Monday, April 26, 2010

What would you do if you had unlimited funds to spend on your department's online presence?

Everyone who runs a website dreams of what they would do if they had more funds to spend on improving their online presence.

I've been doing some thinking around this lately as a thought exercise around building priority lists for what needs to be done to strengthen my department's online presence.

I always come back to strengthening base infrastructure first. Ensuring that our own staff have the best tools for their tasks, including high-powered computers, the right software, effective and fully implemented content management and reporting systems, appropriate connections between data and publishing to enable a consistent approach to openness and transparency and, very importantly, that all the staff concerned have the training and support to use all of these systems effectively and to their full potential.

Next for me is strengthening governance and management, doing what is necessary to ensure my department has all of the appropriate governance and standards in place to operate a current, flexible and responsive online presence - including outreach activities to third party websites. blogs, forums and social networks.

Third I look at capability building. Putting in place the systems and functionality that extends the basic infrastructure to allow the department to manage emerging needs.

Interspersed amongst the priorities above are the staffing required to deliver what is needed and redevelopment of websites and tools as required to ensure our online presence meets the needs of our audiences, stakeholders and the government.

Given that funding is not unlimited for most online managers, the next step is to consider what can be done within budget constrains. It's important to also look at which pieces can be funded from other budgets (such as staff training) or whether additional funds can be requested to meet legislative or campaign requirements or as part of modernisation initiatives.

While it's not possible to do everything you want, there is often quite a bit you can actually achieve if you're prepared to spend the time educating decision-makers, liaising with other business areas and building the business cases needed to source funds.

So if you were given a blank cheque, what would you prioritise?

And given that you are unlikely to have one, what will you choose to actually achieve?


  1. The blank cheque is unlikely, but might even be undesirable. I think what is interesting here isn't the question of what you would prioritise but the process you use to design your solution and make decisions about what pieces are most important.

  2. I think that while we can all go wild with a blank cheque, im with James in the suggestion that it is most unlikely

    But getting back to the Q:
    While it sounds quite boring, I would actually employ some experts (5-10) about Agriculture (it's currently the industry im in) to spend time creating blog posts, communicating via Twitter and forums connected with our industry and department

    It doesnt sound as sexy as what im sure some of you will come up with but its what this industry needs and what we should have done years ago!