FREE online workshop: Matching user needs with tech capabilities

A while ago I shared a post with a template showing how you can take a capability-based approach to picking technology by focusing on user needs. There has been a fair bit of interest in it since it was published, so I thought it might be useful to run a short online workshop running through how it works with a smallish group of people. As I have at this stage no real idea what I am doing, it will be free for public sector people. The workshop will run on Zoom on Wednesday, September 15 at 11am. I anticipate it…

The roles you really must have on your digital team

The ideal The GDS service manual is very clear on the roles required to run a proper multidisciplinary team to deliver digital services. It states that you must have a product manager service owner delivery manager user researcher content designer designer developer And this is, of course, quite right. Doing good digital work means taking it seriously, and that means resourcing it properly. Indeed, 7 people doesn’t sound like that many, right? Well, in some organisations where the entire digital and IT team is only 10 people, which includes application support and the helpdesk, it’s huge. And most importantly, it’s…

Digital workplace with Sharon O’Dea

I really enjoyed this conversation with Sharon O’Dea about the digital workplace. She shares an absolute tonne of insight into how organisations have responded to remote working in lockdown, what impact that has had on the use of internal technology, and what culture and behaviour change is going to be needed in future. I managed to exert some self discipline and kept this video to 30 minutes or thereabouts. I think you’ll get a lot out of it! If audio is your thing, you can listen to this on SoundCloud.

Using the local digital declaration to get your digital work going

The local digital declaration is three years old as I go to keyboard. I was privileged enough to be around at the time it was being put together, had some small input into it, and helped to promote it. I think it is well and truly a good thing. What it does is define for the whole local government sector what digital is all about. It removes those misunderstandings that digital is just about channel shift, or better websites, or one single other thing. It explains that while good digital is not just about technology, it also is about technology,…

Legends of low code recording

This Tuesday Nick and I ran the legends of low code panel session, and much fun was had, and great learning shared. I was joined by: Kev Rowe, Croydon Council Craig Barker, Cumbria County Council Clare Evans, Tewkesbury Borough Council Lee Gallagher, Hertsmere Council Check out the video recording above, to hear about the great low code projects all the councils have been working on the cultural changes that went alongside the technology switch the downsides of using low code and how to overcome them who is best placed to become a low code developer in your organisation

Creating simple user personas

Personas are a great place to start with user centred design, particularly if the whole practice is new to your organisation. This is because they can provide a quick and cheap way of ensuring your project puts the different types of user at the heart of your service design process. Personas are fictional representations of the different types of potential users of your service. Well written ones can bring the important user types to life, which is why it helps to make them as realistic as possible. They also help to give the project team focus, by constantly reminding them…

CDO chat with Ben Unsworth

It’s taken a while to record the second CDO Chat video, but today I finally had the joy of an hour of Ben Unsworth‘s virtual company! Ben has done loads in digital government, including stints at the Home Office and with FutureGov, and these days he is the Director for Service Transformation at Essex County Council. In this video, we talk about Ben’s role and what it encompasses, the importance of accessibility in digital services, the roles needed to make change happen, and the impact of the lockdowns and the future of work. Oh, and of course we hear a…

Legends of Low Code online event

Update 16/7/2021 – here’s a link to the recording of this session. On Tuesday 13 July, between 2pm and 3.30pm I will have the pleasure of chairing a panel session discussing the use of low code platforms in local government. I’ve been involved in the implementation of low code in a couple of councils, and in the right circumstances it’s a great fit. In the panel session, I’ll be exploring what those circumstances are, and what some of low code’s pitfalls are, as well as what it is brilliant at. I’m going to be chatting with the following ‘legends of…

Matching user needs with tech capabilities

Something that I have found helps an awful lot is having a simple way to match identified user needs with the technology capabilities needed to meet them. It helps in two main ways: by encouraging people to consider the user needs they are trying to meet before thinking about technology solutions (always tempting, but dangerous!) by reinforcing the message about capability-based technology delivery, as opposed to always thinking in terms of single monolithic systems By considering user needs first, then identifying individual capabilities to meet them, it’s possible to come up with solutions that are more likely to succeed and…