When twogether attended the Ground Control conference we came away with five firm learnings almost guaranteed to turn on the afterburners for any digital project. And we’d love to share!
Taking place on Friday 21st April, Ground Control was an interactive conference for anyone leading digital projects. There was lots to learn, but here are five things that really sent our imagination into orbit about the way we manage our own digital projects:
1) PLAY IS POWERFUL
Digital enables us to know faster, think faster and move faster. Portia Tung’s interactive keynote ‘Play for your life – going from good to great in a digital world’ helped us discover why play is one of the most effective and efficient ways of bringing people together to do their best work.
Play increases creativity, collaboration, communication and resilience. That’s powerful stuff – a game we should all join in with for at least 15 minutes a day, according to Portia.
2) DIVERSITY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
Yvette Pegues shared her POUR matrix – a formula for making sure user accessibility is given greater consideration within every digital project:
- • Perceivable – What pitfalls did you encounter?
- • Operable – What are some of the recommendations you can think of?
- • Understandable – Does it work for all audiences?
- • Robust – Does it have a good user experience?
With 10,000 people per hour becoming disabled every day, digital teams need to strive to create digital experiences that are suitable for multi-sensory and multi-ability audiences.
3) LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT
Sam Barnes, Senior Development Manager at Marks & Spencers, highlighted the importance of the little things and how they can be so impactful to digital project success. Ultimately, that’s about being thoughtful and understanding that progress is more important than perfection. Assume people mean well and trust them:
“If you gain the confidence and trust of your people and they feel their best interests are safe in your hands, then you have in your possession a priceless asset, and the greatest achievements become possible”.
4) TRANSPARENCY IS A CLEAR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
For Stephen Thomas, a commitment to transparency has dramatically changed the digital projects he’s managed. That’s why he was arguing for greater transparency and reflection and drew a thought-provoking analogy with internet banking. If you could only check your bank account once a week, rather than on demand, how would that make you feel?
He called for agencies and clients to be more open, agile, and – as a result – less filtered.
5) THE BEST LEADERS ARE ALWAYS AGILE
Leadership was a prominent theme of the event. But what constitutes “good leadership” for your digital projects? Agility certainly seems to be a key strength. For Michael Lopp – aka ‘Rands’, VP of Engineering at Slack – that means recognising and responding to the restraints under which a leader must operate: “there is never enough time, you are greatly outnumbered, there is too much to do and know, their expectations are unattainable.”
Our own digital team is already putting some of these principles into practice and noticing the benefits. Who knows, if the wider digital community does the same, we could all be Heroes!
Roll on Ground Control 2018…