Digital Action Plan: Being a digital patron

Every Digital Action Plan cohort receives coaching and support from the team at Helpful Technology. However, experience has shown that it helps to have someone working client-side, to help maintain momentum among participants and be our regular point of contact.
There are no formal requirements for being a patron, but in our experience it helps if you:

  • are well connected with the cohort
  • have a responsibility for learning and development
  • report to, or are a member of, a relevant senior management team
  • are reasonably confident in digital, or willing to be a participant as well as a patron, and lead by example


What does a Patron do?

Patrons play a really important role in the pace and effectiveness of participation in the Digital Action Plan. Our commitment to participants is to provide a safe space for them to be honest about their confidence and skills, so this role isn’t about monitoring and assessing. Participants do benefit from having a colleague on hand to support them, and ensure their efforts are recognised outside of the cohort.


Before the programme starts

  • introduce the Digital Action Plan at a team meeting explaining the purpose of the programme and the commitment required from line managers and colleagues
  • ensure line managers ‘buy into’ the Digital Action Plan and that they give members of their team the time and support they need to complete the training
  • agree with line managers that progress on the Digital Action Plan is built into both team and individual performance plans
  • provide us with the names and contact details of colleagues to receive training
  • tell us any specific requirements teams or departments have regarding digital


During the programme

  • keep in regular contact with participants and line managers to ensure any issues or difficulties are spotted early on
  • encourage participants to work on their Digital Action Plans and contribute to conversations in the Discuss tab
  • feedback any issues or suggestions to the Digital Action Plan team


After the programme

  • encourage participants to complete evaluation survey and give feedback on their experiences
  • report to the Digital Action Plan team what worked well, what could have gone better and your ideas for improving the Digital Action Plan
  • where possible, gather examples of the impact the training has had on work practices, where a participant has gone on to use digital technology in innovative ways to deliver work objectives