FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Some things you need to know

Suitability

A key aspect of the program is the willingness to share openly with other organisations. If you’re not prepared to do so, then this is probably not the program for you. That being said, if you were ever concerned that a particular project may be too sensitive to share you can discuss with your coach how such a project might be withheld from the rest of the community. Our hope is that, because sharing and collaboration on projects generally takes place at an operational level and not a strategic one, even direct competitors shouldn’t feel a need for concern.

This is ideally for organisations with between 20 and 500 employees. At this size, organisations often lack the dedicated resources to be proactive in the digital space yet there is still significant value to be achieved. Smaller organisations, especially those with less than 10 people may find it harder to justify the financial and human resource commitments the program requires. If you’re not sure of the suitability, please speak to us.

Every organisation uses a unique combination of technology solutions. This is why it’s so important to develop you own internal digital champions rather than just hiring consultants to provide recommendations and advice. The digital champions approach will give your internal experts the skills and knowledge they need to continually identify, investigate and implement new opportunities, regardless of what systems you currently have.

So far, the digital champion approach has been shown to work in industries as diverse as

  • Aged care
  • Disability services
  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing and distribution
  • Professional services
  • Construction

If you’d like more insight as to whether it would work in your industry and your business, it would be best to get in touch.

Yes. Value Stream Mapping is one of the skills that we teach your digital champions and we encourage them to use this in your organisation to engage others to identify opportunities. If you want external assistance to conduct this process before starting in the program, this can be arranged as an additional service.

Quite possibly. Nothing in the program is gender specific and a number of the digital champions are female. If you would like more women in your organisation in the technology space, we would encourage you to put them forward as potential digital champions.

The Digital Champions Club is a public program that has been developed specifically for small and medium sized organisations with up to 500 employees. If you are in a larger organisation and would like to talk about in house programs please get in touch.

Program

Unsurprisingly, we use digital technology to reduce the time and travel burden of the program wherever possible. All coaching is done via teleconferencing and the quarterly bootcamp is live streamed so you can attend from anywhere. That being said, we believe the in-real-life experience of the quarterly bootcamp is still at least 20% better than the virtual version and we would encourage you to be there in person when possible.

The main mechanism for providing support and accountability is through a monthly one-on-two coaching session between your digital champions and your dedicated coach. In between coaching sessions, you can also get support by posting questions to the program coaches and peers through our own social network, the Huddle.

One of the founding principles of the Digital Champions Club is that we learn faster together. To date, members of the program have shared more than eighty projects in an open library for other members to access. That being said, if there was ever a potential conflict of interest or something was considered strategically significant, it is possible to treat projects confidentially on a case by case basis.

The quarterly Digital Champions bootcamp is held simultaneously on both the east and west coasts of Australia. The east coast bootcamp alternates between Melbourne and Sydney, the west coast bootcamp is located in Perth.

The day officially starts at 10:00am so participants flying in from other cities and regional centres can get there and back in a day. In addition, the bootcamp is live streamed and we have an online coach to engage with participants who can’t physically make it. We always encourage all champions to attend these days in person but we appreciate that it’s not always possible or practical.

The increasing rate of technology change means there will always be more opportunities than we can possibly pursue. Knowing how to both identify and prioritise them is one of the important skills we teach digital champions. In general we seek to prioritise projects based on strategic significance, potential return and the level of effort required to implement them.

It would be great if you have already identified some possible opportunities you’d like to work on, but don’t worry, once you have committed to the program we will provide everything you need to get prepared.

Most of the time digital champions work in pairs (with the two digital champions from the same organisation working on the same projects together). The exception is at the quarterly bootcamps where digital champions are encouraged to collaborate across organisations to gather new ideas and share what they’ve been working on.

Great question! There are three things that can possibly go wrong:

  1. The wrong projects – Not only is it important to focus on the right projects, it’s important to focus on the right projects at the right time. We will help your digital champion prioritise your projects to help them build confidence, influence and value over time.
  2. A lack of effort – Your digital champion self select into the program and that this is seen as an official part of their job description (not an additional part). We will also have a one-on-one interview with each of your digital champions before they join the program to make sure they understand what is expected of them.
  3. A lack of influence – If your digital champions or the program sponsor can’t influence the technology decisions within your organisation, the program is likely to cause frustration rather than value. If possible, you might want to consider if there is a more suitable sponsor for the program.

