Dk impactmethods exploringscalability transparent

Explore Scalability

When the time comes to consider scaling, explore your objectives and opportunities carefully.


Suggested Time

2-6 weeks

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, paper, measurement & evaluation data, cost effectiveness data


Design team, key partners, stakeholders

Process Phase

Now that your solution has been running in the market for some time, you may be seeing opportunities, or feeling some pressure, to grow or scale. Growing your solution will see you invest additional resources to achieve a relative increase in customer reach or outcomes. Scaling, on the other hand, implies exponential gains. Scalable solutions are those that can achieve a steep increase in reach or outcomes, from just incremental additional investment. If your goal is to scale, then it’s important that you and your stakeholders are aligned on what success looks like and what it will take to get there. Scaling an intervention is a complex and long term effort, but tools like this can help you start the process and quickly identify the first obstacles to tackle.


  1. Start with a hard look at your solution as it stands right now. You’ll want to access the key metrics and customer feedback generated through your Monitor and Evaluate activity as well as your Roadmap for Success activity, and consult with key members of your team from frontline operations to finance.
  2. Work through the ‘Current Conditions’ prompts in the Exploring Scalability worksheet to review your solution through the design lenses of desirability, feasibility and viability, and, most importantly, impact. Determine any immediate areas requiring optimization.
  3. Next spend some time mapping out what you know about your potential conditions for scale. Think about the market you plan to scale into and its users, the channels or partners through which you might distribute or implement, and the investors or funders you might need to bring on board. This will require someSecondary Research, consultations with key stakeholders, and most likely a round of field research with new users.
  4. Now work through the ‘Potential Scale Conditions’ worksheet prompts to dig into the areas where improvements or adaptations will be necessary for scale.
  5. As you work through the worksheet prompts, you should start to understand the scalability of your solution as it stands, and where you will need to Optimize and Adapt through new rounds of research, prototyping and iteration.