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Week notes #166

This week I’ve been studying:

Managing people in organisations

The week 2 lecture in the Principles of Organisational Management module was about managing people and the role of Human Resource Management.

I learned about how the employment relationship is both a legal contract and a social relationship. As a legal contract it establishes certain rights and obligations between the employer and the employee. As a social relationship, it is dependent on the existence of labour as a commodity, and gives rise to various social phenomena within and beyond the workplace. Conflict is inherent in the employment relationship but what is established is what Goodrich called ‘The frontier of control’.

I also learned about how HR is fundamentally individualistic, which means that the nature of the relationship between the organisation and the employer is one-to-one rather than one-to-many or many-to-many. It’s through the nature of this relationship that the employer

Business models for a smarter economy

In the intellectual capital and competitiveness module lecture I learned that innovation requires a number of things, and that these seven criteria of a good innovator form a useful model

Big Innovation Centre - Seven Criteria Of A Good Innovator

I found the idea of ‘agility and absorptive capability’ really interesting.

“For an innovative company in our fast-changing modern day business landscape, it is not enough just to be resourced by innovative employees and driven by a culture that encourages innovation. Dynamism is increasingly becoming a required attribute of innovative companies. In other words, an innovative company is one that is agile and flexible enough to adjust to changing conditions, and quick enough to capture emerging opportunities. Useful internal indicators of these usually include how fluid and flexible, or bureaucratic and encumbered, the company’s decision-making processes are, and whether the company feels comfortable exploring business ideas and opportunities beyond its comfort zone. Externally, these manifest in whether a company is able to capture first-mover, or at least early-mover, advantages, and the extent to which a company has been successful in projects or initiatives in a different market, or sector, that require different skills and competencies.”

The Big Innovation Centre has developed an online tool at biginnovationmap.com to allow organisations to understand how innovative they are against the seven criteria.


This week I’ve been thinking about:

Feedback loops

How feedback loops and course-correction might be a better way to achieve a target than measurement alone.

The usual measurement approach seems like we start by setting where we want to get to, what measures we are going to use to monitor progress, and often leave out defining the actions to get there. This is understandable as we don’t usually know ahead of time what we’ll need to do. We try something but only know if its helping us reach the target at a measurement point. And as the measurement is the visible thing in this scenario it’s easy to game the actions to make the measurements look good but not really achieve the target.

Instead, we could approach it by setting where we want to get to, what the first action we can do to take us in that direction, and how we’re going to get feedback to tell us if we’re heading in the right direction, and if not course-correct by choosing a different action. I think this approach would give us a far greater chance of achieving the target because we can get an idea of whether we’re heading the right direction sooner and do something about it if we’re not. I guess this is a bit of a micro version of the fire control problem, which one day I’m going to write a book about.

ProductOps

ProductOps as a team/function/concept is increasingly becoming a thing. I’m starting to see it as a response to Product Management’s focus on building new things and consequently not being able to give sufficient investment to maintaining and sustaining product ecosystems (not just technical but supplier contract renewals, etc.)

Digital future

I’ve thinking a lot more about what a digital future looks like for organisations (and especially charities, partly prompted by Joe’s article below). I’ve been thinking about whether my idea of digital strata will help to communicate how profoundly digital is going to change our lives, our society and the entire world. It has philosophy at the deepest level (metamodernism replacing post-modernism), principles (such as platforms replacing pipelines for value delivery) one layer up, processes (such as centralised command & control decision-making replaced by decentralised and distributed decision-making) above, and then practices (like how we communicate in smaller chunks, faster, and more frequently) at the upper most level. I intend to write about my ideas in more detail some time soon.


This week on my Twitter people were talking about:

Digital leadership

Joe Freeman wrote a post on Charity Comms about Digital Leadership. I like how Joe writes. He’s very practical and offers some useful advice, which is in complete contrast to my random spouting of completely conceptual ideas. Joe’s stance on digital (if I can put words in his mouth) is that it is merely another tool for marketing and communications, something that charities need to invest in understanding and using better, but fundamentally just an enabler or channel for what the charity is already doing.

I see digital as requiring and even forcing an entire paradigm shift for charity. In order to stay relevant over the rest of this century and beyond charities need to begin to figure out how they will completely redesign themselves using digital concepts to replace the industrial concepts that most charities were built on. The future will require that they have completely new models for governance, decision-making, leadership, financing, managing staff and volunteers, etc., etc. I worry that if charities are convinced that digital is just a channel and so don’t do this necessary thinking they’ll get left behind as the pace of change increases more rapidly over the coming years.

