Case Studies


Practical Action is an innovative international development organisation putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world. The organisation’s IT Team is responsible for the IT provision and support for 600 members of staff. In addition, it provides data to external stakeholders on the projects that are being delivered by the Practical Action’s Team to demonstrate progress.


Shaw Consulting was commissioned to draft an ICT strategy to deliver support and solution to meet the IT needs of this ambitious organisation. The ICT Strategy needed to ensure that the business requirements of the IT users in the organisations were supported.

Practical Action have a server infrastructure and core IT team based in the UK with IT Managers based in Bangladesh, Sudan, Kenya, Nepal, Peru & Zimbabwe. The infrastructure in these countries varies widely and the IT strategy needed to take this into account. The aspiration is to move the server infrastructure to the cloud during the lifetime of the ICT Strategy.


Shaw Consulting carried out a detailed, technical assessment of Practical Action’s current IT environment, including the Infrastructure, Applications, IT Processes and the current IT Team’s capacity and capabilities.

By consultation with key business stakeholders, we gained a good understanding of the current IT delivery model, the IT support & systems needed to deliver the Practical Action Business Strategy both in the short-term and over the next three years.


The Strategy we drafted included:

  • IT Strategy Outcomes - What the strategy needs to achieve.
  • The current Baseline, covering IT Infrastructure, Business Processes, the IT Team, the current IT Maturity Level (Benchmarked against peer organisations).
  • Where the organisation wants to be, covering Innovations, Operating Principles, Digital Systems & Working, Core Business Processes.
  • How do we get there? This section covered, Key areas of capability required, Continuous Improvement, Cloud-based Infrastructure, Applications, Data Security, the IT Team structure, and capability required and finally Delivery Approach to ensure the that the strategy is a successfully implemented.
  • Managing Change – How the ambitious strategy can be implemented without adversely affecting the “business as usual” IT services.


Taking the detailed IT Strategy that we drafted the Practical Action Management Team were able embed it in the organisation and devise a plan to deliver the strategy over the next three years ensuring the IT Operation is fit for purpose now and over the next three years.

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