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Technology is Not the Answer: Why "digital" is not the most important aspect of your digital strategy

5 Jul 2019

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How to Stop Doing Things

16 Jun 2016

Unless funding, space and staff are endless resources in your organization, at some point you will face the inevitable conclusion that you need to stop doing something. Or many things. But how do you decide what to stop doing? Athenaeum21's cyclical process of strategy, implementation, and assessment is designed to help you decide what not to do as well as what to do next. And our focus is on providing an evidence-based and user-focused approach to these decisions.


Let's look at an example. The BBC recently announced that it needs to cut £15 million a year from its budget. One way they decided to do this is by 'archiving' the 11,163 recipes on their web site. There was a huge public backlash and a number of technology organizations (including the Internet Archive and Wired) scrambled to try and save the pages (or document how to access them after the changes).


I see the BBC's decision as a failure of data. Firstly, did anyone do any analysis of the web analytics to find where these pages ranked amongst the most and least used parts of the site? Where is the evidence for the decisions they are making about cutting and combining services. A basic search for a recipe while I am in the UK will often bring up a BBC Food site page, which tells me that they are probably heavily used and clearly heavily linked-to (based on what little anyone knows about Google's search algorithms). Eventually the BBC backed down and agreed to migrate the recipes from the former location on a publicly-funded site to another site hosted by the commercial arm of BBC. Migration will no doubt be expensive, quite probably more expensive than just keeping the original site up to begin with.


Stopping services is not only inevitable, it is a healthy part of change for any organization. There are ways to do it, though, that can make it easier both for your audience and for your staff.




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