The Elements and Prime memberships both cater for up to two digital champions per organisation. It is expected that they commit a minimum of two hours each per week and be available for one full day each quarter. From this small commitment they should deliver six to eight projects within a year and generate returns of at least $100,000 to your organisation. Of course digital champions who can commit more time can potentially generate larger returns.

Membership

Two digital champions are expected to deliver six to eight projects per year between them, with each one being worth between $10,000 and $100,000 per annum in benefits back to their organisation. The exact results will depend on factors such as organisational size, industry and the level of commitment from your digital champions but returns of $200,000 per annum should be considered achievable.

The cost of the program is the same regardless of whether you choose to have one or two digital champions enrolled in the program. This is partly because there is only a small marginal cost for having a second person from the same organisation, but mainly because we believe it is a far more effective approach. Two digital champions can support each others’ work, hold a conversation and provide feedback. Your two digital champions can also come from different parts of the business (say IT and operations) to encourage information sharing across the organisation.

Of course. There are a couple of short testimonial videos at the bottom of the Digital Champions Club page but if you’d like to speak to someone on- on-one, please get in touch so we can make arrangements.

Both the Elements and Prime Memberships to the Digital Champions Club come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If after 90 days you aren’t completely satisfied that the program will deliver the results you require then we will provide a full refund of the membership fees you have paid.

More details can be found on the Digital Champions Club page but it can be as low as $349 for a Resource Membership with no ongoing support or up to $1,200 plus GST per month for a Prime Membership which includes monthly mentoring with Simon for up to two digital champions.

The length and cost of the program is based on a belief that meaningful change requires time to embed. This ongoing engagement is more costly but has been proven to create amazing results. If you’re not quite ready for that level of commitment yet perhaps start by getting a copy of the Digital Champions book or consider an annual resource membership.

General

A digital champion is someone who acts as a catalyst for technology-enabled change. In an unofficial capacity they have been with us for a while: they are the person we turn to when we need help resetting our smartphone, the person who always seems to know the latest and best apps, the people for which technology just seems to ‘work’.

Without getting too dramatic they are the beacons of hope in a world where technology is everywhere.

More recently, the role of the digital champion has become increasingly formalised. The first official digital champion was Martha Lane Fox (the founder of LastMinute.com) who was engaged by the UK government in 2010 to drive efficiency of government services by encouraging people to go online. Now every member of the EU has there own digital champion and this has, in turn, created a movement of community based digital champion programs across Europe and the rest of the world.

Although each of these programs is unique, they all involve people helping other people increase efficiency and improve quality of life through the better use of digital technology.

Another great question…after all, it’s not like you can go and do a university degree on being a digital champion. The ‘expertise’ that Simon and the other coaches bring to this space (for want of a better word) comes from three things. First is professional experience in business improvement, knowledge management, IT projects and strategy. Second, we are fortunate enough to be unhampered by ‘day jobs’ and instead dedicate our time to building knowledge through reading, researching and talking to others. Finally, we genuinely care about our members and want to know what works, what doesn’t and where we can help them improve next.

The truth is, technology is a rapidly shifting landscape and it is difficult for any one person to build expertise across the broad domains that it covers. This might sound corny, but the real expertise lies in the community itself, the job of the coaches is just to help uncover and share it.

This is clearly a challenge and impossible for any individual or organisation to effectively undertake themselves. That is why a unique aspect of the Digital Champions Club is peer to peer sharing. By learning together, we can not only identify new opportunities faster, we can also avoid mistakes that others have already made.

Most likely it will. Generally speaking you will get a shorter useful life out of software and hardware investments than, say, investment in infrastructure or even office furniture. That is why when we assess the suitability of technology projects we calculate the returns over just one year. What is incredible is that even with such a short investment horizon many of these technology projects generate significant returns.

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