We decided to go for a strong bean this week and we certainly got what we asked for. This powerful packet sure packed a punch – our poor colleague Dave almost fell off his seat after his first sip of this feisty, continental cup. The taste initially came across a tad unforgiving but grew on us throughout the week – after a few cups the quality became apparent as we grew a few hairs on our chest and grew accustomed to the strength. Stronger than the midday Mediterranean sun but also ruggedly tasty, after a small period of deliberation, this coffee earned our seal of approval – a firm 7.5/10.
The National Arts and Culture Giving Platform, in development by Panlogic’s Managing Director William Makower, is starting to make waves in the Arts press.
The article below was published in The Art Newspaper, June 2012.
How long can you wait for a return on investment and what gets pushed aside?
Panlogic’s Digital Engineering research indicates that for 25% of digital projects a return on investment has to be realised in six months, having to show a return within a year goes up to 66%. The demand for swift gains, for what is now a business critical strategy, is driven by a combination of the fast moving digital horizon and business expedience.
The data suggests that the demand for such speedy returns has a high cost in client experience with almost half of clients stating that timeline, quality, supplier relationships and budget were less than satisfactory in terms of project delivery.
Digital Engineering solves these problems by helping the client understand the strategic planning and tactical delivery of a digital project, so they can realise an ROI without it disappearing in agency invoices. Digital Engineering ends the perception of digital projects as short-term, quick delivery solutions, putting the focus back on long term improvements aligned with your business strategy.
The call for a new solution to procuring digital products was reinforced this week on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Bottom Line.
The panel consisting of Andy Green, CEO - Logica, Phil Smith, CEO - Cisco UK & Ireland, and Luke Johnson, Chairman - Risk Capital Partners, discussed the nature of digital projects which typically end with the wrong systems, inflated costs or total failure.
The specific problems highlighted included:
- The doomed NHS IT systems procurement process. Increasing demands, changing requirements and suppliers promising fantastic software that had not been designed and which was never delivered.
- Research by the SaÏd Business School into 1,500 IT projects shows that 1 in 6 went 200% over budget.
- Customers, specifically Government, are squeezing too much into the procurement process, confusing the suppliers and themselves in the long run.
- Leaving the process to procurement experts and not involving technical specialists can mean it is all about the cost over the solution.
Digital Engineering by Panlogic presents the solution to these problems. The panel echoed Panlogic’s new ethos that experienced professionals, working together, can deliver quality solutions through the development of an independent, client-friend approach to the development of a clear set of technically robust and proven business, user and functional requirements.
For more information on Digital Engineering and Panlogic visit www.panlogic.co.uk
As Panlogic continues to build awareness of its new approach to digital projects, Digital Engineering, it hosted a special event at NESTA, to allow a group of influential digital business leaders to meet and discuss its new proposition.
Panlogic’s Managing Director and founder of Digital Engineering, William Makower, hosted the event and gave the guests an introduction to Digital Engineering, exploring the origins of the strategy and his hopes for its future.
This was followed by talks by Graham Clarke, Finance Director at the Financial Reporting Council, on the client’s perspective of Digital Engineering; and Simon Booth-Lucking, a Digital Engineer, who explained the process behind the approach.
Following the presentations, the attendees entered into a roundtable discussion looking at the challenges Digital Engineering faces and the problems it can solve, which provoked a range of ideas to analyse and discuss as Digital Engineering reaches into a wider market, including:
- The slow saturation of ideas through the digital market
- The huge variety in outsourced digital solutions
- Understanding how other industries ensure much higher customer satisfaction rates
- And many more…
All who participated enjoyed a stimulating and invaluable discussion about the future of Digital Engineering in today’s marketplace. Susi O’Neill, Director of Digital Consultant, summed up the overall feeling: “The digital sector needs to get serious about addressing dissatisfaction and get real about delivering results. You don’t have a 70% dissatisfaction from a wedding planner - so why can other sectors define and deliver great customer service and the digital industries, more often than not, cannot.”
