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Showing posts from 2017

The psychology of rejection

You're planning your wedding and it's time to send out the invites. You decide you'll email everyone asking them to save the date, and send the invites in the post later. Within seconds of sending your emails you receive a polite and carefully worded reply from one of your invitees explaining they can't attend. It's like they didn't even think about it, they just flat out rejected you there and then.

How would that make you feel?

We've been thinking about this. Thinking about the psychology of rejection and how this relates to services we're redesigning. Digital is efficient, it's fast and cheap, but it can also be cold and uncompromising. Sometimes the steely hard edges of "computer says no" need padding.

With this in mind we're redesigning one of our services so that applications that don't meet the lowest threshold of the acceptance criteria are automatically rejected. Not only does this reduce staff workload, it means that we …

Why you don't need a digital strategy

Are you writing a digital strategy for a council? Stop it right now!

Most digital strategies I've seen focus on enabling customers to do things online, I've even seen councils claim they'll be delivering 100% of services online this year. Your strategy needs to be about more than just online.

Many strategies are created as a plan to deliver savings, with success measured in redundancies.  It's important to understand how digital technology can enable organisations do more and bring in additional revenue.

Some strategies talk about digital being a mindset. It's not. The problem is that the term "digital" has been conflated with "the internet" and most importantly service design.

Think about technology, think about the people that the technology supports, think about the service the people and technology support, and above all think about the user (and statutory) needs the service meets.

Organisations will always need specialists. Think about how …

Transforming collaboration across Local Government

Last year, when we were putting the Local Government Digital Service Standard (LGDSS) together Matthew Cain had a good idea. In truth he had lots of good ideas, but this post is about one of them and how we might progress it.

The LGDSS suggests an approach for councils to build good, value for money digital services people want to use. As councils start to adopt it there's an emerging view of what "good looks like" across the sector.

Councils provide different combinations of hundreds of services, but many of them are broadly similar across local government. Now we have the LGDSS and there's an agreed set of principles for transformation and delivery it's a become lot easier for councils to work together.

There'll always be a place for informal discussion, through initiatives like Unmentoring, events like LocalGovCamp, channels like Slack, or just picking up the phone and talking to someone.

As service transformation projects become mainstream across local go…