World Mental Health Day

10th October was World Mental Health Day. Lots of people and organisations were tweeting about experiences they had had or calling for more funding for the NHS to spend of mental health. One of the mental health bloggers I follow on Twitter tweeted that this year’s WMHD felt different to previous years with more focus on calling for action rather than just raising awareness.

Innovation at charities

RNLI shared their approach towards innovation along with 98 slides of trends that see affecting their future. Apart being an awesome piece of work to guide their innovations what I found just as interesting was that they made it public. That feels like a big shift when most charities keep any kind of work-in-progress or direction-setting private. I think it’s really good to see charities like RNLI and Red Cross doing such good work around sharing how they are innovating ideas publicly.

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Week Notes #148

What happened this week…  

  • Answered Defibrillator enquires and processed orders.  
  • Handed-over Freshdesk to CSC. 
  • Completed handover notes. 
  • Discussed medical sign-off for Blood Pressure Monitors. 
  • Interviewed for the new Ecommerce Executive role. 

Read this week…  

Doing next week…  

  • Answering defibrillator enquiries.  
  • Right To Be Forgotten requests. 
  • Central Ordering site support questions. 
  • Processing monthly purchase orders. 
  • Second interview for the new Ecommerce Executive role. 

Uninteresting stat of the week…  

  • During my time at the BHF the online shop had 6.7 million visitors, took almost 62,000 orders, shipped 572,000 units, and did over £2 million in sales. 

In the not too distant future…  

  • A new role at the British Standards Institute
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Week Notes #147

What happened this week…

  • Answered Defibrillator enquires and processed orders. 
  • Confirmed new online clothing approvals. 
  • Set up Pier to Pier merchandise on the Online Shop. 
  • Set up new clothing online 
  • Wrote interview questions for the customer service system analyst interviews. 
  • Provided sales reports for the auditors. 
  • Discussed fraud prevention for online orders. 
  • Set up the Survival Team on Freshdesk. 
  • Discussed Ecommerce reporting for RMSP. 
  • Wrote more handover notes. 

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Answering defibrillator enquiries. 
  • Switching off Frogmore tickets and L2B Coach Tickets. 
  • Processing Pier-to-pier orders. 
  • Handing-over Freshdesk to CSC and IT. 
  • Completing handover notes. 

Interesting stat of the week… 

  • Comparing Average Order Value from Jan – May 2019 to Jan – May 2018, Mobile has increased 28% from £26.48 to £33.96, desktop increased 63% from £43 to £70, and tablet increased 19% from £31 to £37. 

In the not too distant future…

  • More blood pressure monitors on the Online Shop.
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Week Notes #145

What happened this week…

  • Answered defibrillator enquiries and processed lots of orders. 
  • Met the new Digital Strategist for Retail. 
  • Set up Live Chat on the website contact page. 
  • Discussed processes with a new defibrillator supplier 
  • Set up new products for London to Brighton Bike Ride. 
  • Discussed ecommerce configuration in AX. 
  • Attended a workshop for Data Management for advertising technology. 
  • Enabled StatusCake monitoring for the Online Shop. 
  • Wrote more handover notes. 

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Taking delivery of the new Sports Clothing. 
  • Send clothing to the photographers. 
  • Setting up House Clearance payments on the Online Shop. 
  • Answering defibrillator enquiries and process orders. 
  • Volunteering chatbot hackathon. 
  • Setting up Freshdesk for the Survival Team. 
  • Writing lots more handover notes. 

Interesting stat of the week…

  • As the London to Brighton Bike Ride approaches, we’ve seen a 147% increase in unique page views for L2B Tickets between May so far and the same time period in April. However, comparing this year to last year, London to Brighton unique page views are down 80%. 

