Delivering Digital Champion success

Running a Digital Champion project can be an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved but as a project manager or co-ordinator, getting things started can feel a little daunting at first.

Our project manager guide to the Digital Champions NetworkAt Digital Unite we’ve worked with a wide range of organisations over the years on kickstarting and managing successful Digital Champion programmes. We’re now turning this insight, and that of our members, into accredited online learning courses which will be available on our Digital Champions Network very soon. The courses will complement our existing range of project management resources. In the meantime, here are a few of our top tips:

Tip 1: Set some objectives

A measurement framework is an essential tool in your project’s success, it can enable you to prove the impact of your project and secure senior support and ongoing funding.  Establishing some clear, achievable and measurable objectives for your Digital Champion project will give you the basis of your framework. Keep it simple and choose things that you can actually measure such as the number of Champions and how many learners they’re helping.

Tip 2: Make a plan.

Having a project plan for your Digital Champion programme will help you to feel organised about what you’re doing and when. It will also help to bring your wider organisation along with you as everyone can see what you’re trying to achieve. A good project plan will help you to define your objectives, activities, timetable and how you are going to measure success.

Tip 3: Gain internal buy-in

Lack of internal support is one challenge we hear about repeatedly and can be critical to the way a Digital Champion programme is embraced right across the organisation. Identify one senior leader who can be an ambassador for your Champion project and can influence others. Don’t always assume they’re not interested. often senior leaders might not be sure what needs to be done and why or how a Digital Champion approach fits in with the organisation.

Crucially, remember that leadership and influencing are not restricted to standard organisational hierarchy when it comes to the digital agenda. Digital changemakers can be found at all levels

Tip 4: Go to where activity is already happening

When looking to recruit Digital Champions, there is real benefit in recruiting Champions who are close to the learners you are trying to reach. Engage those who are already working with the group or groups you’re hoping to engage with. This can be both in the community or workplace or as volunteers running a service accessed by this group. Having Digital Champions who are already working with your target group also makes recruiting and finding beneficiaries easier.

Tip 5: Shout loudly and regularly

Basically, tell as many people as possible about your Digital Champion project to raise awareness and galvanise engagement. Piggyback on existing comms campaigns in your organisation and use existing circulations e.g. newsletters that already have a good take up. Keep your comms plan simple and achievable and be consistent. Promote your network all year round rather than just set periods. Above all else, remember who your target audience is.

Tip 6: Be gentle on yourself.

Probably the most important piece of advice is not to try and do too much too quickly, then be disappointed if the project stutters.  A typical Digital Champion project can take around 12 months to be fully up and running. Start small and let the momentum build gradually. Celebrate and share every success along the way, because there will be reasons to celebrate – you can take our word for it.

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Our Digital Champions Network has a range of tools to help you manage your Digital Champions project, from a personalised online dashboard that shows the latest activity to a toolkit full of resources and top tips. Join our Digital Champions Network today and benefit from the tools you need to maximise project success

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