existent documents/policies/vision statements to the four Strategic Perspectives.
  2. They can then use these to focus on their context, investigating the digital ecosystem and the stakeholders and to analyse the situation of the organisation further.
  3. These provide a strategic context that allows for decision making about what is to be measured and why that measurement is needed.
  4. The practitioner can then use the Value Lens to focus attention on those aspects most productive for measurement in that context.
  5. The Framework (often a spreadsheet – see Templates) can then be completed for each Perspective-Value pairing.
  6. This output is built into an action plan for implementation at Stage 3, where the integration of what needs to be measured is related to the practicalities of time, money and other resources.
  7. Once all this planning is achieved, then the implementation is phased according to the Framework, and data is gathered alongside any activity measured. The timeframe might be a few months for one measure and more extended periods for others – the Framework helps to keep it all in sync and not to lose track of the varied activities.
  8. Once a critical mass of data is gathered such that results can be inferred, then the process can start to move into the analysis; narrated via the four Strategic Perspectives: Social, Economic, Innovation and Operational.
  9. This narrative acts as a prompt to decision makers and stakeholders to guide future direction and to justify current situations.
  10. The stage 5 of revision, reflection and respond assumes that there is embedded continuous learning to allow for decisions made in every stage to be informed by the results and to be modified in response to change, to feedback and to success criteria.
A case having been made for impact through the presentation and communication of the results of the BVI Model process, is then the time to follow through and ensure that the purpose of the impact assessment reaps results. The review and respond aspect of impact assessment is one of the most critical to its success, but is in danger of being the most neglected. Assessment should produce data which leads to action.

Further reflection on the possible institutional benefits derived from an evidence-based decision-making process helps to turn ideas into action and promote sustainable change management. Most importantly, impact assessment should be about making ever deeper connections with stakeholders so as to work with them in response to the evidence and insights gained. This relationship is the most likely means of gaining the greatest benefits for all.

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