The last two years changed what consumers expect from their healthcare digital experience—is your website poised to keep up?
This on-demand webinar will help you build the foundation for a strong, sustainable digital roadmap that aligns your website with market trends and paves the way for sustainable growth.
Reason One President, Sean Kozey, and Marketing Manager, Lauren Minors, guide you through the elements of a strategic digital roadmap, including:
➔ What information to gather if you’re just getting started
➔ What technology to consider and the impacts of implementation
➔ Who needs to be involved
➔ Key milestones and KPIs to review
➔ The 70 / 20 / 10 approach to your plan
Farrah Hunt Thompson (00:06):
Thank you for joining us this afternoon. I'm Farrah Hunt Thompson, director of consulting for Greystone dot net. I'll be going over some housekeeping items before we begin today's presentation. After the presentation, we'll take questions from attendees to ask a question, please use the toolbox on the right side of your screen and due to the size of the audience today, attendees are in listen mode only to cut down on background noises. There's also a short survey at the end of the webinar, and we would really appreciate your feedback. I'd like to welcome our speakers today. Sean Kozey, President of Reason One and Lauren Minors, Marketing Manager of Reason One. And now I'll turn it over to Lauren to get our presentation started.
Lauren Minors (00:55):
Well, good afternoon. I wanna start by telling you guys a story. A couple weeks ago my husband and I went on a camping trip from where we live in Charleston, up to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and, we got in the car, plugged it in the GPS, our coordinates, and almost immediately GPS told us we're re-routing you because there's a road closed. It's gonna add about 40 minutes to your trip. All right, great, fine. It's better to know now than later. So we get in on, on our trip and we get up to about Asheville, North Carolina area and bear in mind, it's April in the South and suddenly we hit a few snow flurries and you know, we're thinking, well, that's kind of pretty, it's sort of nice. And then about 10 minutes later, it turns into full on blizzard, absolute white out conditions. And the temperature keeps dropping as we are climbing further and further into mountains as the temperature drops, you know what happens?
Lauren Minors (02:02):
The roads start to freeze and by some stroke of luck, we got behind maybe the only snow plow that happened to be running at, at that time, we were just one car behind it. So though we had a few skids, we made it to the other side of the mountain, took a deep breath, unclenched our knuckles and kept on our way. We'd gotten through the worst, right? We keep going. Then we encounter an actual road closing, not one that GPS had warned us about a complete surprise. So stop take stock. What are our options? First option is to go back over the mountain that we just came from, which definitely wasn't happening or to go the opposite direction completely around a national park, which would add two hours to our trip. It's obvious which one we took. Uh, we chose not to go through the mountains back through the snowstorm, another two hours and a little bit of safety and certainty was, uh, was worth it to us, but I couldn't help, but laugh. And think as we were preparing for this webinar, that this is probably how a lot of y'all have felt in the last year.
Lauren Minors (03:27):
It's just a series of this, right? You had a strategy and then COVID happened road closed, detours, maybe more detours, or maybe you didn't have a strategy at all. But now these changes that we're seeing in consumer behavior. And some of, of the acceleration of patient technology is making it really hard, not to have one I'm Lauren Minors and I'm the Marketing Manager for Reason One, and as a career in house marketer who has had to navigate some of these similar challenges of alignment, siloing budget requests, and just needing to keep things on the rail and get stuff done. Having a digital roadmap really resonated with me
Sean Kozey (04:11):
And I'm Sean Kozey. I'm one of the founding partners at Reason One, I've been on numerous journeys with our healthcare industry clients. And, uh, I too can see the value in a roadmap. Um, I happen to use the ones in my personal life as well. So I think there's a nice synergy be between keeping your business on track <laugh> and keeping the rest of your life also in order. So good to meet you all today.
