Workshop recording: matching user needs with technology capabilities

Here’s the recording of the workshop I ran earlier today on using a process and template to help match user needs to technology capabilities. We worked through the example of an intranet and there was lots of interesting discussions as everyone chipped in through the session.

🖥️ View and download the slides

📄 View and download the template

I think this way of running short, focused online sessions works pretty well, and I will definitely be doing more in the future!

LocalGovDrupal with Kate Hurr and Will Callaghan

LocalGovDrupal is an open source implementation of the classic Drupal content management system hat has been developed by councils for councils, with the help of some funding from MHCLG.

It is, by my reckoning, the best example I have seen of open source use in local government, largely because councils are contributing to the project as well as consuming it.

16 councils are now involved and conservative estimates calculate that millions of pounds have been saved compared to using commercial off the shelf alternatives.

What is great is that councils are using those savings to invest in other things to make their websites better, like content design and user research.

Will Callaghan has been the main driver of the project and he gives us some of the background, while Kate Hurr talks about the progress Cumbria Council are making in implementing LocalGovDrupal. We also talk a little bit about pies! 🥧

I honestly can’t praise this project enough, I think it’s brilliant, and a wonderful example of the benefits of open, collaborative working, and sharing and re-use of technology across the sector.

To find out how to get involved, drop the team a line using hello@localgovdrupal.org.

If you’d prefer to listen to just the audio, give this a go.

Understanding data maturity with Ben Proctor

I had enormous fun last week chatting with Ben Proctor from Data Orchard about the concept of data maturity in organisations.

Data Orchard have identified 5 stages of data maturity, each of which describe the extent to which an organisation uses data to improve the way it works. The stages are: unaware, emerging, learning, developing and mastering.

In this half hour or so, we discuss important topics such as:

  • why using data is a cultural, not a technology issue
  • what some of the technology barriers can be
  • what steps needs to be taken for an organisation wanting to be data mature
  • the state of open data in the UK
  • why bats are interesting in a data sense, much more so than newts

Ben mentions are few projects and things during the conversations, here they are for your convenience:

If audio is your preferred medium, then you can find this on Soundcloud too.

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.

Legends of low code panel 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

Hope it’s useful!

A 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 little about his shed too.

If audio is more your thing, you can grab that on Soundcloud.

A CDO chat with Kit Collingwood

As part of an occasional series, here’s a video of a conversation I had today with Kit Collingwood, Deputy Director for Digital and Customer Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Kit shares some great insights and has some really interesting views on digital transformation in local government, so I really do recommend you watch the whole thing!

If you’d rather listen to it, you can grab the audio-only version here.

Solving problems by drawing toast

Another nice Ted talk for the collection.

Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of people draw toast.