Category Article

Was the local digital declaration too ambitious?

There have been a few posts flying around the bits of the internet with an interest in digital and technology in local councils recently, reflecting on the local digital declaration, which is now 5 years old. Here’s one from the Local Digital team themselves, Tass’ excellent post about Warwick, another from the nice folk in Stockport, and a good […]

Should you develop a single customer account?

Carrie Bishop’s rather well-known post on this subject was published in 2016. In the 7 years that have passed, have things changed? Not really. I dare say that if you were to stand in a town centre and ask passers-by whether they would find it useful to have everything they interact with their local council […]

A framework for council technology planning

Fairly long post this, so apologies up front for that – hope it’s worth the effort though. Also, just to make things clear right at the outset – I am publishing this under a Creative Commons license – so you can reuse, adapt and even make money from it if you want to – but […]

It’s the agile mindset that matters for local government

Local authorities need to be more agile – it’s pretty much axiomatic. Particularly in our technology and digital related work, the success that many organisations have had in adopting agile delivery approaches seems to indicate that it’d be a good thing for councils to do more of. The local digital declaration advocates it, for example, by committing […]

Why big programmes suck – and what you can do about it

A lot of the time digital and technology work doesn’t produce the hoped for results because it’s part of a big programme. Lots of organisations love a big programme. They are useful ways of unlocking money from capital pots, they can make those involved feel pretty good about themselves when talking about big numbers and […]

5 things for local leaders to know and understand about digital and technology

This quote from an article by the always insightful Jerry Fishenden really stuck out for me: With apologies to the late scientist and author Arthur C Clarke, to those who don’t understand technology, any sufficiently advanced marketing bullshit from snake oil merchants peddling their cryptocurrency, NFT, blockchain and Web3 potions is indistinguishable from magic. Computer […]

Prioritising between agile, product, and user centred design approaches

A venn diagram showing overlapping circles titled agile, product and ucd
A lot of what I have written about here has been about pragmatic approaches to digital and technology driven work. Taking the best practice methods we see in evidence at the Government Digital Service and other internet age organisations, and thinking how they might work within the constraints of smaller teams and budgets, like those […]

Building digital capability in your organisation

For any digital transformation effort to be a success, it needs to have a organisation that is open to change to work with. This is often a bit of a stumbling block, because even if you have an amazing digital team and a kick-ass programme in place, if the people across the organisation don’t understand […]