Lauren Minors (04:36):
Thanks Sean. So the two of us and all of y'all, uh, we're gonna go on a little journey today. So our first stop is why even have a roadmap. Where do those benefit? What's the point? Secondly, who's in the car with you, who's on the team. Where do they sit? And third, are we going on a little day trip? Or is this more like an epic cross country journey? And then finally, what are some of those stops along the way and how do you navigate challenges as you're moving through? So, well, I have a roadmap if you don't have one or if you do, and it's been stalled out, it can feel a lot like this scene from the long, long trailer. If any of you guys recognize it, um, it's like trying to haul a monolith up a mountain in a convertible and be really tempting to just go about it as a business, as usual thing, you know, continuing to not have a strategy, take projects as they come focusing on just keeping everything alive and working, because that seems easier than taking the time out to create a multi-year roadmap or, or even an annual plan.
Lauren Minors (05:51):
But all of that comes at a price. It's obvious that without a roadmap, you have reactive projects, which result in budget overruns, which exacerbate already really bad staff burnout, but there's other things that happen too. As a result of this, one thing is rogue branding. Nature hates a vacuum and without the right tools and processes, things will just appear that you don't know where they came from. And it's not just in branding and content. This happens in tech too, without governance. You can have a slew of unapproved tech show up in your tech stack and no one's sure what it connects to, why it's there, what it's being used for, what the ROI is. And this just results in what we call a Franken site. It's just this mash and amalgam of things that isn't really producing the results that marketing teams have been tasked with achieving.
Lauren Minors (07:00):
So what does having a roadmap look like? Peter Fonda level confidence. I mean, look at this guy, just cruising down the highway with no helmet on I'm guessing he's thinking his hair is gonna protect him. Maybe that's a little too much confidence, but the thing is having, having a map will give you that confidence that there is at least a plan and it's a plan that's nurtured consistently with alignment and clarity. Things are gonna evolve along the way. We know that and it's natural. And, but regardless of what comes up, it's gonna allow you to have alignment because we know there's a lot of voices at the table. So opening all those communication lines to break down silos is gonna be really key. It's gonna allow you to prioritize our roadmap's gonna suss out, not just the tactical sequence of events, but all of those strategic drivers that have an impact on them. It's also gonna allow you to budget properly. So the right roadmap is gonna align your budget cycles and staffing needs with level of effort and talent required. And then also bring in that larger strategic view. The upshot is it's a journey. It's a cycle of ongoing alignment and evaluation in short and long term fans.
Lauren Minors (08:22):
So who's in the car when I was a kid, I remember fighting over seats on long car trips and my parents did not have one of these station wagons. Like you see that the, uh, the Griswolds have. And I was so jealous of my friends who had them, their parents. So I always wanted to sit in the way back seat because it gave me a whole new view, a new perspective of on our, on our journey. So in this section, we're gonna talk about who's in the car. What seats are you fighting for? Are there musical chairs, uh, and who is going to be going on this journey with you? So who's involved First, it's your system leadership. They're gonna provide all that strategic context for where the system is going and how digital can help solve some of the issues that the system is facing and, and suss out exactly what those issues are. Second. And probably the messiest is all of your stakeholders. This is your internal team, your MarComm, and then all of your service lines as well. They all have competing priorities. They're the ones that are coming to you with some of these reactive projects. So getting them to the table early and getting them to voice what they need, um, and how that connects with your overall strategy is gonna be key.
Lauren Minors (09:50):
And then finally your is, and it, obviously, these are the folks that are gonna provide in context for infrastructure needs all the interdependencies with platforms, integrations, compliance issues, all sorts of things. So having these three groups at the table in a consistent manner is going to pave the way for a really successful roadmap. And here's the thing, the point of a roadmap is not necessarily to end up with a document it's to foster these kind conversations and have alignment amongst these groups and keep those lines of communication open. So How do we get started?
Lauren Minors (10:36):
This can feel like a really daunting task and it is getting restarted or getting started is hard. It's not impossible, whether you do it all in house or have a partner to guide you, everyone's gonna have to get out and push a little bit. And the first big push is gonna be gathering all the information, which as we know, can be hidden in many different silos in tech that we don't know about. Uh, it's gonna take some time to sus all of that info, regardless of how long the journey is. There's some key things you're gonna need to address.