In the not too distant future…

  • The new range of sports clothing on the Online Shop. 
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Week Notes #144

What happened this week…

  • Answered defibrillator enquiries.
  • Discussed using Magento Marketplace functionality to support fundraising and dropship selling on the Online Shop.
  • Discussed using the Online Shop to take House Clearance Payments
  • Agreed the Facebook dynamic tracking work for Magento.
  • Decided to put Selling Furniture on hold.
  • Received cost prices for a new branded merchandise from a new supplier.
  • Discussed the overview of how Ecommerce will work when AX goes live.
  • Met the new Email Marketing Manager.
  • Set up new London to Brighton product in Magento.
  • Held second interviews for the new Ecommerce Executive role.
  • Wrote 19 pages of handover notes.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Setting up the FTP for sales exports into AX.
  • Reviewing the progress of the Heart Helpline using Freshdesk.
  • Working on the new flat-lay style product images
  • Creating a range plan for the new branded merchandise.
  • Writing help articles for defibrillators.
  • Discussing Heart Helpline support for Selling Defibrillators.
  • Writing more handover notes.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Over the last thirty days of having a banner on the home page to link to the BHF Ebay store, 0.03% (14) visitors have clicked on the banner.

In the not too distant future…

  • A new aesthetic to the product images on the Online Shop.
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Week Notes #143

What happened this week…

  • Undertook our first focused-working experiment
  • Answered defib enquiries and processed orders
  • Created a new medical devices sales report
  • Wrote new blood pressure monitor product descriptions and submitted for medical sign-off
  • Had a Christmas card catch up with the buying team
  • Analysed campaign spend vs sales on current campaigns running
  • Writing advertising briefs for advertising campaigns – pride and Christmas cards
  • Processed Right To Be Forgotten Requests
  • Explored new product ideas for supporter merchandise
  • Discussed the Heart Helpline supporting on answering defib enquiries
  • Spoke to the events team regarding images for the new event clothing advertising campaign
  • Updated the Terms and Conditions on the Online Shop to cover selling defibrillators
  • Discussed a large potential corporate order for defibrillators
  • Went live on social paid and PPC blood pressure monitor campaigns
  • Got some links on blood pressure monitor website pages
  • Prioritised all development work
  • Set up new London to Brighton products in Magento
  • Wrote requirements for product reviews and low stock notifications
  • Designed email templates
  • Researched furniture delivery partners
  • Christmas cards and branded merchandise photo shoot.
  • Arranged second round of interviews for the new Ecommerce Executive role
  • Learned how to schedule products for ticket
  • Fixed clickable homepage images on desktop
  • Completed RMSP Artist work
  • Fixed finance issues with Freshdesk

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Scheduling in Facebook tracking fix and Instagram pin implementation
  • Going through fundraising site testing feedback from fundraisers
  • Raising the PO for the Magento license
  • Taking over Clothing buying from the Accessories Team
  • Discussing low stock notification and product review work with iWeb
  • Meeting to discuss selling furniture
  • Interviewing for the new Ecommerce Executive role
  • Meeting with the new Email Marketing Manager
  • Reviewing the first week of BPM advertising campaign

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Comparing April 2019 to April 2018, number of users increased by 13.3%, with referrals from the website increasing 4.8%, organic search traffic increasing 21.8%, and email traffic by 120.5%.

In the not too distant future…

  • Writing defib help articles to answer customer questions.
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Week Notes #142

What happened this week…

  • Defibrillators enquiries and orders processing of almost £14k (our best week ever).
  • Discussed our focused work experiment.
  • Discussed Range Plan responsibilities and AX learning for Ecommerce.
  • Sent User Stories for the defibrillator webpages to the Content Experience team.
  • Met with a UX designer to discuss the design for the Defibrillator Advice Centre.
  • Listened in on the Marketing & Engagement Directorate townhall, and began thinking about objectives.
  • Tidied the Online Shop and looked at category reorganisation.
  • Discussed the security requirements for using the Freshdesk customer portal.
  • Began updating the Terms and Conditions to reflect drop-shipping defibrillators.
  • Interviewed for the new Ecommerce Executive role.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Undertaking an experiment in focused working (Advertising, Magento dev, blood pressure monitors, defibrillators and supporter merchandise).
  • Discussing selling defibrillators with the Heart Helpline.
  • Takeover Clothing buying from the Accessories Team.
  • Discussing selling furniture online.
  • Discussing Christmas Cards stock management and marketing.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • 32% of defibrillator orders are paid by invoice with 68% paid by credit card. Defibrillators make up 86% of sales with cabinets, cases, etc. making up 14%.

