Internationally renowned, the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) is a theatre without walls and Scotland’s beloved national theatre company. Established back in 2006, the business has created in excess of 250 productions and delivered these to stages all over the globe. With a commitment to continually innovate and reach audiences far and wide, it became evident that its digital presence remains its home and global shop window. So, the organisation sought to identify a strategic digital partner to support them in transforming their business and aligning their vision with an actionable plan.
WORKSHOPS with stakeholders
of staff CONSULTED
work streams IDENTIFIED
Following a competitive UK-wide tender, we were delighted to be appointed on this project, looking to establish a clear roadmap for National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘digital evolution’. The outcome was to look beyond just the website but also at how digital technology and techniques could be used both from an operational and art production perspective.
A digital evolution
The kick-off session immediately uncovered the need to clearly define what ‘digital’ actually meant to the National Theatre of Scotland and, as such, what success with digital would look like for their future. We held several workshops with the project team testing current understanding, protocol and processes in order to ascertain a statement of digital intent that would resound with all stakeholders.
“The National Theatre of Scotland has had a hugely positive online presence for a number of years. The time was right for us, however, to review our offering, make strategic decisions about priorities and develop a comprehensive digital roadmap for the future.
"After Digital understood our issues immediately including, significantly, the desire for us to ensure that the work of our artists, and our audience relationship, were kept at the forefront of our plans.
"The workshops with After Digital were stimulating, thought-provoking and challenging in equal measure as we all - National Theatre of Scotland and After Digital - meshed into the team charged with advancing our online world.
"The major objective of the project - to create a written Digital Strategy and Business Case for resource investment - was kept at the forefront of discussions as we collaborated on this crucial area of the National Theatre of Scotland's future.”
- Roberta Doyle, Former Director of External Affairs, National Theatre Scotland
From here, we organised a round of workshops covering topics as diverse as marketing, data, augmented and virtual reality applications in theatre, and digital skills’ analysis.
National Theatre of Scotland invited staff and key external partners to these sessions, with input from board members where appropriate. Our workshop findings were then augmented by extensive desk research and technical audits. Observing stakeholders reactions and interactions uncovered critical information that established the digital maturity and vision of the organisation.
All of this information gathering allowed us to get a real and deep insight into the passion, commitment and vision of the staff, the board and the external partners at a level that supported many of the recommendations intrinsically. It also enabled us to clearly establish the ‘what is’ situation, therefore creating a starting point for our action plan.
Having captured all of this information and understanding, it was then down to our consulting experts to work through all their findings and map out the ‘now’ to ‘future’ positions to create a strategy and roadmap, which would support the digital vision of this creative and pivotal arts organisation both in Scotland and across the world.
An outcome orientated strategy, with supporting business case and new revenue streams
Our consulting team drew up a clear and compelling business case to support the roadmap for National Theatre of Scotland’s transformation into a sector leading, digitally-centric national theatre company.
We worked in partnership with the Director of External Affairs and her marketing team to ensure the recommendations were far reaching yet pragmatic, innovative yet deliverable and all coached in the voice and culture of National Theatre of Scotland.
By ensuring our reports would resonate with the senior team, the board and the staff we worked to support successful outcomes, deliver on the National Theatre of Scotland vision but also engage the workforce to get behind the digital evolution that’s needed to take National Theatre of Scotland to their rightful position as leaders in the global national theatre diaspora.
The feedback from all involved has been resoundingly positive and over 20% of the roadmap activity has already been actioned, with further work underway. The success of this piece of work is reflected in our recent successful tender for the new National Theatre of Scotland website - continuing a fruitful and blossoming relationship.