tactics and decision making for successful museum digital projects
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Andrew Lewis Digital Content Delivery Manager V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum, London)
Tactics and Decision Making for Successful Museum Digital Projects
Museums and the Web19 April 2013linkd.in/andrewlewis@rosemarybeetle
Victoria and Albert Museum
Information scientist with 12 years managing projects and live digital services in museums and public libraries.
BSc Cybernetics & Control Engineering, MSc Information and Library Studies, chartered librarian, makes stuff
Joined the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008. Currently Digital Content Delivery Manager, previously Senior Web Content Manager.
Projects large-scale website redesign, content programme management, self-issue services,automated telephone renewal systems, public access computer services, online information, game development, SMART cards, multi-authority procurement and digitisation projects, etc.
Why we need tactics?
Person to blame (Insert your name here) ______________________________
What can you expect to take from this sessionHmm
What can you expect to take from this session
Greater understanding of how to be tacticalMethods for developing effective tacticsThe importance of contextIdentifying barriers (and how to overcome them)Force Field Analysis as a project-planning toolSome examples to take away
Not tiny detailWhats not in this presentationThats in the full paper
Where do tactics fit?
The reason we do all this stuffThe specific things we aim to achieve to meet the missionThe order of thingsThe long-term direction, approach and scope of our work, that we believe will achieve our objectivesThe down-and-dirty everyday decision-making and planning that really makes things happenYou do have a mission, objectives & strategy, right?MissionObjectivesStrategyTactics
TacticsThe down-and-dirty everyday decision-making and planning that really make things happenBut
How do you develop tactics?Understand your local conditions
William Morris Tea Room, V&AFreakybuttrue Peculiarium
Change in museums and change in digital
All museums look like thisAll digital is well cool and cutting-edgeTechnology changes fast and unpredictably
Museums versusDigitalRapidly changing, with a tendency to disrupt and change social behaviourCompetitive consumer- and business-driven impetus steering development and investmentCommunally-driven transient communication channelsServices over physical, web and mobile, increasinglyby direct data connections
Conservative role of preserving culture and stabilityAuthority-led role as selective owners and disseminators of knowledgeTradition of top-down communication of informationHistorically location-focussed
Understand your organisation
Things to consider about technology in your organisationWho initiates technical projects, and why?
What are the resources you will need, both technology and expertise?
How does governance work and who has formal and unofficial power?Understanding official and informal communication channelsWhat is the culture and how is it led?What are the existing technical platforms and integration issues?
Understanding official and informal communication channels
Who initiates technical projects, and why?Governance.
Technical platforms and integration issues
Resources - technology and staff expertise
Governance, power and your organisation
Types of power
Senior ManagementTeamTrusteesEducation teamsPress and PRIT Dept.DonorsDeveloper community
Grant Funding bodiesVisitorServicesCollections Dept.IndividualSenior curatorIndividualSenior curatorIndividualSenior curatorRepeat for Other individualsFinance/ProcurementDesign teamYour project,programme or dept.Legitimate powerReward power?Expert PowerUnpredictablePowerCoercive power?Expert Expert GatekeeperGatekeeper
How much power different groups or individuals holdHow qualified they are to make decisions affecting your projectHow best to pitch communications with themWho the gatekeepers are, who controls access to them
Official and informal communication channelsStaff newslettersDecreeCatching people in corridorsPressing the fleshGossipPress ReleasesIntranetMeetingsChat in the canteenemailWeb Project spacesTwitterphoneIssuing procedures
Understand how things get communicatedby different people or departments(and what is most effective with them)
Organisational culture and how is it ledEveryone leads so
make sure you are leading deliberately(See above for ideas how)
Forces for you and against you
Project planning Traditional approachCurrent StateNew State
New Tech/ServicesBusiness SystemsHardware upgradesExpertiseManagement processesJust addSorted!
Project planning Force Field Analysis (after Kurt Lewin)
Force Field Analysis Start with ideal outcome
Examples -Force Field Analysis
Only accept money that supports your strategyDefine your technology governance processDefine and later defend your terms of referenceBe clear about responsibilitiesFormalise sign offAssess partnerships against strategyDo a powerholder/gatekeeper reviewNeigh-sayersExecutive overrideUnrepresentativepersonal opinionBrand control-freakerySCOPE CREEPFree money Joint projectsLack of agreement on aimsUnilateral tech decision makingExample: Tactics for managing governanceObjective:
Keeping true to your technology strategy
Uncertainty of technological trends
Assuming current user behaviour will stay the sameBuilding technology not servicesFocussing on backend efficienciesTrying to copy successBeing tied to poor systems Assuming your views represent your audiencesFaster, smaller changesAsk your audiences directly Short planning cyclesDefine service and system lifespansUse betas and pilotingRequire data to substantiate claimsDefine success in advanceExample: Tactics for avoiding building irrelevant servicesObjective:
Ensuring your services are what your audiences want
Consider tactics within the context of project phasesIdentify NeedResearch options and select approachDefine the scope, remit and success criteriaCreate a project planIdentify and allocate project resourcesExecute the project planIntegrate systems and change operational processesTest outcomes and sign offLaunch and bed downEvaluate against criteria and document lessonsClose down project
Examples The humble checklist
Example: Checklist for assessing risk in tech proposals
Is the project driven by external funding?Are the users it is aimed at representative of your current priority audiences?Does the proposal appear to be driven by an attempt to copy something a rival museum has launched?Can proposers really demonstrate how the project supports your current organisational strategies (either digital or more generally)?Apply a would anyone actually use this and why? test
Examples Visualisation as a communication tactic
Having a responsive mobile site is important
A multiple-feed blog delivers consistent content
Blog ABlog BBlog CBlog DBlog EA+B+D+D+E
LearningResearchArtist in ResidencePoster collectionEngraved ornamentV&A NetworkThe Network A multiple-feed blog delivers consistent content
Examples -Using evidence
18,961 visits from same header link on ALL pages(includes home page)8,961 visits from here21,089 visits from hereslidesha.re/ZoOiOrCross-promotion
How people really use navigation
Are there to deliver the goods. To make stuff happenAre pointless without mission, objectives and strategiesAre context-based. You have to understand the local environmentDont just happen, they need awareness and thoughtCan be developed more effectively by applying simple methods
Victoria and Albert MuseumAccess full MW2013 paper: bit.ly/musetacticsDownload this presentation:slideshare.net/AndrewLVandA
Jan-12Jul-12Jan-13Percentage growth in use of V&A website on mobile devices(phones and tablets)
Sheet181.67%3126210,46116,6015802547,80441,476Whole siteVisit UsWhats' On0.179541748900.2858446545Jan-129.817.912.5Jul-1213.128.616.8Jan-1318.335.021.9