Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

Surveying the current landscape ahead of taking the next steps in their digital journey was of paramount importance to the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). They needed to improve and reshape their member processes while assessing and digitising their ways of working. Members expectations are constantly evolving, so it was the right time to undertake this evaluation exercise to provide solid foundations for the next phase in the programme of change.

IStructE, was founded in 1908 and has grown to serve over 30,000 members. Over the course of more than a century, the Institution has kept pace with the changing needs of its members. In the 21st century, they are all aware that the rate of change has dramatically increased, so it is imperative for all organisations to be able to act quickly and efficiently in response. For IStructE it was essential to assess member needs, as well as internal processes to understand where improvements and efficiencies could be made.

Currently, some of the Institution’s processes are quite labour-intensive, with several manual and paper-based steps. The ambition is to phase these out, starting with the development of online membership applications on the new website. In order to plan for further improvement, the Institution decided to undertake a comprehensive business analysis exercise – the first time it had done so at such a scale.

“The challenge is that unless we change the way we work we can’t move forward. We need to review and assess the digitisation and optimisation of internal processes to offer greater member service, reduce administration costs and inefficiencies, gain better management information and get greater feedback to
the user throughout the process.” Silvia Pilotto, Digital and Data Director, The Institution of Structural Engineers.

IStructE realised they needed independent expertise to help with this project to deliver the outcomes in good time and to maximise the benefits from such an exercise. Chrysalis Digital was successful in the bid and started working with IStructE soon after.

“Chrysalis Digital not only met our needs but went well beyond. The response to brief already managed to cover areas we didn’t think would/could be covered within the project, we had a discovery session where we agreed collaboratively what would be relevant and beneficial for the Institution. It was a personalised
approach that added a lot of value to the whole project.” Silvia Pilotto.

After the initial discovery session, the project team agreed that there were three key areas of focus:

  1. Business process mapping. This was a key step in laying the foundations for future digital projects and giving the Institution an overview of its key activities. Due to the flexibility of the approach, although, initially, the project intended to map 30 business processes, following meetings with departments, 70 were mapped and assessed. A wide cross-section of Institution staff were involved, ensuring the whole organisation understood the value of this work and could contribute to its success. This process delivered many insights and learnings, as well as some quick wins – some of which are already being actioned by staff to improve their working practices. The Institution has also already been able to redefine some roles and responsibilities, reducing historic duplication. “The collaborative way Chrysalis Digital approached the workshops, the final report and the action plan proved to be extremely effective but also very enjoyable for the internal teams to work with the Chrysalis Digital team. Some learnings were followed up by key stakeholders as soon as they left the room” Silvia Pilotto.
  2. Strategic data review and governance. This exercise was designed to not only understand the state and structure of their data before embarking on new digital projects but also to identify the data limitations in their current infrastructure and to build a clear roadmap to achieve a single customer view. “It was an excellent exercise to inform our data strategy and was tailored to our organisation’s size and capability. The recommendations and the data structure roadmap was invaluable!” Silvia Pilotto
  3. System audit and systems infrastructure analysis. This stage was designed to provide a full view of the current systems identifying ‘what’ systems were being used and ‘why’ in order to inform the plan for new integration and more. “This was an excellent piece of analysis opening up several options we had not even considered (e.g. data warehousing). The recommendations on how to structure our infrastructure have been valuable and a key deliverable to inform the next transformation choices. Extra added value was the expertise of the Chrysalis Digital consultants that spent time with the team to give us an informed and up-to-date view of market best practice” Silvia Pilotto.

The digital transformation is one of the top strategic initiatives for The institution, helping them ensure they stay relevant and offer the best value to their members whilst allowing them to review internal practices, reduce costs and continue to learn and evolve. The Institution started this project after fully reviewing a cross-section of its members; this informed their
focus areas and organisational objectives. Being able to use and interrogate data to inform their decisions and focus will ensure that they are able to continue to challenge the
status quo with facts and not just instincts.

“It is an exciting time for the Institution of Structural Engineers and the fact that the transformation programme is sponsored at the most senior level (CEO and the Board) shows the vision and the ambition of the organisation to be responsive to new generations” Silvia Pilotto.

Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross-sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners. Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.

If you need any help with the next steps in your journey or just want some unbiased advice please call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email

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