Lauren Minors (11:15):
So first aligning with corporate strategy seems pretty obvious. Um, but you have to align your digital strategy with that greater corporate strategy that your leadership is paying attention to. What does that mean? Well, it's about what's your position in the market? Who are your competitors, either regionally or for service and treatment options, looking at all of that, and really how you're trying to position as a system, that's gonna be different for everybody also, are there any acquisition plans in the works? Um, either are you a planning to acquire or be acquired digital needs to scale? Uh, we've seen this many times over with our own clients that have been acquiring hospitals themselves. So taking those things into account, whether it's going to be adding a system into your digital footprint or being ready to be acquired into another digital footprint is something to consider.
Lauren Minors (12:13):
Also, are you positioning as a center of excellence either now or in the future? For example, if you're a cancer center that is providing treatment for a very, very specific, rare type of cancer, that's not just something that's a content issue to wrangle. That's going to be a scaling issue and really having a strategy on that, which is gonna have a big impact on your roadmap. And then finally, academic partnerships. And this can be if you're an academic medical center, or if you're a hospital that has some sort of relationship within a university, and it's a teaching hospital, this expands your first tier, um, audience to students, faculty residents. And it's not just kind there's infrastructure involved in that as well. So then gather your analytics. And this is all stuff that you're probably able to put your hands on pretty readily already, right? Cuz you're looking at it quarterly, monthly, whatever your cadence is. So that's your GA, that's your SEO, your campaign level analytics, all, all of those things that are driving traffic to your site and giving you an insight as to how your site's being used.
Lauren Minors (13:23):
I would also encourage you to look really closely at those things, that sort of engagement that would, um, provide some insights on how UX and IA are informing user, uh, user experience on your, and then finally I wanna call out one other thing. And that is how people like real humans are engaging with your site. Direct feedback. If you have patient reviews, just chat bot conversations, anything who a patient has recorded, or a family has recorded either a positive or negative experience with system with your website, gather that stuff. And we understand that this can also be some information that gets siloed out as well. So let maybe a little bit more legwork to make sure that you're getting the full picture, Then identify the table stakes. So what are the things that you beyond a shadow of a doubt have to happen like scheduled platform, upgrades campaigns that you run every single year that you know, that you're going to run again next year and then standalone projects that have already been identified, things that have been perhaps even partially budgeted for make a big list of those things that, you know, you know, this is, this is concrete, this is real, this is already happening.
Lauren Minors (14:48):
And then the fun part. Daydream a little, what are the things that you and your team have wanted for years? But haven't quite been able to get around to because reactive projects, budget overruns, all of those things that get in the way and shift those wants into maybe later. So is that a new intranet? Is it personalization? Is it some sort of integration upgrade or is there rebranding or whatever it is that you've been dreaming about And a final piece of advice, Sometimes the road can get hairy and it's good to have a navigator who keeps it cool.
Lauren Minors (15:34):
So having a trusted navigator, this whole process can be pretty daunting and there's several benefits to having a partner in some capacity. First they've already been here when I travel. I love to use ways because I know exactly what's happening on the road from other drivers ahead of me apparently, except for like randomly closed rugs. Um, they're providing that real time feedback that, Hey, there was a cop there or there's a rack up ahead. A navigator can also help you prioritize. They'll give objective advice about everything from your tech to your strategic goals, to the all the real surrounding budget and budget cycles and even resourcing. And speaking of budget, a navigator can help you clarify that budget, scoping out those known knowns, understanding capital versus operational spend, understanding what investments might be necessary. And if there's any kind of development of a business case necessary to make those things happen, they can also help you clear the way by lending objective advice in difficult to navigate conversations. And from a technical standpoint, they can help you with kind of that homework phase that we just sort of went through those aspects of information, gathering that help you get prepared to really engage in developing your
Lauren Minors (17:01):
So together. You'll take all of this information and map it out the audits and research that happen all of the strategy discussions and then engaging in a few workshops together to really prioritize and get it right, Sean.
Sean Kozey (17:21):
Thanks Lauren. So I'm gonna talk a little bit about actually mapping out the adventure, uh, and to, to use a travel metaphor, uh, the difference between the day trip versus cross country. Uh, so taking a little slice of life, uh, for a moment to illustrates pandemic aside. Uh, I'm, I'm a big traveler. I love, uh, I love to plot out different adventures, um, on the sort of short term, like weekend style trips. Um, I'm often in New York city, um, on business and or to visit friends and it's a place I know very well. And for those short types of trips, when I plan them out, um, I pretty much already know where it is that I want to go. I've got my reservations booked. I've got my plans worked out with that. I want to see my goals are pretty clear. And my, my plan is, is very much logistics driven.
