Doing digital differently

Yesterday I was lucky enough to hear both Paul MacKay of Nesta and Dominic Campbell the founder of FutureGov speak at the LocalGov Digital Steering Group. Part of the discussion focused around a register of digital development skills and frameworks used by local government.

Thinking about the discussion over the past 24 hours, one question comes to mind.

Quantifying who does what, how and where in terms of digital development has huge potential benefits. Instead of teams working alone in individual councils, they could collaborate on projects saving a great deal of time and money and perhaps producing something otherwise unobtainable or unimaginable by a smaller team. A collection of developers working alone, however many, independent of frontline service teams will at best produce something unfit for purpose and at worst something that doesn't resolve any specific need. So...

Widespread use of a collaborative tool for service managers and their staff would enable them to share problems and more easily define them. Having defined the problem including needs, limitations, budget and so on, service managers could then work with the pool of digital developers to create a solution. The people who really understand their needs are service users themselves however. So...

A platform that allowed service users to express their needs to service managers online, like a consultation, but rather than commenting on any specific plan (initially) they could define general and individual requirements which would allow service teams to better understand their service users' needs and therefore for digital developers to create a better solution. So..

I guess my question to you is, do we need to quantify digital skills in local government, to help build and support a tool to allow service users to engage with service managers to help them define problems to digital developers, or does something like this already exist and if so how is it being used?

I look forward to hearing what you think.

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3 Comments

Wendy Pain 8 Years Ago
Hi Phil Sounds good, wish I could have been there Friday. I think you're absolutely right but I'll be honest, this is the holy grail isn't it? Would it be more effective if we were to break it down and choose specific services (I'm thinking health and social care which in my council is a complex area for non service specific people to understand - in my opinion), then firstly get feedback from the service delivery people which in turn we'd glean much from the service user. I think winning the 'hearts and minds' of the staff is the biggest barrier to digital and if we could give them something to use and that in turn would give the digital designers something THEN we could test this somehow with the service users. Hope that makes sense...it's Monday morning and my brain is still in weekend mode ;-) Anyway, just a few thoughts to add to the mix. Cheers. Wendy
Michael MacAuley 8 Years Ago
Thanks Phil Sounds a bit like BDD ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B ehavior-driven_development ) which I'm quite interested in at the moment. Anyone have any experience of using it? I'd be very interested to hear your experiences. Mike
FM
Former Member 8 Years Ago
Interesting thoughts. I think it would be great if we could tap into resources across the different "types" (user, developer, service manager), regardless of which town/county/region they are in. It will open up opportunities to solve problems in different ways and have access to ideas we may not have come up with ourselves. So, where do I sign up?!