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Final project report - evaluation of Leadership Development Programmes 2002-2004. Volume 1: main body of report


The Leadership Development Programme (LDP) and Developing Managers of the Future (DMF) programme were run as part of Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire’s (SE Ayrshire) Growing Business goal, to offer a comprehensive business support service to SMEs in the area of management and leadership development. The programmes aimed to provide: information on the contribution to organisational success of management and leadership; access to tools and techniques to develop management skills; and direct support to individuals and organisations through development seminars, workshops and programmes. The evaluation aimed to: enable SE Ayrshire to meet current ERDF requirements in relation to application monitoring, reporting and evaluation; assess the effectiveness of the programmes over the previous 2 years (2002-2004) in terms of outputs, impacts and achievements of objectives and targets; understand and review the impact of the programme on Ayrshire businesses and individuals; and develop and enhance future programmes in Management/Leadership development.


The evaluation consisted of: Project Scoping (to finalise project plan, and agree targeting and information requirements for interviews); the Evaluation Interview Process (to obtain direct feedback from participants in SE Ayrshire’s Leadership Development Programmes); and Project Review and Reporting (to achieve overall project objectives, to report back to SE Ayrshire on findings, conclusions and recommendations and review project as a whole).


Concludes that both programmes have achieved significant success levels. Stresses that the impact on an individual level and a team level has been greater than the impact on operational effectiveness of businesses as a whole. Suggests that most of the businesses will benefit in the long term from improved team and individual effectiveness. Notes that interviewees also rated both programmes very highly in relation to overall relevance, quality of service, and project management and communications. Mentions that LDP participants represented too wide a mix of seniority levels. Advises that DMF, in particular, addressed a clear market failure and has no obvious equivalent available from external sources.


The evaluation recommends that, subject to budget considerations, the programmes should continue to have a place in SE Ayrshire’s business assistance in the current financial year. However, the Ayrshire economy will only benefit if the knowledge gained is applied within businesses in a sustained manner, and the post-programme follow-up has ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of participation. Suggests informal periodic monitoring, rather than a simple quantitative monitoring system with a structured framework. DMF should take priority if there is insufficient budget to continue both programmes. If there is no budget for either programme, suggests that business/individual needs should be assessed and signposted towards suitable leadership development options, with the caution that alternative options to DMF are more limited. Recommends that a degree of integration between two courses could be advantageous. Considers that a 2/3 year contract cycle would be beneficial. Encourages SE Ayrshire to capitalise on the success of programmes by promoting positive feedback to potential future participants and using feedback for a variety of potential case studies and PR stories.

Author Systems Insight Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Leadership/management development