Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

Technology, Growth & Innovation Roadmap

Key Outcomes

1. Developed a strategic plan with a focus on growth & innovation.

2. Established objectives, goals, strategies, and metrics across the organization.  

3. Developed a multi-year technology strategy and lead the implementation with Fractional CIO services.

4. Enhanced Change Readiness and Project Management Capabilities.

5. Strengthened Enterprise Risk Management protocols.

6. Provided Fractional VP Marketing Services  

The Challenge

In the spring of 2023, the Ottawa Senators (Capital Sports & Entertainment Inc.) engaged Differly to evaluate the organization’s use of technology and digital platforms to increase operational efficiencies, enable data-driven decision-making, and enhance the fan and customer experience both in the arena and online.

Our Process

We began by conducting a comprehensive review of challenges and opportunities across the Senators' core lines of business. This involved engaging a broad group of leaders to develop an aspirational yet pragmatic growth and innovation plan.

The work unfolded in several stages:

1. Current State Assessment & Organizational Alignment

We conducted a series of audits and reviews to ensure we had a strong and well aligned understanding of the current state of various organizational capabilities. This stage included a technology audit, a digital strategy review, and an assessment of innovation and customer experience (CX) capabilities.

An important process in any project of this scope and complexity is to ensure that the findings are well understood and agreed upon by key leaders in the organization. Equally important is that the desired outcomes of the project that are elicited and documented during this stage and well aligned with higher order organizational goals and objectives. Once we had a complete and aligned view of the current state, we were ready to proceed with an identification of Gaps & Opportunities.

2. Gaps and Opportunities

All gaps that made the desired outcomes and the achievement of organizational goals and objectives less likely were identified and documented. We approached this project by categorizing gaps based on the requisite components of a growing and innovative company:

  1. Organizational Strategy and Vision
  2. Brand Strategy
  3. Customer & Member Experience
  4. Organizational Structure & Design
  5. Operating Model
  6. Innovation Mandate & Strategy
  7. Resourcing and Skills
  8. Change Readiness
  9. Technology Strategy

We also conducted a comprehensive IT Audit wherein we fully detailed the gaps and opportunities related to governance, risk, internal support services, infrastructure, data & analytics, people, and change.

Strategic Roadmap Development

We formulated two roadmaps to be used by the leadership team to steer the organization towards the desired future outcomes for both the Growth and Innovation and the Technology mandates.

These roadmaps were sequenced and prioritized based on available resources, anticipated impact, and strategic importance. Each project in the roadmap was detailed with guiding information related to objectives and scope to enable the leadership team to execute these projects as they progressed.

Enterprise Risk Management

As a final component of this project we supported the leadership team in implementing robust Enterprise Risk Management protocols, ensuring data-driven decision-making in operations.

Strategic Plan and Implementation

Differly’s aim is to deliver long-term value and to become a supporting extension of the client’s operations.

Once the initial assessment and roadmaps were completed Differly was engaged to provide the following supportive services:

💠Strategic Planning: Lead a new strategic planning process with a focus on innovation.

💠Technology Roadmap Implementation: Lead the technology roadmap implementation as the organization’s fractional CIO.

💠Marketing Executive Leadership: Provide interim Marketing Executive leadership, offering fractional VP Marketing Services.

💠Data Segmentation and Strategic Growth Support: Support the organization in improving its ability to leverage data in understanding and engaging with customers along with strategies and tactics to move quickly from data insights to improved financial performance.

Enhanced Capabilities

Throughout the engagement, Differly enhanced the Senators' change readiness and project management capabilities. The strategic plan and technology strategy ensured that the organization was equipped to handle future challenges and opportunities effectively.

Differly continues to support the Ottawa Senators as a trusted partner in developing new technology and innovation initiatives. This ongoing relationship has strengthened the Senators' operational efficiencies, data-driven decision-making, and overall fan and customer experience, driving ongoing growth and success for the organization.