Structuring for digital success

Kati Price, V&A-Victoria and Albert Museum, UK, Dafydd James, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Wales

Published paper: Structuring for digital success: A global survey of how museums and other cultural organizations resource, fund, and structure their digital teams and activity

How do museums and other cultural organizations identify exactly how big their digital teams should be, how they should be structured, and where they should sit in the organization? And how do they define and measure digital success? We surveyed 56 GLAM organizations across the world to find out some of the answers to the questions that digital leaders are asking right now. In this paper we examine how these organizations are re-configuring their digital teams to define and drive success, and identify the patterns that are beginning to emerge.

We explore the changing structures and relationships that digital teams have with colleagues, and what this means for digital responsibility in the organization. We include key insights and practical advice to help organizations of all sizes understand how best to structure their digital teams—by revealing what works and what doesn’t—and help them identify the skills needed. Through a series of interviews with colleagues across the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, we explore how digital leaders are re-defining the role and mandate of a digital team.

Our findings reveal that none of us have yet embraced full digital maturity. The majority are still using a centralized model, but aspire for digital to become distributed across the organization. Yet that won’t happen until we tackle a significant underinvestment in digital skills (most notably in data analysis and technical leadership), and until we begin to set—and measure—realistic objectives for digital success.

This study presents a global picture of how digital is being shaped in museums, and conversely, how it is shaping our museums and cultural institutions today; we suggest next steps in helping organizations on their journeys to digital maturity.

Forrester Research. (2017). “The Digital Maturity Model 5.0, Forrester Research, Inc.”. Published March 14, 2017.

Malde, S., Parry, R. (2017). “What is One by One?“. Consulted January 10, 2017.

Nesta, & MTM London (2017). “Digital Culture 2017”. Consulted December 22, 2017.

Vicars-Harris, O. (2016). “Digital Positioning & Resourcing in Museums”. Unpublished report. Consulted December 22, 2017.

Tallon, L. (2017). “Digital Is More Than a Department, It Is a Collective Responsibility”. Last updated October 24, 2017. Consulted December 22, 2017.

Kane G. C., Palmer D., Phillips A. N., Kiron D., Buckley N. (2017). “Achieving Digital Maturity” MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press. Published July 2017.

Newman, M. (2017). “Digital Maturity Model (DMM): A new tool to navigate the A blueprint for digital”. Published May 2017.

McKinsey. (2017). “Build a winning digital strategy”.

Accenture. (2017). ”Digital Adoption: How workforce development nonprofits can accelerate employment and entrepreneurship outcomes at scale”.

Byrne, C. (2013) “Why Your Startup’s Culture Is Secretly Awful”. Last updated August, 22, 2013. Consulted December 22, 2017.