User research, content strategies, prototypes, design, multitudes of content management systems, social media strategies… the modern digital project is more confusing and specialized than it has ever been.
How can a modern business be expected to have the internal capabilities to understand this wealth of information and communicate this successfully to achieve a successful project?
In fact our survey has show an overwhelming 65% don’t even know where to start. Not surprisingly this has led to a depressing level of confidence within corporate departments who have to work with strategies that lack the technological appreciation and understanding necessary in today’s digital culture and are held back further by suppliers who come in way over budget due to misunderstandings at project initiation.
However, if more companies learn and work with Digital Engineers they may be more likely to grow with technology and not fight against it. As Digital Engineers, Panlogic reassures and helps companies understand that constructing a digital strategy is not just a single building block within a core business strategy but the cement which supports the entire business strategy, allowing an organisation to flourish.
Such a Digital Engineering service is offered either as a core contribution to the longer term building blocks of a digitised business strategy or as part of individual projects. Equally, this service is offered direct to clients to support the development and articulation of their requirements before tendering for development services.
The approach to digital is also changing on a wider scale, in 2010, the Council for Industry and Higher Education released a report stating that we should: “target support at creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) subjects - with the aim of cultivating businesses in digital industries of the future”
Moreover, in the near future we should see a growth in graduates choosing to become Digital Engineers as they attempt to bridge the knowledge gaps between business and digital producers.
At 8.30am on a cold December morning, the Panlogic team set off to a farm in beautiful, but very cold and windy, Wiltshire, with a heady mix of enthusiasm and apprehension. ‘Team building with Sheep’ was Panlogic’s alternative Christmas party for 2011. How hard could it be to herd some sheep…
5 minutes in, John had already lost the sheep
As it turns out, very! After a friendly welcome from shepherd Chris and a video demonstrating some expert techniques, we headed out into the field to meet our nemeses. The task seemed simple enough – get all the sheep into the pen. After a chaotic jumble of flailing arms, cries of despair and much running around, it seemed that we were going to have to re-group to save the dignity of the human race and overcome our wooly overlords.
After some strategy discussions, brainstorming and pretending to draw diagrams on a flipchart, a leader was established and a scheme hatched. A few minutes later and the first task was done!
Time for some mulled wine, warmth and food? No.
Chris, now no longer referred to as ‘shepherd’ but instead ‘evil genius’, informed us that the pen had to be repositioned out in the open in order to increase the difficulty of the task. Our patience and fitness was tested as our original tactics failed and new ideas were proposed. The warmth of a barn (and the mulled wine) was beckoning us in from the cold and windy weather so, with persistence and a shared desire to succeed we once again confirmed our place at the top of the food chain.
One final task. Turn a sheep over. With renewed confidence and spirits, we each had a go at turning a sheep over; a crucial technique for shearing or trimming of the hooves. One of those tasks that looks simple but can be tricky, but after our previous success we took to it like natural shepherds.
Well done Alex
Of course this was all for a greater benefit and we could all honestly say we learned something about how to work better together. The collective buzz from seeing the sheep into the pen was amazing and pulled us together as a team. The importance of good communication, working towards a common goal and thinking creatively seem like buzz words, but we had to put them to use throughout the trials.
It was a fantastic experience for all involved and a huge learning curve and, most importantly of all, we finally got our frozen fingers on the mulled wine!
As another successful year begins to draw to a close, we’ve been taking the opportunity to talk with our clients and contacts about how the digital sector is changing.
We’ve been taking a look at how the challenges, opportunities and risks are evolving as digital communications become increasingly complicated and play a bigger role in the way organisations are working.
What’s been striking is that time and again we’ve been hearing stories about the aches and pains of past projects - delays, cost increases, mismatched expectations and an end product that often falls short of what people want.
A common theme tends to be a lack of clarity at the planning and preparation stage, which in turn leads to poor specification of technical and functional requirements and a litany of resulting issues once the build is underway.
