Charity Comms digital transformation conference

This event was attended by Crystal Hall, these are her notes:

Embracing the new digital reality – Tim Cockle, EdServe

  • It’s important to find ways to improve the value of what you do through eco-systems – focus on your core specialism.
  • Good principles are:
  • Open data
  • Agility – Discipline and collaboration; experimentation is fundamental
  • Learning- start small
  • Digital transformation can be big – at an organisational level, or in different business models
  • Digital transformation can be small – at a service level
  • Digital transformation can be a focused effort on a particular issue, priority or challenge
  • Digital transformation can be shallow – focusing on front end experience, customer engagement
  • Digital transformation can be deep – extends into the backend (integration, systems), transforming skills, capabilities
  • Where are you coming from ahead of digital transformation?
  • How mature is your organisation?
  • What is your organisation’s culture, organisation, technology, metrics
  • For transformation you’ll need champions and acceleration teams – dedicated support for changes, and senior support and funding
  • Transformation should mean lasting change
  • Transformation in itself is not a goal
  • Transformation is about organisational change, today
  • This means focusing on the customer

Transforming supporter experience – Claire Hazle, Marie Curie

  • “…renewed focus on the entire customer experience”
  • Claire asked the audience how digitally mature their organisation was, using a quadrant model
  • Digirati are 26% more profitable than their competitors because they have greater maturity in both dimensions
  • It’s important that IT and Digital work together
  • It’s important to have a vision
  • Transformation is like baking a cake – there needs to be brilliant basics, with a dollop of experimentation, agile working and appropriate digital investment, with ‘sprinkles’ of customer first
  • In 2012 Marie Curie commissioned an independent review of digital capabilities. They found that they were:
  • i) behind
  • ii) under-investing
  • iii) lacking strategic digital decision making
  • iiii) risking limitations
  • In October 2013 they set out a business case to change things for the better – they aimed to get their ‘sponge mix’ just right
  • Doing this meant getting things working together – people and culture, website and marking
  • They moved to a hub and spoke model – social is integrated across the organisation
  • They run a digital, creative and IT scrum team. They’ve tried some experimental things like a live Twitter feed going into emails

Transforming Service Delivery – Erin Hedger, Digital Manager, Depression Alliance; Alison McCormack, founder, We Are MC2    

  • Transformation isn’t just about disruptance, but disrupting as and when service users require it
  • Used their “Friends in Need” example, which builds a support network and community online and then gives people the option to meet up offline
  • Behaviour change relies on good comms – people like me/people like you
  • Challenging company culture is key to digital transformation

Influencing culture and enhancing skills – Karina Brisby, Director of Digital; Lucy Wappett, Digital Manager, Children’s Society

  • The Children’s Society realised there was a disconnectbetween enthusiasm for digital and the skills and knowledge to realise a lot of the ideas people were having
  • They developed a new digital strategy which put staff engagement with digital at the forefront of the agenda with…Digital Lunch Bytes
  • The Digital Lunch Bytes sessions enabled the digital team to find out what staff wanted/needed to know
  • The digital team then had a brainstorm – what do people need to know
  • There was a focus on internal and external expertise, and they decided on a format, which was every day at lunch time for 6 weeks. The digital team produced podcasts, too
  • The key thing with engaging staff is to bring the camel to the water – give people incentives to come
  • Contact the speakers in good time
  • Be flexible
  • Tell staff what to expect
  • Have a back-up plan
  • Incentive for attendance at multiple events
  • Prize draw
  • Impact:
  • 20% of staff attended a session, including Senior Leadership Team
  • 95% of people feel that knowledge of digital has improved
  • Think about:
  • Timing
  • Momentum
  • Acoustics
  • Access
  • It can be lots of work!
  • In the next phase of digital strategy work The Children’s Society are looking at
  • ‘Always on’
  • Co-creation
  • Immersion
  • Authority vs fun
  • Listening
  • Being everywhere
  • Amplifying
  • Asking HR to draft digital into the core competencies that related to digital

The agile and lean mindset – Jo Kerr, assistant director, digital, Breast Cancer Care; Damien Austin-Walker, head of digital, vInspired

  • Jo started off by talking about a bad project that she was responsible for. What made Jo’s project so bad?
  • Lack of clear leadership/governance
  • Users not consulted – internally focused
  • Requirements not clearly articulated
  • New requirements
  • It was a waterfall project (Spec, then Design, then Build, then Testing, then go-live)
  • Jo said it would have been a lot better if she had employed the principles of agile and lean
  • Agile: Welcomes change at any point during the lifecycle
  • Agile can be a number of iterations of waterfalls
  • Lean: Lean disregards anything that doesn’t provide value to your end user.
  • Lean principles:
  • 1) Eliminate waste
  • 2) Build quality in
  • 3) Create knowledge
  • 4) Defer commitment
  • 5) Deliver fast
  • 6) Respect people
  • 7) Optimise the whole
  • Agile and lean: Sees results earlier; feedback constantly; serves your customers; flexible; uses brains (like zombies).
  • Benefits:
  • 1) Efficiency – saves time and money
  • 2) Focus – don’t build what you don’t need
  • 3) Co-creation with audiences
  • 4) Data and feedback led (share early and iterate)
  • 5) Impact on wider org
  • Jo said that in the agile model you don’t pay lots of money upfront to develop – you pay a little and then a little along the way to keep things fresh. With a traditional waterfall model, there is massive initial outlay and then potentially again 3 years later when things become outdated.
  • Benefits of agile and lean to wider organisation:
  • More data driven
  • More open to sharing early and often
  • Greater understanding of digital process
  • People see where they fit on the roadmap
  • They learn about and use lean elsewhere
  • How to go agile/lean:
  • Influence SLT
  • Build a strong multi-disciplinary feel
  • Invest in learning and development
  • Start small
  • Influence senior staff
  • Things they say: “Isn’t it expensive/untested/risky?”
  • Put it into terms they understand
  • Case studies
  • Meet the development team
  • Use a robust Agile contract
  • Start small, experiment
  • 1 project
  • Consider ‘Agifall’ or ‘Wagile’ – a mixture of approaches
  • Key data and touch points

Transformation and Digital – Russell Davies, Government Digital Service

  • Digital transformation = inevitable
  • This is not about IT, this is not about Comms
  • It’s not complicated, it’s just hard”
  • Revolution not evolution
  • (This talk wasn’t universally well received as the GDS approach is decidedly anti-innovation, favouring ‘just giving people what they want’ – it could be argued that this is fairly innovative, based on what we’ve seen in the past from the sector AND the government!)
  • Russell talked about the way that GDS designs its pages and how this relates to users. The GDS found that people were actually just searching for things like ‘When is the next bank holiday?’ and wanted to know when the next bank holiday would be, not be presented with a list of bank holidays. If you type the query into Google then the GDS result will be first, and the page automatically tells you when the next Bank Holiday is
  • The GDS favours iterative, responsive change
  • In the GDS, IT reports to Digital
  • The GDS prefers ‘proper people speak’
  • Russell said that we’re moving from a world of persuasion to a world of viability
  • Usability trumps persuasion
  • The goal is the simplicity that digital can enable
  • GDS makes all their code available on GitHub, meaning that there are now lots of copycat websites out there

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