ICSA – Building a member focused Digital Strategy


ICSA - Building a digital strategy for growth

Building a digital strategy for growth

The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. It provides professional development services, guidance and thought leadership, and champions high standards.

The UK division of the Institute supports more than 14,000 members and students in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Crown Dependencies and associated territories, which include the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. The role of its members across all sectors and jurisdictions, has changed significantly over the last decade, as good governance has become both more complex and more fundamental to organisational success.

The increasing prominence of governance, and demand for qualified professionals to lead it creates new opportunities for the Institute which the incoming CEO of the UK division was keen to take, through a clear vision of the value of a contemporary professional body for its members, a digital-first strategy and a growth mindset across the organisation.

The Challenge

The Institute initially engaged Equantiis to provide an independent review of their IT infrastructure to help them understand how it would need to change to enable their future strategic planning.

Equantiis concluded that the Institute faced the following challenges:

  • Siloed business functions follow similar but independent processes to achieve similar goals.
  • Multiple data sets exist across systems and spreadsheets.
  • The production of management information is time consuming.
  • Stakeholder management information was stored departmentally.
  • Some processes still had a reliance on paper.
  • A complex infrastructure due to integrations between multiple systems managed by limited IT resource.

However, in the course of the review, it quickly became apparent that if the Institute wanted to grow its membership and services, focusing on technology alone would limit that vision.

A new way of working was required which ensures that the customer is at the centre of all activities, and new processes and capabilities were needed to deliver it.

The Solution

Equantiis undertook a second phase of work with key teams to understand the current customer experience and how it was impacted by the technical infrastructure. This involved developing a series of customer personas and the key task journeys they undertook, for example, registering for an examination programme.

Switching the focus meant that Equantiis was able to start developing a strategy for change from the member and student perspective rather than a technology perspective.

This customer experience work was critical to better understand how students and members interact with the Institute. Once the personas had been defined, with such information as key channels utilised, needs, and value, they were then mapped to the corresponding task journeys. The emotional response of interaction, and communication touchpoints were tracked at each key stage. The outputs highlighted the pitfalls and positive elements, and the opportunities for improvement.

Behind every task journey are a number of internal processes which enable that journey to take place. Equantiis undertook a high-level process discovery across the whole organisation to investigate how these currently work and how the Institute could enhance customer experience and drive operational efficiency.

Following the procurement exercise, which provided a preferred supplier, Equantiis was able to develop a detailed business case and transformation map to outline the programme areas, timescales, and required investment needed to be made to hit the ambitions and overall objectives outlined by the Institute.


The Institute understood that in order to succeed an ‘organisation wide change programme’ was required and not just another IT project.

Using our proven approach and sector experience, Equantiis was able to build, in partnership, not only a digital first strategy for the Institute which focused on underpinning the corporate objectives of growth, operational efficiency and most importantly enabling the best possible customer experience, but also a business case which secured the necessary funding from the Institute’s board.


"Our work with Equantiis began with the technology but took flight through their forensic exploration of member and student experience. This has helped to bring our growth strategy to life and created a technical road map that puts customer experience at the heart of everything we do. Throughout our discovery and planning work, Equantiis has been an outstanding strategic partner and wise critical friend.”

Sara Drake
CEO, ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute

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