Daily note for 23rd October 2023

I’ve had a quiet couple of weeks here on the blog. Also no newsletters in that time and limited engagement in places like LinkedIn and Bluesky. A dip definitely driven by my mood and stuff going on in life, but also because I’ve had a lot of work on and achieved some good things.

LocalGovCamp on Wednesday this week, in Bristol. First time I have stayed away from home in over a year and ngl I am a bit antsy. It will be nice to catch up with people but also – I suspect – exhausting.

I have been putting together a kind of minimum viable project documentation thing in Google Spreadsheets. There are so many projects on the go in local authorities in particular that require a certain amount of documentation, no matter how old school it might feel. Often though it just doesn’t get done, and that’s largely because there’s often a gap between project document templates, which tend to be large and overblown, and just keeping a list in a notebook, which sometimes turns out to be inadequate.

Of course documentation is never the reason that work fails, but sometimes it can provide a bit of a foundation, and having reasonably nice to use and look at, lightweight documents make it all a bit easier. Of course, I would recommended people make their own copies of this thing and adapt the hell out of it to meet their needs. It’s unlikely they are the same as mine.

In a message to a chum, just now, on blogging: “I think it’s just a case of finding a rhythm that works. I find posting little snippets – or aggregations of snippets – works well for me at the moment. As soon as I try to write 500 words on one topic I seize up”

We ran an Innovation Igloo on Friday last week, on service directories, and it was well attended and people seemed to enjoy it. They now seem to be a regular fortnightly affair on a Friday lunchtime. The next one is on Friday 3rd November at 1pm, and it is about blogging and working in the open.

Service directories are a really interesting example of what is on the face of it a very simple technology answer to a policy problem, but one that with a little imagination could be scaled up and out to help design a new operating model for a whole bunch of local public service delivery – and most importantly, prevention. I need to write it up really. Anyway, well worth checking out the Open Referral standard for directories and the research Jukesie is doing on engagement with said standard.

The humans of digital transformation – a talk for Digital Government North, and reprised for the GDS Speaker Series – lovely stuff from Matt Edgar.

Nice reflective week notes from Alex.