Sean Kozey (18:16):
It's about like what I want get accomplished over a short period of time. Uh, it's also detailed, uh, but detailed enough, uh, I like to leave opportunities for spontaneous divergence. You know, I wanna linger over lunch a little bit. It longer, you know, skip, heading uptown to see that the exhibit at the museum. And this is really about a shorter term plan that requires a level of detail to really sort of get through, get through the journey on the flip side, uh, when I have the luxury you're doing so every few years I'll sometimes plan much longer adventure. So if I'm setting out on a cross country, uh, trip, I need a completely different set of parameters for, for planning my roadmap. I need to focus on the big picture. I need to do my upfront research, that to plan my journey at a high level and build a longer term plan that establishes my goals for the adventure.
Sean Kozey (19:10):
But it's really about plotting a way forward that's milestone based. It doesn't necessarily have to be detailed in scope. So flipping back to what that looks like in the context of health, we like to build short term and long term plans with our clients. A short term plan is very something that's more operational focused. It's linked to your business cycle. And this commonly is a, a one year timeline, uh, very much linked to things like budgeting and sort of department level planning so that your plan can actually link to the way that you need to get your work done on the longer term view. It's much more about and big picture thinking. So we typically have the one year plan and a three to five year plan that really helps to drive the business in terms of what needs to get done in the immediate future versus the longer term goals.
Sean Kozey (20:08):
And looking at these plans a little bit more detail, like what actually what actually up a one year roadmap. So here are the typical elements that we see in, in, in most cases, the majority, what you need to plan in a one year schedule is really things that primarily you already know need to happen. They're the tasks and ongoing initiatives that your team already has built into your annual operations model. Uh, sometimes it also includes things like capital projects, but those are typically funded or they're already even underway. So you're already gonna have to take them into account into your schedule within that. You still need to identify things that are need needing to undergo change in order to like better deliver on your current mix with tasks and initiatives. And you also need to be able to prioritize what you're gonna do in terms of a backlog.
Sean Kozey (20:59):
So what you can do is focus on those things that absolutely must happen, and the things that are gonna generate the most for the business within that, there still should be some room though, however, for incremental innovations and also accommodating initiatives that will address emerging needs. Uh, I think we all know that on day one of the calendar year, uh, what we think we're gonna accomplish and what we need to do often looks pretty different than where we end up and looking at the three year roadmap. Uh, it's really about stepping back about taking stock on your current state and diving into what's working and what isn't, uh, you should be like be looking at revisiting your digital strategy, making sure that it aligns with any larger changes in your organization's business and accounting for my more seismic should in things like stakeholder and audience needs the business operations and also the evolving digital and technology landscape, your multiyear roadmap should really articulate your overall strategy and it should plot out the key innovations and initiatives and milestones you wanna accomplish over the course of a number of years so that you can deliver on broader strategic mandates.
Sean Kozey (22:15):
So what actually makes up like a one year plan that it typically has a few key elements. One is a detailed prioritized backlog and what it is that you want to accomplish also though, an outline of who is actually you gonna be accountable for what you also need, clarity on things like your budget and your resourcing parameters for your operational activities and individual projects. And ultimately you need a view of all this activity that allows people to see what needs to be done when, and by whom. So we like to plot things out at re and one for our own marketing initiatives, you know, using a timeline this way, illustrates what different groups are gonna be responsible for, what elements, what paths and deliverables we have over the course of the calendar year, and also illustrates the dependencies between any of the activities and the deliverables we're going to create in contrast the three, your roadmap.
Sean Kozey (23:16):
It does have a, a different focus. And that focus really is about addressing the major ships in organizational strategy and digital transformation. So a typical roadmap for a three to five year period, it will be informed by a digital strategy and a digital strategy is updated and revised to reflect your future forward needs, as well as a reflection on what you've accomplished in the past, you still need a timeline and you need a timeline that plots out the major initiatives and milestones that you anticipate achieving over a multiyear period, but it doesn't get into the weeds of the details of individual projects, things like high level, long range, resourcing and budget forecasting. Those still need to be at the component. So you can address anticip to changes in your team skills in your capacity, as well as things like outsourcing requirements. Also things like expenditures for capital projects, but it's really about putting markers in placeholders in place. So you can forecast and plan for the future.
