I’ve blogged a number of times about the Digital First journey we have been on as an organisation. Posts have included ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’, ‘The Digital (and Social) Journey’, ‘Digital First Wave’ and ‘A One-page Strategy…..Impossible! Or is it?’.
In this post I’m attempting to draw some of these together by writing about where we have got to with our Digital First Project so far, some of the projects successes to date and some of the learning.
First things first, I think it’s fair to say that I am really pleased with how the Digital First Project has come along in its first 8 months. I can’t quite believe its only been 8 months that the project has been running for!
We have four tenants as part of our 12 strong Project Team and they have been key to giving the tenant point of view along the way. I can honestly say that the Project journey so far would not have been the same without the four tenants being involved. The Project Team also includes 8 staff (including me) made up of a representative from each of the main department in the association. These representatives were all staff that showed an interest in being part of the project team, meaning they had some vested interest in being involved and its overall success. We have now held several Project Team meetings and managed to build up quite a head of steam behind the project.
But we haven’t just been talking about things. We’ve been producing things, like the Digital First Strategy (below).
The Digital First Project key achievements to-date include:
- Drafting a one-page Digital First Strategy (which has recently been agreed by our Senior Management Team);
- Starting discussions on what new services we could offer digitally;
- Reviewing our current tenant’s portal offer;
- Making some key changes to further improve the tenant’s portal functionality.
We have also had lots of positive plaudits along the way about the way the project has developed.
It’s also fair to say we have learnt a few key things as well.
One thing we quickly learnt as a Project Team is that our website was key to the success of the Digital First Project and although this has held up some aspects of the project, I’m pleased to say that a new website is now a ‘work in progress’.
Our Marketing and Communications Manager is also currently looking at our approach to Social Media, which although not a key part of the Digital First Project, does have some real implications for its success.
So what next for the Digital First project?
One key area is the continued focus on offering services digitally and ensuring that as an organisation we continue to look at improving our digital offer to our tenants. At the same time we also need to ensure that our digital offer to staff is not left behind as well! Ensuring that key staff are able to use tablets where suitable will only help with this further. We’re also planning some further work to improve our approach to digital inclusion – some 30% of our tenants have told us that they do not have access to the internet currently, so if we are looking to offer more services digitally, we need to make sure our tenants are able to access the internet.
If I had to sum the first 8 months of the Digital First Project is one line, it would be:
‘ A challenging but rewarding project that is showing some real progress and results for the organisation and its tenants’
I can only hope that the next 8 months of the project are as successful!