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How will this tool help?

When you choose a scale pathway and build out the details of how scale will look in practice (your ‘scale model’), it is important to ensure that the decisions you make take you towards your goal are achievable given your organisation’s capabilities, and acknowledge the external environment in which you operate. This tool will help you outline the criteria any scaling model must fulfil based on these considerations. 

Doing this has two major benefits. It can:

  1. Save time by providing you with a handy list of requirements for designing your scaling model, rather than having to remember all possible considerations every time you need to make a decision.
  2. Focus your decision-making: laying out the implications of the decisions made first-hand lets you weigh up, compare, and prioritise what matters to you when developing your scale model.


To work on the tool worksheet, follow these steps:

  • Make a copy to your own Google Drive folder: Click file > Make a copy > Entire presentation > Select your personal drive folder, OR
  • Download a copy to your desktop: Click file > Download > Microsoft Word (or other file type)

Step 1

Pinpoint the relevant insights

There is no set definition of what makes a ‘relevant insight’: it is simply something that will have a bearing on how you will eventually scale – whether that be affecting whether you work with partners (and if so, how), the resources that you will need or be able to commit, the scope of your ambition, and so on. 

Use the first table in this worksheet to list all your insights.


Step 2

Develop design requirement

For each ‘insight’ you’ve identified, try to come up with at least one requirement that your scaling model must fulfil as a result. 

Think of these as a series of ‘If-Then’ statements: If [our problem definition and intended impact is global in scope], then [we will need a scaling model that can eventually reach millions of people]”.

Design requirements may relate to:

  • Whether you work with partners 
  • The nature of the relationship with partners
  • Any need to obtain further funding, and what type of funding 
  • Implications for the cost of the model
  • Data that needs to be captured
  • Whether or not you will need to use your own brand (or create a new one)
  • Where you work
  • The scope of your ambition
  • The speed of scaling
  • The importance of quality and how you will uphold it

Use the yellow table in this worksheet to list your design requirements.


Step 3

Reflect on the requirements as a whole

Take a step back and consider all the requirements collectively. You can group similar design requirements together to make this easier. 

Ask yourself:

  • Are your design requirements consistent?
  • Are they the logical conclusion of the insights you identified?
  • Do any of them conflict with each other? 
  • Which would you prioritise if you had to?

Where two or more design requirements conflict, ask yourself:

  • Have you got the correct requirements? Is there another way to address the insight?
  • Which insight is more important to you, or harder to work around? Which design requirement should take priority?
  • Might you have to ‘revisit the drawing board’ (e.g. choosing a more manageable strategic objective, reprioritise your internal commitments)?
  • What information do you require to validate or test the above?

*Please look at the worksheet to see examples. 

Top Tip

When weighing up requirements against each other, you should never prioritise based on gut feeling alone. Consider first which requirements are of particular strategic importance, then consider how they are likely to play out in the real world (for example, are you certain that funders are looking for a specific type of solution? Are you sure that beneficiaries only value a certain type of intervention?).



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