Sean Kozey (24:22):
And when we look at roadmaps as, as a whole, we also so like to think about like what kind of weight of emphasis needs to go into the elements that will appear on them. One thing that's easy to get lost in the weeds on is to really focus on sort of the big dreams of the big picture, but the reality is most of what your team does over the course of the year, it's more predictable and it's the types of activities that the are annualized or repeated on a regular basis. So we like to take a 70, 20 10 approach where the priorities emphasized on must have. So things that, that are business as usual tasks and projects that, you know, you have to deliver on these things should take up at least 70, 70 plus percent of what it is that you're going to focus on and focus on the things that are necessary that have proven to be successful and help support things like optimizing your existing digital platforms, delivering on the services and campaigns like clear, generate clear ROI for the health system and as well, just the mundane tasks of like support things and keeping the lights on the next 20%.
Sean Kozey (25:33):
It's the needle movers. It's things that are focused on innovation, but it's incremental stuff that's proposed, but not fully guaranteed degenerate new ROI. Uh, but yet you wanna test out and have the potential really to start differentiating your organization from your peers and competitors. And the last piece of the puzzle, this is reserving the final 10% for being able to really go blue sky for looking at longer term bigger and bold needs for establishing some big hair audacious goals and, uh, doing your research to, to see you what might be possible and what direction the health system needs to move in more generally.
Sean Kozey (26:19):
So the, the, the one thing about the roadmap exercise is that it is important to think about it as the first step in a process. So as Lauren was saying, creating a roadmap for a roadmap sake, uh, doesn't necessarily get you where you need to be. Uh, you still need to figure out how to navigate the journey and what's required. Tos are first place. So to be successful, uh, you know, you have to figure out how to navigate that journey and support the, the roadmap and the outcomes you wanna create. Uh, I'd like to share a few insights from our experience working with, uh, our health system partners. The first one is actually a about having a plan, not the plan, and that's really about anticipating reality and the reality being that, that things will always change and evolve. So having a flexible plan that you can use to benchmark what you're doing, uh, evolve and execute on, and then check in on the progress on a regular basis is really vital.
Sean Kozey (27:25):
You need to prepare a key junctures to review and adjust and confirm with a plan is still alignment in alignment with the business needs, how you're progressing against your longer term goals and make adjustments as needed to make sure that you're on track for success for the annual roadmap, we see most commonly a quarterly review cycle with our clients, uh, that gives you a chance to reflect on progress throughout the year, set new priorities on a quarterly basis. Uh, and then at the end of the year, really reflect on the bigger picture on the long term basis, you know, checking on at least one a year, revising and revisiting as necessary. Uh, you really seems to be the right kind of cycle.
Sean Kozey (28:10):
So the other elements of achieving success with a roadmap, you know, come down to like putting key supports in place, uh, so that the roadmap actually is executed on, uh, and making sure that the, the roadmap, you know, is understood and also is realistic. So the first piece of that puzzle is, is governance. Uh, from going from paper to practice, you really need a mix of process and people to make sure that everything your team does is aligned with the roadmap you've created and reflects your organizational priorities. Uh, and the best example I can think of the value of this is is something like fielding stakeholder requests. So digital teams are often in the service of a very large group of stakeholders. Uh, each of them have their own interests and mandates sometimes not fully aligned with one another. Uh, you also are faced with dealing with a lot of ad hoc requests that come up over, and some of those are small, but intensive maintenance tasks.
Sean Kozey (29:13):
Sometimes you get asked from stakeholders to, to scope and budget and execute on larger scale projects, but when you're facing finite resources in a budget and you already have a bunch of other priorities, like how do you manage those expectations? How do you determine what to say yes to and when, and how to say no, and that's where governance can kick in. So the roadmap is the first piece of the puzzle. It's about having a backstop to justify some of your day to day decisions. Uh, but also having the support of key parties within your organization can be really, really vital. So we've seen great success, uh, with other health systems where they set up things like executive communities, ones that own the roadmap that are in power empowered to make big picture calls, uh, and also can represent the overall interests of the organization as well as their different areas of expertise.
