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People Purpose Planning

People Purpose Planning aims to support arts, cultural and third sector organisations to achieve high performance by focusing on their people, their purpose and the effectiveness of their planning processes.


The effectiveness of our organisations depends on the motivation, determination, ideas and sheer hard work of the people involved – who share a strong sense of purpose and are supported by planning processes that create the best conditions for the work.

Central to this, and often – unfortunately – overlooked, is ensuring people have adequate time within their job role to deliver the work to the highest standards. In fact, in the arts and third sectors, there is almost an assumption that working extra unpaid hours, or simply being overworked, is just part of the job.

Inevitably over time the extra hours and the unmanageable workload will take their toll on even the most committed member of the team – at worst leading to sickness and/or disillusionment. And, of course, the quality of the work suffers too.

I think as leaders in organisations we can do a lot better. With some basic time recording and best time estimating (BTE) we can directly link working hours to tasks, aligning delivery with personnel capacity, translating our ideas into action.

There is a range of benefits to this way of working including:

  • Achieving a Full Cost Recovery (FCR) costing profile for your organisation (strongly advocated by government) – ensuring you cover the full cost of the work you deliver and helping you understand the relative sustainability of different funding models.
  • You can plan better for busy periods, rather than just going with the flow and hoping for the best – good best time estimating enables you to look ahead and spot the bottlenecks.
  • Team members can plan effectively for professional development activity – ring-fencing time to study, train or experience something new to bring back into the organisation.
  • Your whole organisation can work towards greater efficiency through developing a detailed understanding of the entirety of the work in order to innovate new time/cost saving practices.
  • Your partners, collaborators and funders will know exactly how you spend your time and their resources as you demonstrate high levels of professionalism and value for money.

I have worked with a range of organisations to develop and implement bespoke systems that enable them to understand and monitor how they spend their personnel time in relation to delivery in order to achieve the benefits listed above.

I have witnessed this approach having a powerful and transformational effect on organisations, empowering them to improve the quality of their work and the happiness and motivation of their teams.