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Transforming a museum through product management: MW17


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Drawing on the recent successes of the Experience & Digital Team at ACMI, this paper will explain how the team is using product management methods to strategically transform the organization’s culture from one of irregular, exhibition-driven change to one that is constantly and continuously evolving. Using Simon Wardley’s Pioneer Settlers Town Planners concept as a framing tool, this paper will discuss the first year of a new process implementing product management practice and conclude by giving a series of recommendations able to be adopted by museums large and small.

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Transforming a museum through product management: MW17

  1. 1. Transforming a museum through product management Museums and the Web 2017 Lucie Paterson, ACMI 
  2. 2. But not always …
  3. 3. Digital finding its place in the organisation
  4. 4. Ambitious Digital Strategy and programme of work
  5. 5. Project Manager doing Scrum in a waterfall organisation
  6. 6. The Glass Box in Royal Festival Hall
  7. 7. Running multiple projects in parallel leads to dependencies which can slow things down. Better to start small and build up experience and trust by delivering iteratively. Focus on addressing user needs, not the needs of your Executive. Digital skills should be distributed across the organisation. Need strategic support from above to work in new ways. A single product owner with decision-making authority is important. Use what methods work for your organisation. And I learnt I’d had enough bad weather to last a life time … WHAT I LEARNT AT SOUTHBANK CENTRE
  8. 8. ACMI
  9. 9. Video
  10. 10. 3 galleries 2 cinemas 2 production/education studios 1 co-working space 1 cafe & bar 1 shop 1.4m annual visitors
  11. 11. Mission
 To enrich our lives and foster our creative industries by illuminating the moving images and technologies that define our age
  12. 12. “ACMI celebrates and explores the moving image — and in this rapidly evolving sector must become an organisation that is constantly evolving itself. The challenge for us is to build an internal culture that is resilient and risk taking, active and accountable to ensure we not only remain relevant to our visitors and communities but stay ahead of the curve in content, process and delivery.” Katrina Sedgwick, Director CEO
  13. 13. Experience & digital team
  14. 14. Seb Chan
 Chief Experience Officer Andy Serong
 Developer Shelley Matulick
 Content Producer Me
 Product Manager
  15. 15. Brand & Marketing Exhibitions & Collections Public Programs & Education Film Programs Development Commercial & Operations Experience & Digital
  16. 16. People spending a lot of time emailing. A lot of long meetings without agendas. Not much cross-team collaboration around problem solving. Information was exclusive to certain teams or levels of staff. People missing important information they needed to do their jobs. Information in Word documents and on network drives. A resistance to change because they had been working the same way for so long. Flexible working was encouraged but not practical. Staff not putting visitor needs first… WHEN I STARTED AT ACMI, MARCH 2016
  17. 17. How can product management help?
  18. 18. “it’s important not to think of your needs — for example, your desire to make a profit or be successful. You need to think carefully about what the user actually wants” Simon Wardley, 2015
  19. 19. What we’ve delivered in the last 12 months
  20. 20. Scorsese exhibition audio guide
  21. 21. Section of Visitor Journey Map (Meld Studios, 2015)
  22. 22. Putting the shop online in four weeks
  23. 23. Flexibility to incorporate fundraising campaign
  24. 24. Take advantage of the many integrations and API
  25. 25. Nightingale and the Rose exhibition long form
  26. 26. Given significant staff and budget resource. In depth requirements gathering resulting in a detailed brief and technical specification. Lengthy procurement process. Considerable time and resource spent building the product from the ground up. Or significant bespoke customisation to existing internal systems. And then time integrating the product with internal systems. No agility to add in new features. These would be seen as another project. No oversight to consider the whole visitor journey. Many features built no longer relevant to users. Technical debt and legacy sites to maintain and eventually decommission. Not enough time spent with users to find out what they need from the product or service. IF WE TREATED THESE AS PROJECTS
  27. 27. New ACMI website
  28. 28. Focus on the needs of the 80% of our website visitors. We identified three key user journeys. Optimised it for transactions and navigating content to facilitate a ticket sale and a physical visit. Mobile first front end — 50% of our website visitors are on their phones. Pattern library for evolving the structure and front end design over time. New content management system, infrastructure and hosting. Support new content types such as long form articles and collection items. Distributed authorship model and updated internal processes. Reflect updated brand with clear distinction between museum & cinemas. Build up internal skills and knowledge. At launch we would go into a state of ‘perpetual beta’ NEW ACMI WEBSITE BRIEF
  29. 29. Internal processes needed to change
  30. 30. Automated processes Ticketing (Education do their events) Marketing Programs Deadline for submission ahead of on sale date * Allow 4 weeks before the event date for promotion Ticket is built with info from Trello card Production ID is added to event in CMS & synced Web Team reviews event in CMS Ticketing info entered into Trello card & EBMS schedule attached GL/Designation/GST, holds, selling capacity, booking info required, promo pricing Event info entered into CMS, sent to Trello & assigned to Web Team member Event scheduled in EBMS Venue, date, start & finish time Tessitura updates event with dates and times 4 weeks for complex events A multi-session event with up to 10 separate sessions or screenings and additional features 2 weeks for simple events A single session screening with standard pricing and no additional features Publish event & close Trello card Amends process 1. Create a NEW card in ‘Post live amends to events’ list on Trello board. Include title of the event and the type of amend ie ‘Session change to The Rehearsal’’ 2. Detail changes in Description field and any attachments ie EMBS export if it’s a change to scheduling 3. Assign to Ronan - he will make the changes and publish. NB: all non-ticketing amends can be made in the CMS by programmers. - Review for style - Add metadata for SEO - Publish - Close card - Build tickets & passes - Check occurrences - Publish ticketing changes - Syncs Event info from CMS goes into a Trello card & Web Team are pinged on Slack to review event New event published (not set up yet!)
  31. 31. “We will develop our digital culture by having modern IT. We need to find ways for people to use more of the digital skills they have developed in their out-of-work lives. Having modern and flexible IT equipment, as set-out in our IT Strategy, is transformative to how we work and of huge importance. From The National Archives Digital Strategy
  32. 32. Email has reduced and Slack is used by 200 staff. Fewer meetings and they are more structured and more collaborative. Slack and Trello have opened communication between teams and departments. Information is being shared more widely and all parts of the museum are providing feedback. Modern tools are being used across the museum allowing us to work from anywhere with an internet connection. People are more open to change because we have demonstrated the value it can bring. People are actively involving our team and thinking user first. STATE OF PLAY AT THE MUSEUM, APRIL 2017
  33. 33. Key takeaways
  34. 34. Put the user-first focus at the heart of the organisation with representation at the top table.
  35. 35. Evangelise for user first all the time — in every discussion and at all levels.
  36. 36. Don’t complicate it. Use the parts of methodologies that work for your organisation.
  37. 37. Small, cross-functional teams with autonomy to make decisions.
  38. 38. Regularly talk to your visitors and observe what they do.
  39. 39. Talk to your visitor services staff on a daily basis. They know your visitors best.
  40. 40. Consider the whole visitor journey — before the visit, at the museum and post visit.
  41. 41. Don’t reinvent the wheel — use commodity products and services where possible.
  42. 42. Prototype early and quickly, get feedback and iterate.
  43. 43. Learn by doing instead of running formal training sessions and writing documentation.
  44. 44. Tell people what you are doing. Be transparent and share news.
  45. 45. Don’t forget about the internal processes — deliver the whole service.
  46. 46. Make it fun! Slack and Trello have two things Microsoft Outlook doesn’t have and that’s emojis and giphy.
  47. 47. Thank you @luciepaterson @acmiLABS