Sean Kozey (30:10):
Uh, they end up being the equivalent of like a governing body. They can help support major decisions, uh, that need to run up a flag pole. Uh, they can also make calls on dive from the current roadmap plans when something comes up. And it really makes sense in terms of taking into, into consideration. The next piece is, is transparency and visibility. So it's great to build the plan, but if we don't share it and communicate it and ensure that it's understood, uh, our efforts really will go to not. So, uh, make sure that you invest the time to include key parties in building and maintaining the roadmap and don't leave any critical voice behind, but then also communicate with those stakeholders and the organization that need to be aware of it clearly, and do it often you should deliver the key details, the roadmap to your stakeholders in a way that's easy, easy to digest.
Sean Kozey (31:07):
So visual search form is great. Uh, and following up when necessary to clarify the details, this helps keep everybody in the loop and keep everybody aware as to what the parameters are that are driving decision making and planning, and the last piece of this puzzle, uh, managing the optimism bias. So I think that every time we do a roadmap, I always feel that sort of T that say like, let's do more, let's do better. Let's go further and farther this year. Uh, but you do have to be realistic, uh, about what you can actually accomplish. So be conservative about how many things you throw on the map for your team to accomplish, um, account for the inevitable churn. Uh, there's always gonna be capacities constraints and distractions, and last but not least build contingency into budgets and into timelines. Uh, it's uh, it's, it's hard when you're getting pushed back and people want you to accomplish a lot, but if you're more buffered in your schedules and your resources, you send a better chance of everybody being happy at the end of the day at the outcome.
Sean Kozey (32:22):
So then there's the wild element. Uh, planning is great, uh, but we all know that things happen. Uh, things happen that we just can't really fully anticipate. So expecting and planning for the unexpected. It feels like a contradiction, uh, but actually there's, there's some value here investing some time up front to, to prepare for change. So when the inevitable big disruptions happen, whether it's the pandemic, uh, a sudden budget cut a merger that does change priorities, uh, these things will come up and they will derail your best laid plan. So really the question is like, how are you going to deal with it, uh, when it does happen. And we've seen two tactics, uh, that really can make a big difference in terms of how resilient your team is when faced with disruptive change. So the first, the even overstatement. So this is really about taking a look at the goals and the KPIs and the plans that you've built into your roadmap and looking at them through the lens of like, ultimately what really does matter.
Sean Kozey (33:31):
So if you have to make fundamental choices between say a and B, you have parameters that will guide your decision making, and those are clear in advance. And these really are based on value and, and what people consider to be the most critical things that will need to happen. So a couple of examples will continue to invest in patient experience innovation, even over continuing all of our fundraising activities will prioritize building team capacity in house, even over investments in new tech, the decisions that nobody wants to make, but you're constantly faced with doing so over the course of a year. And the second piece is really about scenario gaming. So as much as things are unpredictable, a lot of the things as a cause disruption to our teams, they're pretty predictable in other ways. So we, we don't necessarily know what curve balls we're gonna get thrown over the course of the year, uh, or over the course of a few years, but we can look at our past history and we can also look at the risks that we know we're facing going forward and game out some of those scenarios to figure out what to do if and when certain things happened.
Sean Kozey (34:46):
I think these two tactics are, are things that really make the difference between change being enormously painful and really a, a giant barrier to success. And something that actually is in is anticipated to some degree even embraced.
Sean Kozey (35:06):
So with all that, uh, Lauren and I have, uh, touched on today, uh, what does the journey actually look like at the end of the process, uh, when you've got through a year cycle or your three to five years in working off a strategic plan, and you've adopted all these practices, you're running a, a well oiled machine. Well, it actually usually looks pretty good. And your upfront investments in road mapping will help you ensure you do get buy-in from your key stakeholders. Uh, you might even have your CEO signing off in your plans. Uh, talk about great visibility. Um, you'll be much better aligned in terms of both your core team, but also the stakeholders you serve in terms of the objectives and KPIs and what needs to get done. And no matter what these twists and turns are that may come your way, you'll just have better capacity to adapt and adjust when needed. And that does allow you actually to ensure that you can still focus on your key goals and be proud of like what you've accomplished when you do look in the rear view mirror. So Lauren, can I pass it back to you to, to wrap things up?
