The National Theatre in London is one of the largest performing arts organisations in the UK, presenting up to 25 new shows a year. But while technology underpins the National Theatre’s ability to produce great theatre, its digital strategy was in need of direction to ensure it continued supporting the organisation’s business goals.

‘We knew we lacked the expertise and knowledge at the stakeholder level to confidently select technology solutions that align with our business’, explains Christopher Jones, web architect at the National Theatre. ‘We were looking for an experienced digital partner to help us identify the most important business goals we could deliver through digital solutions that could be realised with the resources available to us’.

Finding the right partner

With first-hand experience of Inviqa’s approach and expertise, thanks to an earlier collaboration around digital training, the National Theatre appointed Inviqa to carry out a programme of consulting to help the organisation prioritise its roadmap and identify how best to support clearly-defined business objectives through digital initiatives.

At the National Theatre, we’re dependent on technology, but we’re not technology experts. It was in our interests to find a digital partner and consultant with a pragmatic approach to technology, as well as experience in addressing business needs with the right digital solutions. We found that partner in Inviqa.

– Christopher Jones, web architect at the National Theatre

Uncovering options with Discovery

It’s important to begin any digital initiative with a Discovery – a series of workshops designed to identify the simplest way of addressing a business challenge.

Inviqa conducted Discovery workshops with a breadth of National Theatre stakeholders to prime its digital roadmap for success, ensuring that defined business objectives could be realised through appropriate digital investment.

The workshops enabled the National Theatre to identify its wider business objectives – for example, its recently announced Strategic Touring Partnership – a three-year, in-depth programme focused on six areas of England, which aims to grow audiences and develop engagement in theatre.

The Discovery process was engaging, and the regular feedback cycle helped keep the project focussed on the most pressing challenges we faced as an organisation. It was surprising how much insight was generated from just a short series of workshops.

– Christopher Jones, web architect at the National Theatre

The tailored consulting programme enabled National Theatre to improve its understanding of the technical landscape and its internal capabilities, to identify its digital development requirements, and to uncover its digital objectives.

These included the likes of making data-driven decisions, personalising the customer experience on its digital platforms, and reducing the friction of user journeys such as online purchases and refunds.

The team was also tasked with considering the various factors that could impact the successful achievement of these objectives, as well as taking a high-level view on possible technical approaches that could future-proof digital investment.

We helped the National Theatre to clarify what they were looking to achieve, to understand the technical landscape and the challenges that were inhibiting their ability to meet their objectives, and to uncover recommendations for an approach to take.

– Nicholas Weber, senior consultant at Inviqa

Driving business value

The programme of consulting has provided National Theatre with options to rationalise the maintenance and development of its digital estate and drive more business value, as Christopher explains:

‘By questioning our objectives, and reducing them to a few simple concepts, the consulting process enabled us to identify which of our business goals we could impact most. As a result, it was far easier to identify the key issues we needed to address.

‘In identifying the most important digital objective, the workshop process quickly and logically filtered our backlog issues into distinct work streams supporting specific business objectives. The proposed technology solution would then support subsequent developments and allow us to be flexible in the order in which they can be implemented’.

I would certainly recommend Inviqa to any company seeking an engaged technology partner to help drive digital development that impacts upon key business goals. Inviqa’s ethos is to drive value and its team is more than capable of delivering that.

– Christopher Jones, web architect at the National Theatre

Banner photo by Philip Vile