It’s what you have done that matters

This blog was posted by Marge Ainsley on August 5, 2015 as part of the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy. You can find out more about the project here.

Since our last blog post things have been a little choppy at our experiment at the seaside.

Whilst we’ve had a couple of wins – finding a gamification expert to help us and working out exactly what it is we want to do – there are a number of challenges which have stopped us from progressing as much as we’d hoped. Mainly:

1. Getting all our stakeholders in one place, at one time. We needed to hold a creative session with a number of people for a number of reasons:

a. Raise awareness about DMA as a CPD programme with beta testing – rather than a large scale project with a polished final outcome.

b. Help us explore and create gamification ideas as a team, creating more ownership throughout the group.

c. Allow us to pitch for additional funding from those who hold the purse strings.

But it’s just not happened. Multiple partner deadlines and other priorities has meant that we’ve had to schedule, then reschedule a number of times.

2. We’ve learned quickly that working as Joint Fellows (with one of us located away from the central office) has its challenges. Due to changes in work focus, neither of us feel that we’ve successfully built DMA into our working week – so the experiment has become more of an ‘add on’ rather than something truly embedded in our work. It’s turned into what other CPD programmes can so easily often become – shoved on an ‘extra’ list of things to do, which you’ll get round to eventually…but never do.

3. We’ve put far too much pressure on ourselves to achieve immediate results, quickly. As the Illuminations are September – November, we felt that we needed to come up with a great idea by switch on (the evening the Illuminations are ‘opened’). Instead of spending time on getting the right people and mechanisms in place first, we’ve imploded due to feeling the pressure of ‘getting agile’ and seeing results quickly.

We nearly threw the towel in.

But after speaking to our Mentor Devon, Duncan and I regrouped and devised a proactive, positive solution rather than simply focussing on what we hadn’t managed to achieve. We took comfort in the words of the legendary Dave Trott who said; “Forget what you haven’t done. It’s what you have done that matters.” So we’ve put a new plan together which will see us:

1. Finally holding our workshop with a gamification expert but with a smaller number of key stakeholders who can help us make the decisions we need to.

2. Presenting a ‘menu’ plan back to our wider stakeholder group which outlines the benefits of our project, target audiences, risks, proposed budgets, timelines and any input needed from them.

3. Embedding our experiment into our personal weekly work plans with regular communication sessions booked in between us as Joint Fellows.

4. Not getting so hung up with agile. We love the concept and are fully on board with ‘getting scrappy’. However, we’ve struggled with getting to grips with where to start with it – we’ve tried so hard not to have a plan that we’ve lost our way. Our new basic approach will hopefully re-boot our experiment – and then we can start getting creative with iterations.

Marge & Duncan, LeftCoast

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