Lauren Minors (36:20):
Absolutely. So let's go get in the, in the car with the bandit. Um, so we threw a lot at you today about what you need to do to prepare and why you need a roadmap, but just wanna leave you with a few stops before we head into questions. So a roadmap it's here, not as a document we both said, but it's here to provide you that certainty and alignment, that idea that you know, that you can communicate amongst your team, that you're going to revisit the plan that even when things change, you'll retain that alignment along the way.
Lauren Minors (37:05):
It's also here to help you foster those strategic conversations, rather than getting stuck in a rut of continuously having reactive projects and, and just going about business as usual without questioning having a roadmap will force you into that pattern and your other stakeholders into that pattern of a, having a strategic conversation of what we're building and why. And it's also important to note that if you're wherever you are on this journey, start where you are, if doing a one year roadmap or plan is, um, is really where you're at right now. Start there. There's tremendous value in that. Even if it's just getting back on the rails, going through a one year roadmap can help you imagine what two, three, even five years might look like and provide that again, that certainty to it, and then finally expect the unexpected. Um, I think some of what Sean just shared about navigating challenges is not just applicable to road mapping, but to the kind of the reactive marketing and communications world that we find ourselves in, because things are constantly changing. You know, the market is changing. The world is changing. Tech is changing. So having a framework about how you're gonna address those changes from a philosophical point of view, as well as from a tactical point of view is really gonna help your team's resiliency and help kind of make those decisions before they have to get made.
Lauren Minors (38:40):
So I'd like to open it up to questions at this point. Um, and if you have questions and wanna email us, uh, afterwards all of our contact information is there on the screen and we look forward to continuing the conversation. So Farrah, any questions for us?
Farrah Hunt Thompson (39:01):
Hey, yes. Um, so, uh, one question, a few questions have come in. Um, one of the attendees asks and says that they have a few projects identified. Um, and does that, does having a roadmap make, or should they focus on specific tr projects if they only have a few projects?
Sean Kozey (39:28):
Sure. I I'd be happy to, to speak to that
Sean Kozey (39:32):
When you're balancing project work against the, the sort of day to day, month to month, uh, if you have teams that are essentially having to step in and out of, of those two separate contexts, a roadmap can be extremely helpful actually. Uh, if, if only for example, to, to get a good holistic view on exactly what it is that the team is being expected to accomplish over the course of time and how those different things are going to balance out in terms of their availability and how much context switching. Uh, I would say that there is for sure a difference between, you know, planning at the project level versus looking at things from a roadmap perspective. So it really would be about putting those projects into the context of everything else that still needs to happen. Um, unless of course, you've got the luxury of, you know, the work solely on one thing.
Farrah Hunt Thompson (40:35):
And then, um, another question that has come in, um, asks, do you all have any tips for design of the one to three year roadmaps? Like any template ideas, um, they're looking for suggestions and inspiration on how best to display, um, their roadmap specifically a three year version.
Sean Kozey (40:59):
Sure. Lauren, do you wanna take that one?
Lauren Minors (41:02):
Yeah, yeah. I can start and add, add on to it too. That's a great question. Um, I will say that what we showed today, we actually built in Google slides and it's designed really for presentation, but the way that we build them, um, kind of behind the scenes is on a mirror board, which, um, for those of you not familiar with that, it's like a digital sticky whiteboard. So it's, um, the digital version of having post-it notes all over the wall, uh, which is it's really nice as a collaborative thing. Everybody can kind of watch those, um, priorities being made and, and be collaborative in the moment. Um, so that's, those are the two tools that we use. Um, but there's probably dozens out there, uh, that would be helpful as well. Sean, do you have any others that use used aside from that?
