“Two steps forward, one step back”
…as I’m sure you know, the phrase is more commonly known as “one step forward, two steps back”. It describes when you make a little progress and then something happens to make you feel further behind than before you had made any progress. Digital projects can sometimes have that effect at first. It can feel a bit like treading through treacle.
(I really wanted an excuse to use this image…)
This is because of the endless list of digital tools and programmes (albeit awesome ones) to choose from and the wide-ranging possibilities of implementing digital ways of working. We want to find the best all-encompassing solution quickly, cheaply and simply!
However, the title of this blog came to mind whilst reflecting on the work I have covered as part of the Catalyst Definition Programme. At times progress has felt slow. It has been difficult to break down our challenge and decide what we should be focusing on. But by going through the *process of defining our challenge it has given us context and reassurance that the steps we are taking are in the right direction.
Previous user research we have carried out with our members highlighted that one of the key pain points was having limited capacity within their teams. Some users were having to wear several hats to juggle different roles. Others mentioned using multiple programmes that weren’t compatible with each other and not having the expertise to use them at full functionality.
So after a catch up and getting some feedback from my team I reflected again on our initial draft problem statement:
Our mission is to develop a solution to ensure that we are effectively connecting with our network and meeting the communication needs of our service users. We plan to present digital activities and information in a way that members can interact with simply and clearly…
…and I had a moment of clarity!
The above statement is still our broad problem that we are trying to solve, however we a looking to particularly focus on social entrepreneurs, small local charities and small local businesses. Although these are all different types of users, they share similar challenges such as wanting to grow their team and looking to extend their network reach. Therefore a great way to connect with these groups and help them grow could be through BOSS – Back Office Support Services. This is new service offered through Action Hampshire, in partnership with Basingstoke Voluntary Action, which helps with areas such as book keeping, HR advice and business mentoring. So I’m going to be looking forward in the coming weeks on how to link our Catalyst work with our BOSS service and maximise our reach to our target users.
It felt right to be focusing on a service that will support users who are at the centre of our charitable mission. BOSS has also been identified as opportunity to contribute to sustaining other work we do with people and communities Hampshire.
It was good to get a different perspective from my colleagues and emphasised the value of sharing learning and working openly (see previous blog for more information about working openly). This meant going through everything I had already done, but with a BOSS lens on! (I should have called this blog “several steps back and one leap forward”)
Also last week, we looked at stages of engagement with our user, starting from awareness and working to build a relationship. This involved developing content and a plan for how we do this. We were introduced to a simple 5 step strategy:
1. Content plan – finding topics that your user is interested in
2. Content audit – what do you already have, what needs updating and what needs creating
3. Production plan – deciding a format and types of content
4. Performance measures – tracking that the content you are putting out is effective
5. Distribution plan – how are going you get your content out
Here’s a draft of our content strategy for engaging with BOSS users:
If you’re interested, this 2-minute video gives a more in depth description for how to create your own content strategy.
Are you looking for back office support such as payroll service, booking keeping, HR advice or business mentoring?
We would love help! Please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
*Links to previous blogs