As part of the external website project to create a new, centralised, section of the website for research information, the digital communications team has taken a slightly new approach to how we engage with stakeholders.
Based on how previous projects went, we decided that it would be helpful to have more contact with stakeholders not only in the beginning planning phases of the project, but also throughout the content writing, development and design phases. In the past, email ‘ping-pong’ slowed the project down and also left room for misunderstandings; concerns were not addressed until much later in the project, and more work had to be done to correct the issues across multiple pages.
For the research website project, we plan to host more meetings with stakeholders throughout the project. We think this will benefit the project in the following ways:
- The digicomms team with get a clearer understanding of stakeholder expectations and requirements.
- Content can be co-created and iteratively improved upon instantly.
- Stakeholders will be able to notice problems and have their concerns addressed faster and easier.
- The design for the webpages can be demoed and iteratively improved upon with feedback from stakeholders.
So far, we have conducted four workshop meetings to gather and another to prioritise requirements. We have also held two separate meetings to discuss and amend the information architecture for the research website. These meetings have helped the digicomms team tremendously to understand the priorities for the project and who to contact regarding specific areas of research, and have also helped us lay the groundwork to build the project upon.
Going forward, we have planned fortnightly demos to show our progress to stakeholders. These demos will provide a chance for everyone to raise questions, voice concerns, or provide additional context and information.
We recognise that many of our colleagues are quite busy, and therefore some communication will still be conducted through email or by phone. However, we plan to handle any roadblocks in person with our stakeholders as we believe this will be the best way to create a website everyone is satisfied with.