The specific approach will depend on firms’ level of technology readiness. This support will help firms overcome adoption barriers, with the aim of delivering a demonstrable adoption success in a particular area of the business, within a matter of months. The project also has the wider objective of capturing insights into adoption best practice, and embedding these into the professional services sector, so that other firms can also benefit.
PATH A: TiPS will fund online training in multi-firm groups, and provide structured support in identifying a feasible pilot application and seeing it through to a conclusion. Cohort 1 was closed on 14th December 2023, Cohort 2 applications are now open.. Read More
PATH B: TiPS will provide a package of support, including initial diagnostic advice, masterclasses, mentoring and peer-group learning activities. Participants will pursue projects in their own firms, but come together – in person and online – as a cohort, from time to time. Firms can bid for funding (typically £5-25k) to help kick-start the adoption process: this might be used for licences or bespoke technical advice, for example.Deadline for completed applications (after submitting Expression of Interest): 31st January 2024 Read More
PATH C: These projects, and the nature of the support, will vary from case to case. Deadline for completed applications (after submitting Expression of Interest): 14th December 2023
Path A, delivering support in the use of Microsoft 365 applications, will extend over a period of 3-4 months. It will mostly be delivered online. The first group will begin training in February 2024. Further groups will be run during 2024 and into 2025.
Delivery will begin with up to two days’ online training in the relevant technology. This will be in a small group involving participants from more than one firm. The exact content of the training will depend on the initial level of expertise of the participants in the particular group, and the nature of their intended applications.
The acceleration will culminate in a group ‘Demo-Day’ event, when each firm will show what they have achieved, and reflect on their experiences. By agreement with participating firms, we will document innovation case studies for TiPS funders, and publicise the project to professional bodies and other firms in the sector to encourage them to get involved. Any participating firm will be invited to approve any publicity using the firm’s name.
As part of the research element of the work, TiPS researchers will collect data from participants at various stages of the project. This could involve completing one or more questionnaires or being interviewed by a TiPS researcher, for example. We will also follow up with participating firms after the initial adoption, to find out how the innovation process continues within their firms.
Path B, supporting the adoption of industry-specific, proof of concept technology, will extend over a period of 6-9 months. It will be delivered partly in-person, partly online, and with a cohort of participants from multiple firms in both law and accountancy. Delivery will start in March 2024.
It will begin with a discussion with one of the TiPS team concerning the intended proof-of-concept application. This discussion will be a follow-up from the details provided in the application process. The scope and purpose of this discussion will depend on whether the firm has already identified a specific technology and/or technology provider. If they have not, guidance will be provided in seeking out appropriate technology for the intended adoption project. TiPS will not recommend specific technology providers, but will guide firms in making their own decisions. Firms are welcome to apply in conjunction with a technology provider, too.
Activities will begin with a cohort inception event, in person, including an overnight stay, to kick off the adoption projects. This will establish the cohort peer network, provide further practical and research insights on technology and organisational issues, explore further the participating firms’ innovation challenges, and introduce the approach to the rest of the adoption process, as well as members of the TiPS team. Action Learning Sets (ALS) – small groups within the cohort – will also be established: these will be the basis for future targeted interventions by the TiPS team, and for peer discussions and support.
After the inception event, firms will pursue their own adoption projects, accessing resources and support agreed with TiPS, and involving colleagues in their firms as appropriate. If helpful, firms can bid for TiPS funding to support their project. Typical bids will be in the region of £5-25k. Firms can access online support information and advice provided by TiPS, and interact with their peer group as they wish. Participants will attend, online, progress review and discussion events with their action learning set peers, approximately once a month. Facilitated by a TiPS team member, these sessions will be an opportunity to check in on progress, discuss areas of common interest or concern, and identify follow-up actions.
Once projects are underway, TiPS will also identify, in discussion with participants, individual mentors suited to them, their firm and their project. Mentors might be senior and/or more experienced technology experts, or professional lawyers, accountants, or managing partners from other firms or professional bodies. Mutually convenient schedules of mentoring will be established.
The acceleration will culminate in a ‘Demo-Day’ event, at which each firm will show the group what they have achieved, and reflect on their experiences. By agreement with participating firms, we will document case studies of innovation to report to TiPS funders, and to publicise the project for the benefit of other firms in the sector, professional bodies, and to encourage other firms to get involved. We may invite firms to participate in TiPS Roadshows later in the project, to further publicise successful innovation outcomes. Any participating firm will have the ability to approve any publicity using the firm’s name.
As part of the research element of the work, TiPS researchers will collect data from participants at various stages. This could involve completing one or more questionnaires or being visited and interviewed from time to time by a TiPS researcher, for example. We will also follow up with participating firms after the initial adoption, to find out how the innovation process continues within their firms.
The proof-of-concept cohort will begin with the inception event in March 2024, with a likely conclusion of the adoption projects late in 2024.
The total commitment of time will be the overnight inception event, monthly progress meetings online, the concluding Demo-day, plus agreed mentoring, independent access to support from service or technology providers, and the time committed to working in the firm on the implementation project itself. The location of the in-person activities will be selected to be as convenient as possible for the firms selected to take part
In all three Paths, participating firms will need to commit time – to allow staff to participate in training and other activities and events, and to work on application projects in their firms. The extent of this will vary from Path to Path. Firms may also commit additional resources: for example, firms may pay for software licences themselves, and use TiPS support to provide specialised advisory services.
Firms will also commit to participating in the research aspect of the TiPS programme. This will include allowing TiPS researchers to monitor and discuss with them the progress of adoption projects and other activities, and agreeing, for example, to complete surveys and participate in interviews. All research participation will be covered by university research ethics procedures to ensure informed consent to participate, and to protect individual and commercial confidentiality.