Phase 1 of the D3 journey, getting started

Before embarking on a D3 Digital Challenge, it’s important to make sure that the problem you are grappling with is the right fit. Chronological order of activities and events:

Making a commitment

As a challenge owner, starting a challenge will require a strong commitment plus support from stakeholders in your organisation for the entire lifecycle of the challenge, including:

  • identifying the problem to solve
  • funding the challenge
  • building the project team
  • running the events of the challenge
  • promoting and communicating your challenge.

A challenge may require a 4-5 month commitment from planning to delivery. Further commitment may be required at the end of a challenge depending on the outcomes of the challenge.

Identifying the problem to solve

A challenge assists you to look for potential solutions to complex problems. A challenge tackles issues faced by the community by connecting those affected with those best placed to understand the issue, design, build and test digital solutions. You will refine your problem as you go, but you must have a high-level view of the problem before you begin. Data to support your problem will provide a baseline for discussion. Some examples to help you identify your dataset:

  • 98% of parents said they were confused by the mixed messages about parenting
  • in 2050 more than 1 in 5 people will be 60 years or older
  • 94% of parents/carers think that it is important for venues to offer healthy choices for kids.

Funding the challenge

An appropriate budget is a key requirement of the challenge, to ensure that the activities planned are managed effectively and achieve the desired outcome. You will need to assign a member of your team to manage the budget. The expenses that you need to budget for include (but are not limited to):

  • catering at events (food and refreshments)
  • venue hire costs (including security services if required/after hours)
  • office supplies (for example, butchers paper, pens, markers and post-it notes)
  • facilitator's fees
  • award merchandising (trophies and certificates)
  • collateral/promotional material (if required)
  • business coaching fees (optional)
  • human centred co-design coaching fees (optional).

Funding to support winning concepts

Seed funds should also be set aside in the challenge budget to support competitors to develop their business concept. There is no prescriptive total on the amount of the prize money, but previous challenge owners have awarded seed funds of up to $15,000. You may also want the option to support more than one competitor team. You will need to decide on the size of the prize and how many you will award. South Australian Government agency challenge owners have previously offered seed funding as grants. There is no cost to participants for a D3 Digital Challenge. All events are free to join for those that register. It is desirable for the challenge owner to have access to further funding (follow-on seed funding) to support the winning competitors post the initial 4-6 week Validating the business concept phase.

Building a committed project team

To run a successful challenge you will need a dedicated team. Your team should consist of the following members:

  • The Challenge Lead - an overall project champion, who provides direction to the team, is an escalation point for any issues, and can keep the stakeholders informed of progress.
  • The Communicator - a team member who understands how to use the appropriate channels to promote the challenge, can articulate your story and connect with key stakeholders across the communities.
  • The Logistics Expert - a team member who is detail focused and can provide excellent organisational skills focused on running the events, coordinating the many resources, solving problems and ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities.
  • The Creator - a team member who is great at creating content, both written and visual, to work closely with the communicator to maximise the impact of the communications to key stakeholders.
  • The Connector - a team member who can support the competitors during the workshops, after the Pitch Night and during the Validating the business concept phase (usually 4-6 weeks) and assist with any questions. This role would also continue if further funding is provided after Validating the business concept.

These jobs may be shared across a smaller team, they don’t have to be full time, but you will require people with the right skills. The challenge will become more time intensive as you approach the workshops and Pitch Night.

Running the events of the challenge

The challenge supports the use of Discuss, Design, Deliver to underpin the events that are run by the challenge owner and their key partners. The challenge is comprised of 6 key events:

  1. Develop the Design Brief session
  2. Information session
  3. Day 1 workshop
  4. Day 2 workshop
  5. Pitch Night
  6. Follow on Pitch event – Validating the business concept.

Stakeholder briefings may be held for judges and mentors to prepare them for their participation in the challenge program. Challenge owners are responsible for organising and managing all events. Managing these events is a significant piece of work and will require collaboration and time across the organising team. Take note of these key principles:

  • events are run by teams not individuals
  • consider the role of external facilitator(s)
  • keep in touch with event attendees before and after events so they know what to expect. More communication is better
  • create a Communications Plan to guide promotion and drive attendance to your events. Ensure approval is granted prior to commencement to enable rapid and responsive communications and promotion
  • record video and take photos of your events to generate promotional content and capture learning for future challenges
  • provide consent forms for media coverage of attendees at events. Bundle this with your registration form and follow any other protocol used by your organisation.

You will learn more about the objectives and how to run each session in the following sections of this toolkit.

Promoting your challenge

A key to each challenge success is having the right people involved and being able to attract a number of competitors. To ensure you reach the right audience, you need to effectively market and promote your challenge. The types of communication channels and promotion needed through a challenge includes:

  • having a website where you can host the challenge information
  • writing promotional messages (for example press releases, blogs and posts)
  • promoting through social media channels
  • assisting with recruiting challenge participants
  • recruiting judges and mentors
  • generating promotional collateral.

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet can assist challenge owners on how to present their challenge information online. See the Getting started checklist to ensure you have covered all the basics.

Next phase

The next phase is Defining the problem for your D3 Challenge