How to introduce digital transformation to a museum


Carolyn Royston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, USA , Simon Delafond, Imperial War Museums, UK

Published paper: How To Introduce Digital Transformation To A Museum

The session will consider the changing role of digital media teams in the museum sector. It will explain the digital transformation strategy of the Imperial War Museums’ Digital Media department and use five examples where we’ve introduced transformative digital processes or techniques to different areas of the museum. We’ll discuss how this approach can be applied and adapted to other organisations, regardless of size or type of institution.

Each example will consider:

the objectives of the individual project
how a digital process was used
the success of using the digital process in the project
the lessons that can be applied to organisations of different sizes

The examples of digital transformation are:

1) Agile project management
We’ll talk about how we used agile project management to build consensus across multiple Learning teams at different sites, and how that enabled the successful delivery of a project in a department that had a long history of failed projects.

2) Product management
We’ll explain how introducing a product management function has changed the relationship between Digital Media and the museum’s Commercial division. We’ll talk about the role of a product manager and how we can use conventions from companies like Google and eBay in a museum context.

3) Web Commissioning Group
We’ll show how the establishment of a Web Commissioning Group has changed the museum’s approach to web content and its production. We’ll talk about the way we’ve run the meetings and how a common vocabulary for audiences, content formats and metrics has enabled the museum to manage and prioritise the production of content.

4) Collections Access
We’ll talk about how we’ve re-imagined the museum’s Collections Access function as a digital-first product that includes social media, comments on the website and bespoke web content as well as the traditional telephone, email and in-person service.

5) Computer Club
We’ve introduced a Computer Club and run monthly sessio

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