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Workshop: By the People, for the People: Developing Digital Strategy That Matters


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Presented at the Museum Computer Network conference in Montreal, November 2013 by Dana Allen-Greil, Emily Lytle-Painter, and Annelisa Stephan.

No matter where you are in your organization, or where your museum is in its digital evolution, you can play a leadership role in developing a meaningful digital strategy. But to do this well, you'll need to think first about people: Who are you trying to serve? Who do you need to communicate or collaborate with? And how can you best converse with those people? Maybe you have a formal strategy in place, but you need to be better at communicating it to leadership and your colleagues. Perhaps you're working on a digital strategy in the absence of a larger institutional plan. Or maybe you're just getting started in thinking about how to tackle the strategic planning process. There is no one right way to build a digital strategy, but there are frameworks, tools, and tips that can make the process smoother and more collaborative.

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Workshop: By the People, for the People: Developing Digital Strategy That Matters

  1. 1. By the People, For the People #MCN2013 #DigitalStrategy Workshop Annelisa Stephan @Meowius Dana Allen-Greil @DanaMuses Emily Lytle-Painter @MuseumofEmily
  2. 2. Hello! Annelisa Stephan @Meowius Dana Allen-Greil @DanaMuses Emily Lytle-Painter @MuseumofEmily
  3. 3. 9:15 - 9:30 9:30 - 9:45 What Is Digital Strategy? 9:45 - 10:30 Today’s Schedule Digital Benchmarks Digital Engagement Framework Activity Break! 10:40 - 11:30 Design Thinking Activity 11:30 - 12:15 Planning Next Steps 12:15 - 12:25 → Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!to everyone who 10:30 - 10:40 Action Plan 12:25 - 12:30 Wrap-up
  4. 4. ● ● ● ● Let’s Get Cooking Open up the cupboards Get ingredients on the counter Combine, stir, play, test Taste what others are doing ● Create your own recipe
  5. 5. Digital Benchmarks Where are we?
  6. 6. Developed by Collections Trust to provide a simple tool for assessing the many dimensions of digital in an organization: Digital Benchmarks for the Cultural Sector 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Strategy People Systems Digitisation Content Delivery Analytics Engagement Revenue
  7. 7. Source: Nicholas Poole
  8. 8. Range Statements + Spider Charts For each of the 8 core areas, range statements describe a scale of 0-5. The statements you select get plotted on a chart (that looks like a spider web.) Today we will look at Strategy, one of the 8 core areas.
  9. 9. 0 The organisation has no strategic plan or statement of mission or purpose. 1 The organisation has a strategic plan or mission which does not reference engagement through technology. 2 The organisation has a strategic plan, which includes projects and programmes, some of which make use of technology. Digital is not fully integrated into the strategy, which is not regularly reviewed. 3 The organisation has a strategic plan, which includes projects and programmes, some of which make use of technology. Digital is integrated into the strategy, which is regularly reviewed. 4 The organisation has a strategic plan/mission in place which references the use of digital technologies to support core delivery, or it has a separate (but connected) digital strategy in place. There is at least one digital champion within the senior management of the organisation. The strategic plan is regularly reviewed and updated. 5 The organisation has a strategic plan/mission in place which integrates the use of digital technologies to support core delivery. The digital elements of the plan are owned and championed at a senior (Board & management) level and supported by appropriate budgets. Digital technologies are embedded across all teams and departments of the organisation. Digital delivery and engagement through technology are embedded within the organisation’s performance framework. The strategic plan is regularly reviewed and updated.
  10. 10. Discuss Which statement did you select? Where are you in the process of developing a strategy? What documents or materials did you bring with you today?
  11. 11. What Is Digital Strategy? And why do we need it?
  12. 12. Digital strategy is an actionable, shared, cohesive plan for your digital activities as a whole that is updated regularly.