This has led us to pose a question: Is the time right for a new approach to digital delivery?
To provide the evidence for our thinking we’re undertaking a research study to really delve deeply into how people plan and create their digital strategy.
We want to know if people feel they have the right experience to scope, procure and manage a digital development, or if there is a tendency to go into the project blind and let themselves get led by the winning agency.
With digital projects becoming increasingly complex, is there a need for more specialist and independent digital planning skills?
Put simply: can digital production be done better?
Sounds interesting? Then please click here to take part in the Digital Engineering Survey and help to define a new dimension in the modern digital solution - we’ll be delighted to send you an advance copy of the results plus exclusive invitations to seminars and events in 2012
Panlogic’s Digital Philanthropy for the Arts 2011 (DPA11) event is a little over 24 hours away and you can now visit our site to get an early peek at the white paper and even begin the collaborative process by commenting on our white paper wiki.
The short version of the white paper is a summary that will be handed out to all event attendees, giving an overview of the issues which can be digested while listening to the various talks from our guest speakers, including UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The full version of the white paper contains the whole analysis carried out by Panlogic with lots of added thoughts and insights to give real depth to the discussion.
The wiki is where it gets exciting. We don’t want our white paper to just be read, we want it to be interacted with, in much the same way we believe that Arts organisations need to interact with their audience. Our wiki provides every reader the chance to make comments on any part of the paper, good or bad. This information will be utilised by Panlogic to make further updates and to contribute to discussions at future events.
DPA11 is all about helping the Arts sector make the most of the digital landscape and at Panlogic we care about demonstrating best practice. So please make the most of this crowd sourcing approach to white paper discussion and leave any thoughts and critiques.
In order to consider the complete philanthropic journey, organisations need to break down their audiences into sub-groupings.
By mapping out the philanthropic journey of different segments of donors and examining the mechanisms used to engage with them at each touch point, organisations will be able to decide where digital media could add value. The level and type of digital engagement required may vary for different segments of donors.
The mechanisms employed need to be tailored to the particular target group’s ability to give and take into consideration their normal behaviour, in order to remove the barrier to giving. The typology below has been derived from our research to collate typical and potential Arts donors into these sensible audience clusters.
The wealthy, private donor
This is an individual with a large net worth. They will see donating to the Arts as a responsibility and not a burden. They will be a dominant influence due to the large sums they can invest and could wield their power by requiring censorship of certain themes. May often commission specific works.
The emotionally attached donor
This donor may have a particular artist, group or place that they are emotionally attached to. This donor can come from a wide background; they could be a wealthy, private donor funding one project in particular or a community focussed donor who funds the local theatre they went to as a child.
The donor who wants to help but can’t
Once again this donor could fall into other categories; they could be community focussed or emotionally attached but the problem they have is they feel they can’t help. This could be due to a lack of funds or could equally be a lack of a variety of funding methods from the Arts organisation. It could also be a lack of communication to the donor who feels that only large donations are needed.
The show off donor
This is a controversial, yet valid category. Again this character type could fit within a number of additional categories such as wealthy, private donor or emotionally attached. What is special about this donor is that they like people to know they have donated. This would traditionally be in the form of a plaque or a mention in a newsletter but Arts organisations can now appeal to this donor on a digital level. Allowing this donor to use social media to talk about their donation appeals to their need to show off but could entice new donors by widening their reach.
The community focussed donor
As already stated this is another multi category donor. This donor gives to their local Arts causes and is an active and vocal member and fundraiser. They will see it as their duty to improve the cultural backbone of their local area and will be forthcoming with ideas and donations when required.
The ordinary donor
This is all the donors who do not fit within other categories. They will probably not be a full-time donor. They may give at one-off events. But do not do so on a regular basis. They may have the ability to become a full-time donor if they were engaged more fully.
Panlogic is proud to be the creator of the ‘Digital Philanthropy in the Arts 2011’ event - to be hosted at NESTA on 29th November 2011.