Title:Audience-centered product development: establishing a digital product development framework at Te Papa
Authors:Adrian Kingston
Publication:MW17: Museums and the Web 2017

As we all know, ideas for digital products can come from all parts of an organization and can be all shapes and sizes. How do we make sure we are actually working on the most relevant products for our audiences and using finite resources as best as we can?

In late 2015, in the lead up to a five-year program of museum renewal, Te Papa established a new digital strategy, traversing audience-centered digital product development, transformation, and digital capability-building. As part of this strategy Te Papa developed and implemented a new Digital Product Development Framework (DPDF). The DPDF was a new set of digital processes grounded in Lean and Agile methodologies to help teams identify, prioritize, and validate ideas; to manage resources, deliver new product, and continuously improve existing Te Papa’s digital products and platforms.

It consists of a set of clearly defined steps, using product development and managed product lifecycle practices common in digital-first businesses—and includes a starter pack of the best and most relevant tools we could find from Lean, Agile, and Design Thinking. The framework guides the product team through the development of potential product ideas from ideation, through prototyping, procurement, agile development, launch, and ongoing care and continuous improvement. It also allows for the wider organization to see all the work happening at any time, prioritize, and constantly manage risk.

The DPDF itself was developed in a lean, collaborative, and iterative fashion.

This presentation will discuss the development of the DPDF; the tools that form the main components; the roll out, training, and reception; and of course, the difficulties with actual implementation.