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Do you want your Not-for-Profit to be Digitally Transformed?

Where to start

· Digital Third Sector,Strategy,Transformation,Planning

Do you need to digitally transform your organisation, looking at all of your functions not just marketing and communications? In this blog, we lay out three initial steps to initiate an organisation wide digital strategy.

1. Digital Demystification​

As a first step, it is a good idea to provide an opportunity for your teams to get to grips with what the digital revolution is all about and to understand what such terms as digital strategy and digital transformation mean. Teams need a chance to explore and engage with what the opportunities might be, including achieving greater impact for beneficiaries. In order to ensure team buy-in, it is important to create space for everyone to explore where you are going and take the ‘fear’ out of digital. We call this Digital Demystification.

Doing this has another advantage: people often start to come-up wth innovative ideas straight away and because they understand where you are going this creates the motivation and buy-in to make things happen. We once did a 15 minute demystification session with a couple of people and within 5 minutes, 6 options had been generated!

Digital Demystification can also unite different departments and people with different skills if they work at solving problems together. This enables the organisation to collaborate around shared challenges, rather than focus on individual functions.

2. Gap Analysis

Our GAP Analysis is designed to take stock of where you are compared to the features commonly seen in ‘digitally transformed’ organisations i.e. those that have developed and implemented digital strategies. It also means you and the team can capture all the things you already know about and have been wanting to tackle but have never managed to. This means you start from the more comfortable position of what you already know.

What does Gap Analysis achieve?;

  • Scopes the task and provides the data from which priorities and shared agendas for change can be created. The aim is to build out from what already exists in bite-size steps
  • The options that came out of the Digital Demystification session, can be further explored and evaluated
  • Tasks which can be done in parallel or must be done sequentially can be identified
  • Costs and payback established.

The GAP Analysis covers the following areas:

  • IT infrastructure
  • Supporters, marketing, CRM and website
  • Beneficiaries
  • Other stakeholder groups
  • Finance
  • Collaborative working
  • Enterprise information and knowledge management
  • HR, organisational culture, management & leadership
  • Innovation

We firmly believe that digital provides lots of innovative opportunities for pursuing your mission but it also provides real opportunities for making existing systems slicker: ones which better serve stakeholders and save money, freeing up resources. The excercise of a Gap Analysis is a foundational step to your strategic planning.

Gap Analysis enables you to see the priorities for organisation wide Digital Development, However, it is also important to build into your planning a step which looks for innovative ways to better impact your beneficiaries and supporters . This is not a one-off exercise and to be a viable organisation in the digital landscape, it is important to establish a rhythm of innovation which regularly assesses where you are and what to improve. Innovative solutions work best when they are simple.

How to form and turn ideas or innovative solutions into reality requires a methodological approach. At PlanLab, we help organisations innovate through quick and agile business planning and product development. We also use structured creativity to help internal teams work from what they know. We call this Strategy Hacking. A development of this can involve people who are completely fresh to your organisation as well as being digitally literate, helping you to be truly innovative. This option may be useful because you are so familiar with your current strategy and operations that you may be unable to see the really innovative ideas. This type of Strategy Hack is where you share your mission, vision and perhaps a little of your strategy, with a group of people, who we've sourced and then ask them how they would set about achieving your mission, starting with a blank canvas. You can then weld together internal and external perspectives. For more information about how an external Strategy Hack works, go here.

Next Steps

Need some Digital Demystification, Gap Analysis or a Strategy Hack in your organisation? Get in touch to arrange a free coffee to start to see how this could work in your setting.

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