BPOC has developed a framework to help museums transform into a digitally literate and digitally savvy organisation.
Mingei International Museum; Museum of Photographic Arts; Oakland Museum of California; Saint Louis Art Museum; San Diego Natural History Museum; Walters Art Museum
The Legler Benbough Foundation
An effective digital strategy must be mission-driven, audience-focused and developed as an iterative process, acknowledging that implementation is key. Just as no two museums have the same mission, organizational structure or culture, there is no one-size-fits-all for digital strategy. Creating effective strategy requires a close partnership between a museum and all stakeholders. BPOC helps develop these strategies.
BPOC believes that digital strategy is not a project to define how to use technology, but a transitional process of embedding digital knowledge, literacy and capability into the fabric of an institution to deliver on its mission. The result should be a shift in institutional culture, operations, philosophy and skillset affecting every department not just the traditionally-accepted touch points where an institution engages with its audience, such as its website and social media. For an institution, the mission illuminates the “work of the museum”, a digital strategy should establish a culture of how the “work of the museum” can be improved or enhanced and made relevant.
Crucial to the success of this transition is ensuring that an institution has the means and is capable of change, that all stakeholders are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities, and that the institution as a whole is aware of the opportunities and consequences of this process.
Change can be disruptive, but it is crucial given how much the world has changed and how differently new generations engage with the world around them. Digital culture has changed museum audiences, and museums must change to support them. Digital strategy should establish a framework that aligns an institution with the world around it to create a 21st Century organisation that is agile, responsive, entrepreneurial, innovative, staff- and visitor-focused, and operationally efficient.
BPOC has developed a structured process that is inclusive, participatory and iterative, with each step building on the success and completion of the previous one. Our goal is not to dictate what or how a museum should be “digital”, but to guide the museum in defining and effecting its own transformation process. We use a range of methodologies to identify goals and context-specific needs around audience engagement, staff literacy, technology infrastructure and processes, and the effective use of digital tools that will empower museum staff to implement this transition.
Our process has 5 key phases:
- Vision & Goals - The vision and goals for how “digital” can improve or enhance the work of the museum
- Discovery & Capacity Building - An audit & review of processes, systems & resources, and an improvement plan to create institutional capacity to support the digital strategy process
- Engagement - An analysis and plan of how to use “digital” to engage with internal and external audiences
- Infrastructure - An audit of the current technical architecture and information systems, and development of a target architecture with a plan to achieve it
- Transformation - Train & empower museum staff and leadership to take control and effect change with a developed digital strategy as a guide