Daily note for 13 December 2023

Lloyd mentions how he likes writing the date at the top of his daily posts, as it reminds him of school. It does me too, on these posts, but also on the daily notes that I write more religiously using my Kindle Scribe. I am writing a log of pretty much everything that is happening, or that I see, or think, that feels particularly meaningful. It’s a marvellous aid to my memory, particularly as I discover more about how I struggle retaining information a lot of the time.

Indieblocks could be an easy-ish way of doing my preferred way of blogging through chunks and links in WordPress, maybe.

Am rather liking the challenging nature of some of dxw’s blogging these days: Service delivery is broken – it’s time to join it up.

Why Neil Williams writes weeknotes.

CAPE is quite interesting, collecting data and plans from councils on climate stuff.

Jeremy weeknoted. It really is just like old times.

GOV.UK Cookie banner and why it “won’t go away”

The struggles of the web browser.

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.

Interesting links 11 March 2022

Things I’ve seen that are worth sharing.

The next ten-years of digital government – Scott Colfer

For what it’s worth, my instinct is that the NHS might be the place that leads (by doing) the settler phase over the next 10-years. Showing by doing. The work of the last 2-years during the pandemic, the recent restructuring, and some conversations with people leading this work all make it sound like they’re explicitly investing in the work of the settler phase. Looking closer to my old home, the Office of the Public Guardian is doing this at a smaller scale.

How to build a team and effect culture change – Lisa Trickey

In 2017, I was asked to ‘make digital happen’ at the council. Digital is such a broad agenda and needs to permeate everything we do and think about in the organisation. Although the ICT function in the council initiated ‘digital’, I didn’t want technology to be the focus of the change activity.

Two opportunities presented themselves in different service areas when we were about to experiment with service design. We engaged FutureGov, who worked alongside service leads, ICT business analysts, content designers and application support officers, exposing them to user-centred design and working in multi-disciplinary teams.

Why these Welsh weeknotes are so good – Giles Turnbull

I’m always looking out for good examples of teams working in the open, and this WRA team are doing everything right. If you want to write good weeknotes about a digital project, just do what this team are doing, and you’ll be doing a great a job.

From the Made Tech content factory:

There’s no substitute for experience: lessons from central government software delivery – Vincent Farah

The important thing to pass on from our experience is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Patience and conviction of cause will help solve one problem at a time. You need to forge alliances and earn trust that will help change to happen.

International Women’s Day: what would you change about the tech industry? – Laxmi Kerai

Today is International Women’s Day. So, we asked a few of the women working in technology at Made Tech to share insights about equality and working in the industry, including how they’d change the tech industry for the better. Here’s what they said…

Local government: from product, to platform, to service – Glenn Ocskó