You may think of a war room only in terms of dealing with a corporate crisis or preparing for a million-dollar legal case. But war rooms are not only entering the digital age, but they are becoming a more strategic element with national campaigns and professional sports teams.
Today let’s focus on the purpose of a digital war room and the non-technical/technical elements required to help you make the people in this room successful in their quest.
Digital War Room Structure and Purpose
A digital war room is typically a space that comfortably seats 12-15 individuals (i.e. corporate board room). Its purpose is to keep track of public opinion feeds, such as breaking news stories and social postings, collect and display data, brainstorm options and/or prepare for a legal proceeding.
Some war rooms are manned 24/7 (during a campaign, reacting to a crisis) while others may be gathering points for several days or weeks in a row during regular business hours (NBA draft, preparing for a case).
This will capture ideas as they come along or be a place for dates and reminders to the group.
- Colored Post-it Notes
As a brainstorming tool, individuals can display notes and vote on concepts. These squares can easily move around on a wall or be trashed as new data comes to light.
- Long Table with Plugs
Everyone should be able to see each other and have plenty of connectivity options for technology.
- Comfortable Seating
Most individuals will be in this room for 8-12 hours a day so make sure you provide chairs, ottomans, and couches that exude comfort.
- Small Refrigerator and a Place for Dry Snacks
- Laptops or Tablets
Everyone in the room should have a laptop or tablet pre-loaded with the applications that are relevant to the war room purpose.
- Large Displays
4-5 monitor rentals that can be dedicated to a different medium. One or more for:
- The news
- Social listening and
- Data display.
- The Cloud and Collaborative Tools
Individuals need to pull up documents, videos, and presentations, and be able to make edits and comments about them in a real-time fashion. Consider a cloud rental option if you don’t already utilize the cloud today or want to keep the data separate from your corporate server.
The Microsoft Surface Hub rental is a valuable collaborative device because many individuals can be at the display creating and commenting on content at the same time.
- Big Data Analytics
Depending on your budget and need, having at your disposal a business analytics tool can help determine the trending data from billions of data points. For example, if you are running a national presidential campaign, you need to know as much as possible about each U.S. voter to forecast where your candidate goes and what they say. Or if you are averting a crisis, having a tool to analyze all social postings can help craft your public awareness advertisement.
- Fast and Constant Wi-Fi Connectivity
Wi-Fi should be in the room and accessible to everyone. If you are concerned about the bandwidth, consider a hotspot rental for the room.