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Institutional Culture Is Crippling Your Web Strategy!

Institutional Culture Is Crippling Your Web Strategy!

Most internal web teams in higher education agree their web strategy is being held back by the culture and organisation of the institution. Internal politics, devolved leadership and committee structures are incompatible with the fast moving nature of the web.

Unfortunately most web teams feel unable to bring about change. They feel like a small cog in a very big machine. In this talk Paul will challenge those pre-conceptions and point out that if you don't change things nobody else will.


Paul Boag

June 20, 2013


  1. “I want the view from the outside” Brian Kelly

  2. Honest

  3. Blunt

  4. Harsh

  5. Inspiring

  6. “Institutional culture is crippling your web strategy”

  7. Pre-web organisations

  8. “Bureaucracies are honed by the past and almost never can

    they deal effectively with the future” Leroy Hood
  9. Slow, committee based decision making Departmental silos Internally facing Internal

    politics Site seen as just a marketing tool Project mentality OFFICIALLY SCREWED Web team as a service Biggest issues
  10. The project mentality

  11. “The web requires cross discipline and cross departmental communication”

  12. Designer Developer Project manager Content editor

  13. 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

    2009 2010 Redesign Redesign Redesign Redesign Threshold of effectiveness
  14. 2008 2009 2010 2011 Redesign Redesign A lack of activity,

    vision & leadership
  15. Launch 5 weeks 1 year 2 year Expenditure in time

    and effort Lots What we know about users
  16. Your website is never done

  17. Departmental silos

  18. Information services Web team Schools Departments Comms

  19. Web steering committee Comms Information Services Student Recruitment Alumni International

    Student services ???
  20. Studying > Prospective students > International students > Information for

    international students > Mexico > Overseas representatives > Anglo Latino Education Partnership
  21. The web team as a service

  22. “Most organisations still perceive web team members as IT specialists

    who provide a service to other staff within the company” boagworld.com/business-strategy/web-team/
  23. Faculty dean Faculty dean Head of comms Head of student

    recruitment Web team manager
  24. What needs to be done?

  25. Become user focused

  26. Why? ★ Reduce costs Avoids building functionality that is not

    needed ★ Increases effectiveness Increases customer satisfaction and so conversion rates ★ Provides a criteria for inclusion Prevents academics demanding certain content is added to the site whether or not its appropriate
  27. Have a strong centralised web team

  28. Web team Comms Information Services Schools

  29. Create policies and procedures

  30. None
  31. Creating a consistent user experience

  32. Establish a tone of voice

  33. Accessibility policy Content approval Content removal Development standards Testing requirements

    Social media policy ...
  34. Work incrementally

  35. Priorities Select Define Test & monitor Anybody can propose a

    new card
  36. None
  37. What you can do

  38. User cards

  39. As a prospective undergraduate student. I want to look at

    what courses this University offers in a particular subject area. So I can decide whether to include this university in my shortlist of place to attend.
  40. None
  41. Information services Schools Comms Web team Departments

  42. None
  43. None
  44. It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to

    ask for permission.
  45. Why take the risk?

  46. But if not us, then who?

  47. The directorate? The web steering committee? Marketing?

  48. “We are the ones that see most websites are broken.

    We see the need. Only we can instigate the change.”
  49. “Don’t wait to be picked” Seth Godin, Icarus Deception

  50. Because the landscape is changing

  51. “Universities used to offer a job for life, not any

  52. The web is a black hole into which money is

  53. You need to become indispensable

  54. “Leaders are not picked. They step up” Seth Godin, Icarus

  55. “Richard Branson hails ‘Intrapreneurs’” entrepreneur.com/article/218011

  56. Digital is critical

  57. “Knowledge is power” Sir Francis Bacon

  58. To make your job more fun!

  59. Here’s the problem: organizations are the context for our work,

    and when it comes to the web, organizations are broken.
  60. “Success is going from failure to failure with no loss

    of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill