Understanding Your Digital Landscape

Lisa Welchman DG Blog

Illustration showing different facets of a digital landscape (email, web, audio, video, online security, etc.)

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Sometimes, organizations are in such disarray digitally that they
really don’t understand the fundamental landscape of their digital
presence. Before you get started assigning accountability and
authority, you’ll need to pursue a level of information gathering and
analysis. For instance, you’ll need to gather and understand information
like the following:

  • Organizational structure and reporting chains
  • Inventory of website domains, mobiles applications, and social software accounts
  • Content inventories and Web page editorial responsibilities
  • Any documented digital policy
  • Any documented digital standards
  • Style guides and best practices
  • Digital analytics to understand online usage patterns
  • Online survey results, usability study results, and so on

Don’t worry! Most digital teams don’t have this information at their
fingertips. So it’s important to retrieve the information before you
start, because having this sort of information at hand will help your
team answer fundamental questions while designing the framework.
Usually, the framework design team can create a working group to
gather this information and provide it to the team. Most likely, the
head of the core digital team will play a large role in this information
gathering process, but be sure to include other stakeholders in this
process. It’s a better scenario for the team to retrieve more information
than they need and discard it during the design process rather
than to find out after you’ve created a design that it does not take into
account all of the use cases for digital in your organization.

From Lisa Welchman, “Getting it Done” in Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design (New York: Rosenfield Media, 2015), 136.