Are you one of those organisations who lack a strategy for making the best use of digital tools to support users? Have the digital services you offer evolved rather than been systematically implemented? It is time to stop letting digital just happen and take control.
A research and discovery phase will identify immediate concerns. It will even make suggestions about short term tactical fixes. But that is not the same as a strategy. A set of recommendations that will shape your long term approach to digital and connected consumers.
A strategy is more than tactical recommendations for your digital services. But it is also more specific than some vague aspirations for improving the user experience. The strategies I produce consist of the following elements:
- An accurate diagnosis. A good strategy solves real world business problems. These might be to overcome a threat or weakness in the company, or to find a way to capitalise on an opportunity or success. The point is that by focusing on real world problems you prevent the strategy from being too vague.
- Guiding principles. A strategy should have some principles within which the company can operate. A set of standards against which you measure what you do.
- Coherent actions. This is where a strategy gets practical. It identifies specific steps that the company should make to move towards its ultimate goals. It is a roadmap showing how you can address the issues in the diagnosis. A roadmap that conforms to the principles we have laid out.
In most cases, a strategy I write for clients addresses issues such as:
- Development processes.
- Key performance indicators.
- Education, engagement and training.
- Hiring of digital staff.
- Prioritisation of work.
- Handling organisational change.
- Reporting lines.
- Cross disciplinary working.
- Standard operating procedures.
But producing the recommendations is only half the battle.
Many digital consultants do their research and handover their recommendations. But that is just the beginning. There is also the need to get buy-in for those recommendations. Buy-in from management and stakeholders across the organisation.
I will work with you to establish the best way to get approval from management and support from stakeholders. Sometimes this is as simple as a presentation. Other times it involves workshops or even entire pilot projects. In fact often the best way to win people over is show them what the future could look like. Prototyping can be a great way of demonstrating that new reality.
Whatever the case, my role is more than producing some recommendations. It is also my job to get those recommendations accepted and implemented.