Manage the Implementation
Types of Implementation
It is likely that your digital development may involve a number of different activities, particularly if it’s the result of an application for funds. In each case you will be looking to work with a number of different service providers, for instance, web developers, digital artists, and digital marketing experts. You also might be using existing staff, freelancers or interns, developing their skills as they go along.
Some general advice around implementation :-
1. Write a specification – your business case may have identified that you want a new website, but what will the website actually provide? This is where writing a specification is important. A simple web specification document is provided as a resource below under Website Development.
2. Plan your procurement schedule – if you are using external suppliers then it is useful to plan this process. If you’ve already developed a specification ask around for suggestions of who to send it to, or distribute it via your website and through partners. If you haven’t got the necessary technical expertise see if you can get someone with expertise to be on the tender panel. They may not have the time to run the project for you, but they might be able to help you choose the right supplier.
3. Do what you can do for yourself – the more work that you put into planning your digital development the better it is likely to be, since whatever the technology is, you know your organisation better than anyone.
4. Training and skills – think about what would be better to be done “in house.” You might want to get a website developed externally, as it’s unlikely that you’ll need the skills again. However you might want to train your staff in making videos for the website or looking after your digital marketing, as these activities might happen time and again.
5. Get the right equipment – often you might be spending a lot of time and money on using external suppliers, because you haven’t got the right equipment yourself and a small investment (for instance in video editing software), may be cost-effective.
6. Look at your options – we developed an “options summary” during preparation of your business case, and you might want to look at the options more closely during the implementation. For instance, see if you can compare different software or hardware before you’ve bought them, to see what it is that you really need. Much software is available as a “trial” or in a cut-down version. It might be worth you trying out two or three options before you make a decision.
7. See what advice is out there – it’s likely that there are a range of seminars, workshops and conferences that are covering some of the issues that you are addressing. Hopefully these will be in your own city or region, but even if not, it might be worthwhile sending staff to the right conference or workshop, if it’s right for your project. Even the contacts you meet at these events are invaluable.
8. Ask your peers for advice – use whatever networks and partnerships you have to share good practice, and use social media platforms and browsing the internet to find out what other people are doing. Chances are they’ll be happy to share their experience.
Critical Task Manager
The Critical Tasks Manager is a way to ensure that what you set out to do is actually possible with the timeframe and budget you have available. This becomes really important when you need to focus and align your work with others. The form provides a common reference point which everyone can use to keep track of how things are progressing. This enables you to manage your projects by focusing on the tasks at hand.
Using External Consultants
During the implementation for organisations undertaking the AmbITion approach, external consultants with expertise in digital technology and the arts were appointed to work with the organisations. These consultants acted as a “critical friend” to the project, and particularly offered support and mentoring to the internal project manager. Having being involved in the diagnostic and the development of the business case, they continued to work with the project during the implementation. Having this external experience was helpful in bringing their own experience to the project, and the knowledge transfer to the internal staff.
Video insights from AmbITion consultants: David Potts, Pam Henderson
This Information management document might additionally support the organisation of your implementation.