Leapfrog’s collaboration V&A Learning and National Programmes continued with a third workshop in 2019, shifting focus from evaluation approaches to consider complete cycles of R&D within the team. We found that evaluating events can lead to one-​off questions that do little more than give you a thumbs up or down on the venue and timings. Connecting together the data and insights from evaluative work is the key to at iterative R&D approach – finding ways to build up understanding of an audience and the impact the team’s work has on them.

Together we tested a new co-​designed tool to enabling teams to map, compare and iterate the cycles of R&D they conduct. The cycle begins be defining aims, then planning data collection and analysis before concluding by considering how the insights draw from the cycle will be implemented and shared within and beyond an organisation. The cycle structure is complemented by the ‘skeleton’ tools, helpful as starting points for planning discussions and reflections for each stage of the cycle.

The result of Leapfrog’s work with V&A Learning and National Programmes is not only the tools we’ve co-​designed together, but an idea for how any team can transform their approach to understanding their audience. In a year of working with Leapfrog, the Learning and National Programmes team was able to better integrate R&D cycles in their work to ensure that they are audience-​led and continually iterating their offer, designing and developing programmes that are exciting, relevant and rooted in the V&A collections and backed up by robust data.