Category sensibletech

Getting started with user research workshop recording

The workshop that Lizzie and I delivered went down pretty well, I think. You can find out for yourself by watching it back. It’s a quick canter through different methods of undertaking user research, aimed at those new to the whole idea. I think user research is a super-important thing for digital teams to get involved with as quickly as possible, because it’s a cultural game changer. If you want to be more user-centric in your work, there’s no better way of doing it than actually speaking to, and understanding, your users. As well as watching the video, you can:…

Digital age operating models, with Eddie Copeland

One of the elements of the Loosemore definition of digital that doesn’t get as much coverage as the rest is the bit about business, or operating, models. That’s probably because it’s really hard. So I loved having this chat with LOTI‘s Eddie Copeland about his 6 ideas for future operating models for local public services, which he wrote about a few years ago when he was at Nesta. I think it is fair to say that this really is just the start of this conversation, but I really hope that folk can take inspiration from what Eddie shares in terms…

FREE online workshop: getting started with user research

This workshop is free for public sector people. Please use your work email address to make it easy to recognise you! It’s happening on Thursday 16 December, 12pm on Zoom. User research is one of the most important stages of any successful digital project. However it often gets missed, and that’s often because people just aren’t used to doing it. Involving service users in research and testing is a big cultural change for organisations, and takes a fair bit of confidence to start doing for the first time. In this workshop, Lizzie Bruce from Cake Consultancy joins me to introduce…

5 videos to help leaders understand digital

Following on from the workshop I ran with LGiU last week on digital for leaders (which went very well, thank you for asking), I shared a few bits with the delegates – further reading, if you will. Part of that was a set of videos on YouTube that cover some of the important areas that folk in senior positions really need to understand, delivered by people with far greater expertise than me. Here they are – try and get them in front of your senior leadership team, if you can, and book in a chat with them shortly afterwards to…

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 what you’re on about, then you’re in trouble. This is why one of the projects you need to initiate early on is a digital capability programme. This should provide just enough digital knowledge, understanding and – most important – confidence in the people you work…

Workshop recording: simple service discovery

Here’s the recording of the workshop I ran this morning which looked at using a simple template to find out more about the service we are looking to digital redesign. We used the example of reporting fly tipping, as well as having a general chat towards the end about how best to engage with service managers when embarking on transformation work. As well as watching the video, you can: Download the slides Find the template on Google Drive See our fly tipping example Read the chat notes from the session If you have any topics you’d like to be covered…

Three levels of digital change

Even if we adopt Tom Loosemore’s definition of digital – and we should – it’s still necessary to interpret it in the context of the service you are looking to digitise. I’ve worked out a really simple framework for thinking about this, by dividing the options into three distinct levels, or approaches to, digital change. None is necessarily right or wrong, but it’s always likely that one is more appropriate to achieving the outcome you desire for a particular service, in a particular context. Moreover, they shouldn’t be seen as fixed – instead, you can evolve a service through the…

Chatbot research with Neil Lawrence

It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Neil Lawrence from Dorset Council about the research project he led, using Local Digital funding to find out what the user needs are that using a chatbot might meet. You can watch the video on YouTube. It turns out that if you want to know whether a chatbot is a good idea or not, it’s not as simple as a yes or no. There are a number of factors to bear in mind, such as the complexity of a service, how transactional it is, and what the emotional state of the service…

NEW: the SensibleTech link library

Back in 2017, Paul Maltby co-curated a list of reading for policy wonks interested in finding out more about digital. There’s loads of great stuff in there which have stood the test of time. I’ve always liked the idea of bringing together in one place all the great stuff that has been shared over the years in blog posts and articles, so people don’t need to answer these problems themselves, over and over again. So, I’ve started my own library of evergreen, ever-helpful links. What’s more, in the interests of preservation, I’ve also stored my own PDF copy of each…