DIGITAL ADOPTION Success Stories

Ontario Trillium Foundation

How one of Canada’s leading grantmakers implemented a digital adoption platform to increase productivity and empower staff to spend more time on high value work.

AT A GLANCE

Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has consistently been a leader in technology innovation. The Foundation embraced online grants management systems well before many organizations transitioned from paper-based processes, and they are widely recognized as an evidence-based, digitally efficient, and outcomes focused grantmaking organization. OTF has remained at the forefront of technology innovation with its use of digital adoption technologies. The Foundation partnered with reSolved to implement WalkMe, an initiative that has reduced staff training and support sessions, enhanced user productivity, and increased operational efficiency in the day-to-day use of their grants management system, enabling staff to allocate more time for high impact work.

CLIENT SINCE

2015

TYPE OF GIVING

Grants

CHALLENGES

  • Frequent updates to staff training resources created inefficiencies
  • Increased demand for user training was stretching resources

RESULTS

  • Reduced staff training and support sessions by 50%
  • Eliminated the need for user manuals and videos, saving hours in maintenance
  • Improved staff productivity, enabling them to focus on high impact work

ABOUT THE ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION

As an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading grantmakers, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) invests across the province to help build healthy and vibrant communities that are inclusive and accessible. Over the course of 40 years, OTF has invested over $2.6 billion into more than 28,000 grants to improve the social and economic well-being of Ontarians.

THE CHALLENGE

OTF’s grantees bring people together, make neighbourhoods better, and address community needs around the province. The Foundation’s team members are passionate, lifelong learners who care deeply about providing excellent client service for applicants and grantees. Innovation is an important aspect of the Foundation’s culture, and as a digitally forward organization, OTF embraces technology to support its work and make its grantmaking processes more efficient. A long-time OTF team member, Jacinth Whittingham, Community Investments Manager, Granting Processes, has held various roles within the organization. In her previous position, she was responsible for ensuring staff proficiency with OTF’s systems. In this capacity, she created and maintained training resources, conducted training sessions for staff and volunteers, and assisted users with questions both about technology and process.

Pace of change leads to time-consuming, expensive resource maintenance

In a progressive organization, change is a regular occurrence that brings about enhancements, new processes, and granting programs. For Jacinth, this translated to a constant need to update training materials. Manuals had to be revised, and videos re-recorded every time something changed. There was no convenient method to make these updates, resulting in time-consuming and expensive cycles for resource maintenance. OTF wanted to reduce the manual work needed to maintain these resources, which could not keep up with the pace of change in OTF’s grantmaking process.

Continuous learning curve and increased training sessions calls for a new approach

New programs and processes also triggered corresponding changes in OTF’s grants management system. Adapting to these software enhancements and new workflows introduced a continuous learning curve for staff, which consumed valuable time. Jacinth organized training sessions for staff but given that team members work in different locations and had flexible schedules, coordinating group training at times when all staff were available became increasingly challenging.

There was another important consideration: Jacinth’s tenure at OTF has spanned many years, during which she has held various positions encompassing grants management, IT, and process roles. This experience provided her with invaluable insights into the diverse facets of the foundation’s operations. Her involvement in the organization’s digital initiatives allowed her to realize a fundamental truth: even with a well-designed and user-friendly grants management system and excellent training materials, people have distinct learning styles. Despite the availability of manuals, videos, and group training sessions, a one-size-fits-all training approach often fell short. Increasingly, Jacinth was finding that staff required more personalized support and one-on-one training sessions.

THE SOLUTION

OTF conducted extensive research and selected WalkMe’s digital adoption platform, which assists organizations in promoting technology adoption and enhancing user experiences. It guides users through processes and enables them to complete tasks in drastically less time, significantly reducing the time and effort required for onboarding and ongoing user training. OTF selected WalkMe due to its user-friendly interface and its alignment with the foundation’s immediate requirements. Further, this adaptable and scalable solution allows OTF to extend its use across additional programs and stakeholders over time.

Staff learn at their own pace with in-application guidance

By delivering real-time, in-application guidance, WalkMe supports and guides staff through every step in their process from the time an application is submitted until a funding decision has been made. Staff can interface directly with WalkMe when they need it to get answers to their questions in real time, eliminating the need for one-on-one assistance.

A new way to provide training materials

Through WalkMe, OTF shifted away from relying on user manuals and videos and moved toward the delivery of training materials directly within their grants management platform. This new method supports employees through a self-service approach where staff can access contextual guidance to walk them through the process at their time of need. This puts resources directly where staff conduct their work and eliminates the cumbersome search for answers in long user manuals. This has substantially reduced the need for time-consuming in-person training sessions that were previously needed to assist users.

A partner with deep expertise

Implementing WalkMe on OTF’s grants management system requires expert knowledge and reSolved proved to be the ideal partner for the task. With a rich 16-year history of implementing best-in-class technologies for some of the world’s largest and high-profile grantmaking organizations, reSolved possesses an unparalleled understanding of granting processes. They also have specialized expertise in both the WalkMe digital adoption platform and OTF’s grants management system, SmartSimple Cloud. This made reSolved the strategic choice to ensure the most effective and streamlined implementation of WalkMe within OTF’s ecosystem.

We couldn’t have done it without reSolved. They were always there to help us and advise us of the right approach. There is a difference between knowing how to do something and knowing the best way to do something. That’s the value we gained from reSolved.

Jacinth Whittingham

Community Investments Manager, Granting Processes

MEASURABLE RESULTS

WalkMe implementation leads to 50% reduction in training sessions, an increase in user confidence and productivity, and more time to focus on high impact work.

OTF wants technology to empower staff to get things done efficiently, rather than spending time in a system trying to figure out how to get things done. Through their WalkMe implementation, OTF experienced a 50% decrease in the number of training sessions. The improvement has had a widespread impact, resulting in fewer scheduled group training sessions and a substantial decrease in one-on-one training sessions.

Staff now have the flexibility to learn at their own pace, in their own time. They don’t have to remember instructions, since WalkMe guides them through the steps within the grantmaking process. Overall, WalkMe has made staff more confident, knowing that training and support is always available; they never have to worry about missing a step in their processes. In fact, staff have become so comfortable with WalkMe they are asking to expand WalkMe guidance to additional programs and stakeholders.

WalkMe is the second language we speak. I find it very helpful for our staff. They love it and depend on it to do their work. Overall, it has increased their productivity and effectiveness.

Jacinth Whittingham

Community Investments Manager, Granting Processes

Those time-consuming manuals and videos? OTF no longer uses them, saving hours in maintenance each year. Now all training resources, such as self-service and contextual assistance, are provided through the WalkMe digital adoption platform. These types of training resources not only offer a more personalized and relevant experience for users, but also streamline the process of updating and maintaining them for the teams responsible for delivering training materials.

Anyone who writes user guides knows that it takes a lot of time. WalkMe makes the process seamless. We no longer need to go through the tedious process of updating the entire user guide every time there is a change.

Jacinth Whittingham

Community Investments Manager, Granting Processes

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How Vancouver Foundation created an efficient process to maximize its grant funding.


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