Digital journey? What do you meeean!?
Week 1 down – now brrrrreeeeath!
I am always trying to get someone or other in the team to write a blog, share their experiences and enlighten us with their wisdom. So, I should probably resist the urge to procrastinate and get on and write one of my own (I’ll leave you to judge my wisdom!). It’s Sunday evening and I’ll attempt (as much as possible) to not agonise over every sentence, as I’m not going to let myself have a glass of wine until it’s done!
This is my first entry about the Catalyst Definition Programme that we’ve been invited on, and we have just finished week 1, so I thought I would let you know how it has gone so far… I hope to keep you updated of our progress over the next several weeks and share some resources and top tips that you might like to try out yourself.
Please get in touch if you’re going through a similar digital journey or let us know if you have any questions just email me here
So what is a ‘digital journey’?
I can’t avoid mentioning the pandemic at this point, but I don’t want it to become too much of a focus, as it has been the centre of attention for long enough! As a sector we have come on in leaps and bounds in the last year to adapt our services, get staff working from home and learning new ways of keeping connected with each other. Unsurprisingly this has all been with the aid of digital tools like Zoom, YouTube, Basecamp, Mailchimp and particularly for us, one of the most successful is our team Whatsapp group, where we’ve been keeping in touch with each other and sharing what we’ve been up to – turns out I work with a very creative bunch!…
I digress! ‘Digital journeys’… so now that we’ve learnt some of the advantages of using and feeling more confident with some of these digital tools and ways of working, we want to apply this experience to other areas of what we do to improve the way we work – so that we can do more – so that we can help more organisations – so that we can help more people be the best they can be!
More eloquently than I can put, The Enterprise Project describes a digital journey as:
…the process of integrating digital technology into all areas of an organisation, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to your beneficiaries or customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.
But how do we do this? Where do we start? Just because I can go through a whole Zoom meeting remembering to mute and unmute myself at the right times, it doesn’t mean we’re now digital experts. And breeeeath. No, we’re not digital experts (yet!), but we are embracing it and taking one issue at a time, dissecting it, looking at it in bite sized pieces and putting it back together with a much better informed perspective of how we can work more efficiently using digital means. So we need to be patient and generous with the time we spend in the initial stages of defining what are problems are.
We had our kickstart call to the programme on Tuesday with our digital partner We Are Open Co-op (WAO), where we met the other 10 charities on the programme. We were given an overview of the next 10 weeks and introduced to ‘open source’ working – I’ll save my ’10 top tips for open source working’ for another blog… once I know more about it! But, essentially anything we get out of the programme we’ll be able to share to our members (lucky you!)
In smaller groups we discussed what we hoped to achieve over the next several weeks. For Action Hampshire it is important that we feel confident that we have fully defined our challenge and have clarity on the next steps we should take in order to embrace digital, to support our network and achieve our charitable mission – “to listen to, connect, and equip people, so they flourish and make great things happen”.
The WAO team talked about ‘mapping’ as a starting point to tackling a problem. Bryan who is part of the WAO team and has the best job ever (if only I could draw!) was creating illustrations on the spot to depict some of the key points that came up in the group discussions that we were having – I’ve included some already above. The below sketch illustrates that we need to map out our challenges first so that we can then navigate how and where we need to go. Perhaps sounds a little obvious, but I think a good reminder to us to not jump ahead of ourselves to get to the juicy solution!
Last thing I would like to share is a stakeholder mapping tool, that we were introduced to, which can be applied at the start of any project. It’s a technique where you list all your stakeholders and place them on a chart showing the extent they are involved and the level of interest they have in the outcomes of the project. It helps identify and manage the different stakeholders that have an input, or influence what you are trying to achieve. It allows you to clearly set out what priorities different groups have, how they help or hinder your goals and what your communication strategy might be.
Right, where’s the bottle opener…