  13. 13. Everything is digital now. branding fundraising collections publishing research exhibitions audience engagement interpretation PR & marketing education membership games and media Photo: Cleveland Museum of Art
  14. 14. “Digital is not really something one under the age of 20 talks about ‘digital’ anything, it is just a part of everything.” —Jane Finnis, Culture24
  15. 15. So why bother with “digital strategy”?
  16. 16. Because digital forces the big questions. what’s our voice? who is this for? who are we? why are we doing this?
  17. 17. Because digital requires clarity. Yes!
  18. 18. “The problem is that nobody sees the creation of a digital strategy as their job, so if you don’t step up, chances are nobody will.” —Paul Boag
  19. 19. Digital Engagement Framework What do we have? Where do we want to go?
  20. 20. What is the DEF? A framework based on a structured set of questions that provide the building blocks for a digital engagement strategy created by Jasper Visser and Jim Richardson
  21. 21. An “engagement” strategy? Bridge the gap between: what you have to offer (assets) the people who might be interested (audiences)
  22. 22. My task: Develo p a digi tal strateg y for edu cation (Not pa rt of a larger s trategic plan)
  23. 23. (Digital) Strategy Focus was on: ● who we are . . . and then how digital can help us accomplish those goals ● who we serve ● what we are trying to achieve my area of expertise
  24. 24. Why use the DEF? A tool to help you ask the right questions, of the right people, at the right time. The DEF can help you: ● bring stakeholders together ● take inventory ● improve your understanding of the key ingredients ● connect the dots
  25. 25. Assets Given the choice between you and everything else, what do you have to offer to convince people to pick you?
  26. 26. Audiences Who do you reach? What new groups would you like to reach?
  27. 27. Vision What sentence would make your heart sing if you heard an audience members say it after an experience with your museum?
  28. 28. Bringing it all together Pick one of each: Audience Asset Vision
  29. 29. Reach Asset Audience Engagement Vision
  30. 30. Phases of Engagement Reach ● Where will you go to find your audience? ● How will you use your assets to connect with the audience on this platform?
  31. 31. Phases of Engagement Interest ● What can you offer to keep your audiences interested?
  32. 32. Phases of Engagement Involve ● How will you invite audiences to participate? ● What will you ask them to do?
  33. 33. Phases of Engagement Activate ● How will you activate fans? ● How will you turn fans into advocates, by encouraging them to share their enthusiasm with others?
  34. 34. Reach Asset Audience Where will you go to find this audience? How will you make the first connection? ● ● Engagement (Interest > Involve> Activate) ● ● ● How will you keep them interested? How will you invite them to participate? How will you turn them into advocates who share their enthusiasm? Vision: How does your activity get you one step closer to this person saying the sentence you want to hear?
  35. 35. Share
  36. 36. My Experience Workshops ● 9 workshops for 50+ staff in education ○ 90-120 minutes each ○ Divided into groups by department/functional area (3-10 people per workshop) Sharing ● Wiki ● Photo documentation
  37. 37. Discuss ● How might the DEF be useful in your organization? ○ Who would you include in workshops? ○ What activities or questions would you have people engage with? ● What challenges might you face in using this tool?
  38. 38. Break Time! Be back in 10 minutes.
  39. 39. Design Thinking Ideation and Implementation
  40. 40. What is Design Thinking? Design Thinking is a mindset and methodology for reframing problems. It is centered around empathy with a user, collaborative ideation with your team, and rapid iteration. ● ● ● ● ● Empathize Reframe Ideate Prototype Test
  41. 41. Listen Build Brainstorm
  42. 42. You will work with one partner to reframe and build a solution to their problem. Today’s Activity It’s going to be fast and probably a lil’ uncomfortable. You will be learning about the fundamentals of DT to take back to your institution, while simultaneously using the tool to problem-solve institutional roadblocks for your partner. So meta.
  43. 43. Gain EMPATHY Today: Interview your partner about roadblocks they face to creating and implementing digital strategy at their institution. Take it home: Depending on your institution, you might start by talking to visitors, staff, or someone else. Ask open-ended questions. Really listen. Ask “why?” Watch their body language.