Sean Kozey (41:52):
Yeah, I think less on the tools front, but more like what, what does the format look like? Um, so that it, it can be shareable and digestible, uh, being able to put the, the key elements of the roadmap, uh, together into a holistic document, uh, and, you know, present them, frankly in just slightly different views, timeline, consideration, there's the resourcing and budgeting elements. Um, being able to distill those down into something that can be updated easily and shareable on a regular basis, when changes do happen, we find is a really great benefit. And, you know, the, the, the long form, you know, let link these sort of word doc style versus say a more compact, you know, presentation. Uh, we find that the latter, our get a lot better traction, uh, and a lot more uptake in terms of people actually like taking the time to, to review them. Um, the nice thing about the mural board though, is, is you can put a few different things on it, and it's very much a dynamic view and one that, uh, that is shareable to all parties, uh, and can be changed, you know, you know, frequently by anybody that's involved in the process of stewarding the, the roadmap over the course of time.
Farrah Hunt Thompson (43:16):
We do have a, a couple of more that come in. Um, this person asks they, it's all we can do to keep what we have now functioning. Um, is there a benefit to having a roadmap if they're not making major changes?
Lauren Minors (43:34):
That's a good question.
Sean Kozey (43:36):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> so I think it's, if I was your shoes in that context, uh, I would be asking questions like to what degrees are schedule kind of chaotic, even though like, we, we are managing like a fixed set of deliverables or responsibilities, uh, to what extent are people aware of everything that our team is working on? Uh, and would it be a benefit to, to still road mapping things so that what you can do is, Hey, see it for yourselves and actually refine your, your, your plans and your approach based on the learnings, uh, or use that as a tool to help inform and do things like manage expectations. I think the I from teams is that people expect us to act like a service bureau and they don't have any insight as to what our day, day to day does look like. Uh, so it makes managing expectations and properly prioritizing things, even if it is just a fixed set of like cyclical or repeatable tasks that much more difficult.
Farrah Hunt Thompson (44:56):
And the, um, the last question we had come in, um, says, does a roadmap take into account what roles and skill sets we have on our team
Sean Kozey (45:13):
Lauren Minors (45:15):
Um, to some degree, yes. So one of the things that we noticed, even in our own road mapping exercise was when you see the volume of tasks to be done, it really clarifies how many people need to be involved to make them successful. So, um, in, in the sense that a roadmap is there to guide conversations, absolutely. I mean, that's, that's something that we have identified for clients and, and gotten into some of those discussions, um, with, with several clients, I think, uh, one of our larger nonprofit clients, we did that for, um, had some recommendations for team, team members, skillsets moved, some folks around, do a little bit of hiring. So, yeah, absolutely.
Sean Kozey (46:00):
Yeah. And I, I would add that, that, uh, especially with regard to like large projects that are funded out of capital budgets, that, uh, that often need a whole new level of resourcing. Uh, the, the details of those types of questions are, are addressed more at that project finding level. But when you put things on a roadmap and you see it from an overall perspective, uh, it's actually pretty easy typically to, to tease out sort of the major considerations in terms of what's who are the talent, what's, what's the kind of talent we need to deliver on this. And, you know, what's the likely capacity requirement within each particular role. Uh, it certainly helps when it comes to looking at your backlog for the year as a team and determining whether or not you need to change up the mix of skills or the amount of time that, that the particular roles will require to achieve what's what's on, what's on the timeline. Uh, and I think it also helps as well in terms of making decisions around. Do you need to bring in a partner for any, any one or several of these deliverables that you have on the map?
Farrah Hunt Thompson (47:16):
Great. Well, I wanna, um, remind everyone that if, if you leave today and you still have questions, you're will be receiving a copy of the slides and a copy of the presentation, um, tomorrow and Sean and Lauren's contact information is in those slides. If you have any more questions, if you go back and, and review the presentation, um, I wanna thank you two for being here this afternoon and for such wonderful information. And for reason, one sponsoring the webinar. And just a reminder, there is a short survey at the end, and we would really appreciate your feedback. Um, and thanks again, and I hope everyone has a, a great afternoon.
Lauren Minors (47:58):
Thank you, Farrah. We appreciate it.
Farrah Hunt Thompson (48:01):
Bye. Thanks everybody. Bye.
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