Tag Sharing

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…

Why leaders need to understand digital – and what they really need to know

Folk in all sectors are being constantly bombarded with instructions to digitally transform their organisations, or calls to digitise services, and to make use of the cloud. With all these meaningless exhortations, it’s easiest just to ignore them. After all, isn’t this the sort of thing that our IT departments are hired to worry about on our behalf? It’s just computers and software, and dealing with technology is just operational detail! Well… no, not really. It’s actually absolutely vital that those in leadership positions in councils, whether they be politicians or officers, understand the potential and the pitfalls of embarking…

What content management systems are used in local government?

Just before I went on holiday, I spent a bit of time one evening researching what content management systems (CMSs) are used by local councils in the UK. A CMS is the software that runs a website, just in case you didn’t know. The results can be found in this Google Spreadsheet, as well as the summary pie chart above. There’s been a lot of discussion about it on Twitter, which you can follow up from the replies to my original tweet. I need to give a big thanks to everyone who has helped fill in some of the blanks,…

Local authorities that blog

This is a living list post where I am keeping a note of all the active blogs run by local authorities. If you have any to suggest that I don’t have listed, please let me know!

Quick and easy service discovery (with template)

This is a nice and easy framework to use when you find yourself needing to do a quick service discovery to find out some basic details about a service and how it can be transformed. The point at which you might want to use this is right at the start of your digital work, when you either: need to identify a service to work with or have decided which service to work with already, but need to gather some up front information on what you’re dealing with Whichever way you use it, you’ll find it a really helpful way to…

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…

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,…