How old is your digital strategy?

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HOW OLD IS YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY?

STEVEN SMITH – DIRECTOR, UNITED FOCUS

So, you’ve had a digital strategy in play for a while now. I bet someone said when it was developed: “I don’t want a strategy that collects dust on a shelf”.

OK… how dusty is your digital strategy or road map? Can you see cobwebs?

If you’re updating a digital strategy, here are seven aspects that you might look into, comment on and amend if necessary. We’ve also suggested some methods to use for the review and updating.

  1. Context – why and when was the strategy developed; what was the prevailing digital maturity of the organisation then; who did it, how did they go about it and who endorsed it?
  2. Scope – what’s missing, what shouldn’t be there and what’s out of place; is it too ‘down in the weeds’ and not strategic enough; does it give adequate cover to the main strategic issues – eg governance, risk, resourcing, change management?
  3. Validity – is the strategy and its recommendations sufficiently evidence-based; was there sufficient research undertaken; was the scope and nature of the research and consultation appropriate?
  4. Contents – are the concepts, approaches and recommendations consistent with current best-practice and reflect trends in the industry sector and in the local and wider economy; are the recommendations and road map feasible and appropriate; what’s still relevant and what’s now obsolete?
  5. Socialisation – has it been adequately promoted and socialised internally and with external stakeholders; is it embraced by staff or is it mostly ignored?
  6. Style and format – do the intended audiences of the strategy find it easy to read and understand; is it well structured and accessible?
  7. Outcomes – have the recommendations been acted on; what has worked well and what hasn’t; where has it met expectations and where not; were the KPIs appropriate; where are the challenges and gaps in execution?

Some techniques for undertaking the evaluation and producing an updated strategy.

  • Measure qualitative and quantitative outcomes against the KPIs.
  • Review relevant industry trends and digital technology trends in the period since the strategy was first prepared and through to the next 3 years from now.
  • Ask your customers about how easy it is to do business with you online, how they regard your online brand.
  • Ask the executives and staff for their views of the strategy.
  • Ask new staff members to read it and give feedback.
  • Identify what needs to be updated throughout the strategy to reflect changes in the business, customer expectations, and new industry trends and technologies.
  • Have someone other then the strategy’s author(s) undertake the review.
  • Developing practical, relevant digital strategies isn’t easy, nor is reviewing them. There are many pitfalls and challenges in researching, consulting, writing and socialising the strategy.

We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t with digital strategies and can take a dispassionate, expert look at yours and report back on what’s working and what’s not, suggest reasons why and provide remedial advice and direction for the future.

Give us a call to discuss an evaluation of your digital strategy.

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