Process defined and validated by Web Practitioners

…primarily through conversation on the internal Web and New Media Strategy blog.


This project is coordinated with an ongoing pan-Institutional strategy process and five other committees/groups related to strategy and digital initiatives. (Smithsonian staff can see an internal blog post and PowerPoint deck for more info on coordination and committee relationships.)

A few key guidelines

From senior management, a few key guidelines for the process
  1. A clear focus on education
  2. Web strategy process has to be sensitive to the challenges of doing more with less.
  3. We need to show what’s over the horizon AND how to get there: demonstrate evidence of progress and show how to light the fuse of SI 2.0
  4. The Web, moving forward, needs to evolve new and efficient revenue streams (and cost-mitigation scenarios)
  5. Use the workshops as an opportunity to REALLY listen

Goals: Aspirational and Achievable Smithsonian

Aspirational Smithsonian: Define the optimum role for SI in next 100 years
  • Embrace new models of knowledge creation and dissemination
  • Provide better access to knowledge for geographically and demographically diverse audiences
  • Provide richer, more engaging means (storytelling) for different types of audiences to engage with our knowledge assets
  • Create opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration and learning
  • Identify new revenue sources to support the ever-growing programs

Achievable Smithsonian: Define and prioritize tactical opportunities for rapid, high impact implementation
  • Leverage from among many initiatives currently incubating within SI
  • Identify initiatives that test / prove a new concept, to advance an idea, to attract funding, or to promote a culture of rapid innovation
  • Define the core competencies and optimum shared services model we need to be successful in the future.


The process has been approved by the Smithsonian's Web and New Media Steering Committee. In addition, a group of 16 individuals, mostly Smithsonian Web practitioners is helping to advise the process and keep it honest.


The Web Strategy will be created through a series of intensive, facilitated discussions among representative stakeholders. The workshops will be open to all Smithsonian staff. Each of the workshops will include a real-time transcription of the proceedings posted to this wiki. The main intent of the workshops is to move relevant information to the wiki where it can be openly evaluated, sifted, weighed, and considered by all. Workshops will be facilitated by Leo Mullen, CEO of Navigation Arts.


  1. Define business requirements and priorities at the executive levels of the Smithsonian
  2. Establish a baseline for performance of SI Web properties compared to demonstrated best-practices in similar organizations
  3. Open the aperture of creative thinking as broadly as possible and collect all relevant ideas and alternative approaches that serve the business goals.
  4. From among those relevant ideas select those most closely in alignment with organizational priorities of efficiency, impact and effectiveness.

Key dates