Digital Strategy – an ongoing process

I’m often seeing posts on Linkedin and Twitter titled, “10 steps to complete your Digital Strategy” and they always frustrate me…The idea of a Digital Strategy being complete sends shivers down my spine.

In our digitally progressive world our Digital Strategies must be a continuous cycle of improvement. Yes, there will be projects and strategies for those projects, but the one thing we should never forget is that each project should deliver a key improvement as part of an ongoing cycle of review, testing, development and improvement.

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As Alexander Rauser explains in his book Digital Strategy, A guide to digital business transformation, an iterative cycle is a must for all businesses and charities looking to survive and thrive in our digital age.

For me, there are 4 main focusses for each cycle… all of which should be used and revisited to deliver small focussed improvements across different sections of your organisation. Please don’t take these steps in order each time, during most projects you will probably need to revisit more than once.

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Insight

Without insight, we are not aware of any issues existing in the status quo, for this reason I feel it is important to regularly bring together a team that represent all aspects of the organisation to share insight from users (customers or other team members).

e.g. Donors are telling us that they find giving a donation on the website tedious.

From these insights, assumptions can be made.

Assumption

After the team have shared their insights (and there will likely be a long list when you first begin) it is important to connect assumptions to them. At this stage too you maight be able to add some value to the insights and assumptions to help you and the team work out which to move to testing first.

e.g. Following the insight from above… If we make the donation process more simple we will see an increase in donations through the website.

Testing

Now your assumption has been formed from insight you can test. At this point you will likely need to speak to your users to discover what aspect of the donation process they find tedious. There are lots of methods that you could use to test your assumptions, enough to fill more than one artcile here, so please don’t stick to one – why not test your tests 😉

The main point of the test at this point is to prove or disporove your assumption.

Development

Your assumption has been proven, the problem discovered, now is the time to start developing a solution…