In the not too distant future…

  • Reviewing the results of our focused working experiment.
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Blog

Week Notes #141

What happened this week…

  • Defibrillators enquiries and orders processing.
  • Worked on fixing Facebook Advertising pixel.
  • Launched new bride and groom pin badges
  • Launched new Pride badge wedding favours.
  • Discussed using Freshdesk for volunteer complaints.
  • Discuss selling furniture online.
  • Added a banner to the Online Shop home page to link to our Ebay store.
  • Wrote an advertising brief for blood pressuremonitors.
  • Replaced some product images on the online shop with new professional images.
  • Wrote interview questions.
  • Sourced some new branded donation cards.
  • Wrote User Stories for defibrillator webpages.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Meeting with the Buying Team to discuss clothing products.
  • Writing more digital advertising briefs.
  • Discussing CPR & Defibrillator marketing positioning with a creative agency.
  • Improving the current advertising campaigns.
  • Working on the brief for UX of the Defibrillator Advice Centre.
  • Doing some dev work on file exports for the AX interface.
  • Interviewing for a new Ecommerce Executive.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • 83% of visits to the defibrillator pages on the website are from organic search. This, along with other insights we’ve gained, suggests that people are already aware of the need for defibrillators in treating cardiac arrest and are looking for guidance about what next steps to take.

In the not too distant future…

  • A Christmas cards photoshoot to try a different approach to product images.
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Blog

Week Notes #140

What happened this week…

  • Defibrillators enquiries and orders processing.
  • Set up more Blood Pressure Monitors in Magento.
  • Helped the Heart Helpline Team refine their processes in Freshdesk.
  • Completed document upload work for the Central Ordering site.
  • New T-Shirts went live on the Online Shop.
  • Had a professional photo shoot for new and existing products.
  • Updated products images with the new photos.
  • Went live with Frogmore Garden Tickets.
  • Met with the Social Paid Advertising Team to discuss advertising campaigns.
  • Started writing the Digital Advertising brief for Blood Pressure Monitors.
  • Met with the UX team to discuss the design for using a Freshdesk portal for defibrillators.
  • Met with Survival team to review progress with selling defibrillators and agree next steps.
  • Met with our Success Manager from Freshdesk.
  • Began writing the brief for the designing the Freshdesk portal for defibrillators.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Reviewing the job applications we’ve received so far.
  • Writing the advertising briefs for BPM’s, Clothing Christmas cards, and Wedding Favours.
  • Adding to the Range Plan for new clothing.
  • Making changes to DefibBot.
  • Fixing the Facebook Advertising pixel.
  • Writing user stories for defibrillator customers.
  • Sourcing event merchandise images.
  • Meeting with the F & E Buying and Merchandising Team to discuss selling furniture online.
  • Meeting with the Cards Buying and Merchandising Team to discuss Christmas cards.
  • Meeting with the Accessories Buying and Merchandising Team to discuss Clothing.
  • Completing Artist field work in Magento for AX interface.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Since the beginning of February there have been 790 unique searches related to defibrillators on the website, using 263 different search terms.

In the not too distant future…

  • Building a Defibrillator Advice Centre.
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Blog

Week Notes #139

What happened this week…

  • Processed defibrillator enquiries and orders.
  • Job advert for the new Ecommerce Executive role went live.
  • Handed over the Central Ordering site to the CSC Fulfillment team for end-to-end testing. with Fundraising Managers.
  • Began rewiting the Online Shop terms and conditions to encompass defibrillators.
  • Went to the Internet Retailing Expo.
  • Helped the Heart Helpline Team set up and learn Freshdesk.
  • Prepared a presentation for the defibrillator review meeting with Mike.
  • Added the Frogmore Garden Event Tickets to the Online Shop.
  • Arranged for new products to be photographed.
  • Discussed plans for selling defibrillators with the Survival Team.
  • Set up the new t-shirts in Magento.
  • Met with the Content Experience Team to discuss improvements to defibrillator content on the website.
  • Set up the reporting spreadsheets for 19/20.

Read this week…

Doing next week…

  • Meeting with the digital team to improve the online shop advertising campaigns
  • Writing advertising briefs to promote new products.
  • Presenting the defibrillator progress so far to the Commercial Director.
  • Writing user stories for defibrillator web page visitors.
  • Working on new functionality for the Central Ordering site.
  • Writing advertising briefs.
  • Meeting with the Healthcare Innovation Marketing Manager to discuss defibrillators.
  • Reviewing samples for premium wedding favour donation cards.
  • Arranging meeting to take over responsibility for buying clothes.
  • Discussing stock control for Christmas cards.

Interesting stat of the week…

  • Last year’s total revenue was more than double where we started in 2015.

In the not too distant future…

  • A Range Plan vision for all products on the Online Shop.