So many stakeholders, so little time
Like many large Australian organisations, the National Trust has grown from its distinct state-based roots into a national brand. Despite its national title, the organisation has eight different CEOs, eight boards, eight marketing departments, eight missions statements and eight different business imperatives. When we were engaged to design and build a single national website, the first question we asked was how to wrangle the myriad of stakeholders through decisions needed to ensure the success of this major design project.
Invest early to benefit later
Questions also arose as to how much of the limited resources should be allocated to stakeholder consensus and how much should be reserved for the visual design, production and development tasks. Our experience on this project reconfirmed our belief that investing in consensus early saves both time and money later.
Following previous stakeholder engagement successes with organisations such as Screen Producers Australia and ABC Arts, Boccalatte conducted interviews with State and Territory-based CEOs and key stakeholders. We steered the conversations away from solutions and onto the strategic issues the project was aiming to address. Simultaneously, we ran a survey of state-based employees to form a wider perspective on strategic and financial issues. This research also delivered insights into national audiences and assets.
The engagement phase continued with the facilitation of a workshop where representatives from across the country reviewed, distilled and prioritised the survey results to create a series of strategic recommendations.
Don’t compromise, optimise
Boccalatte’s Optimal Organisation framework requires a project to deliver on:
the project’s support of the long term vision and enduring values
how the project will play to the organisation’s strengths and focus on key audiences
how the project will help drive the progress of the organisation and its goals
The stakeholders agreed on strategic and financial priorities for success—a key milestone in the approval process.
By focusing on priorities we optimised the scope of work to meet fixed budgets and timelines.
Stakeholder consensus cut through the risk of countless rounds of changes and formed a solid platform for a design and development brief for the project. This allowed the project team to progress seamlessly through the visual design and development stages of the project. At key stages, design and structural solutions were presented via an interactive web platform allowing incremental feedback from key players.
Additional keys to project success were: active, centralised project management collaboration between Boccalatte and the National Trust; strong web production presence from Boccalatte and the deep expertise and attention to detail of the development team at Portable Studios.
Boccalatte supported the Trust presenting the new website and future possibilities to the National CEOs; the Director of Heritage Services and the National Board of Directors. There was universal praise for the results achieved and approach taken.
‘It’s not very often I get to say that an organisation has slam dunked one of these projects.’ Phillipa Prince (Director, Heritage Services – Department of Environment)
‘Working with Boccalatte has not only transformed how our customers view us but it has also transformed the way we view ourselves.’ Martin Green (National Trust)
Like most (if not all) website redesigns, the National Trust website project asked the big questions of the organisation. Boccalatte’s expertise in engaging stakeholders and drawing out common needs was key to the success and sustainability of the project and ultimately to the National Trust Brand presence in Australia.
Boccalatte continues to work with The National Trust on its digital investment strategy.