  44. 44. Today: Using empathy, reframe your partner’s problems into a point-of-view statement. REFRAME the Problem Take it home: Be specific to the person you are talking about. Use empathy maps to infer thoughts and feelings from words and actions. Consider using interviews and point-of-view statements to build personas.
  45. 45. Beginner POV: EXAMPLE POV A dad with two kids (user not specific enough) needs good educational programming for his kids (use a verb, and go for a deeper need) because art is important to him (this is superficial and doesn’t seem like you actually talked to him). Here is a more refined example: A burned-out dad (user) needs to refresh himself at the museum, not just babysit his kids (need), because his passion for art is the one thing he’ s given up since his kids were born (insight).
  46. 46. Today: Sketch 4 solutions to your partner’s problem. Just get ideas down on the paper! IDEATE Solutions Take it home: Use “How Might We …?” questions to start, and additive brainstorming to come up with solutions. Select ideas that rise to the top, then have group sketching sessions to elaborate on the ideas.
  47. 47. Today: Make a thing your partner can interact with! BUILD a Prototype Take it home: Gather a box of art supplies and bring it to a meeting. Low fidelity is the goal. Make sure to have lots of scissors and tape. Prototypes can be as simple as a sketch and as high-level as using a working group to prototype a new department structure.
  48. 48. Today: Talk to you partner about what works and what doesn’t. Take pictures. TEST and Repeat Take it home: Take your prototype to your audience. Listen to what they say and watch what they do. Test with different people and at different times. If something doesn’t work, make a new prototype and try again.
  49. 49. What amazing ideas did your partner come up with? SHARE Anything you want to share? How might you use Design Thinking to jump-start problem solving when you get home?
  50. 50. Planning Our Next Steps How might we move forward?
  51. 51. Strategy As a Process Urgency Get—and keep— strategy on the agenda Action Resources Implement and iterate strategy Find time and people to work on strategy Clarity Articulate and communicate strategy
  52. 52. Discuss with Your Table Share your experiences with digital strategy at your organization. Brainstorm with your colleagues how to make forward progress at each strategy stage.
  53. 53. Urgency get—and keep—digital strategy on the agenda How might we… • make the case for change? • find openings for progress (even if small)? • achieve leadership buy-in?
  54. 54. Resources Find time and people to work on digital strategy How might we… • carve out time and energy to devote to digital strategy? • motivate colleagues to contribute? • work together to reach consensus on priorities?
  55. 55. Clarity Articulate and communicate digital strategy How might we… • decide what to include—and what to omit—in our strategy? • put it on paper (or pixels)? • tell a compelling story about our strategy?
  56. 56. Action Implement and iterate digital strategy How might we… • begin doing something with this strategy? • be honest if something’s not working? • make strategy an ongoing process?
  57. 57. Action Plan Five Things to Move Us Forward, at MCN and at Home
  58. 58. Action Plan | 5 ways I will move forward At MCN I’ll listen for ideas about: At Home I’ll speak to these colleagues about digital strategy at my org: I’ll put the following ideas into practice: I’ll use the tools demo’d today to: I’ll read/watch/consult the following resources: I’ll talk to/get feedback on: I’ll be “strategy buddies” with:
  59. 59. A Few Ideas... ● Share. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ● ● Create a short presentation about what you learned at MCN. Invite your manager/director. Distribute the DEF book internally; sign up for a DEF webinar. Start a strategy club. Give your manager/director reading material. Identify a pilot project, such as an exhibition, to test-drive the DEF. Conduct an informal “asset audit” on your own, on-site and online. Use Design Thinking strategies to “bias for action” on a project. Act. Connect. ■ Find a “strategy buddy” in today’s session. Check in periodically. ■ Swap notes with local museum colleagues, here and back home. ■ Conduct empathy interviews with visitors.
  60. 60. Thanks for joining us today! Please keep in touch. That’s a WRAP Annelisa Stephan @meowius Dana Allen-Greil @danamuses Emily Lytle-Painter @MuseumofEmily