The encounter between government and digital technologies is just beginning. Big stuff is about to happen.
Email and electronic documents are the main tools of management communication but they are computerisations of paper processes. Better tools are available.
A comparison of the internal comms practices of the NHS and digital organisations. To digitise successfully the NHS will need to change.
On terminology and the need for it to be simpler.
On encouraging changes in the way government is running it’s IT.
Repost of an article written for Computer Weekly about the effects of mismanaging of complexity.
On working for the greater good.
This is the story of the production of this video. Foden Grealy (under our Eggvids banner) produced the video for the PSNGB - the industry association for the Public Services Network. It explains in about two minutes what the PSN is and what the PSNGB is doing to make it successful.
Summary of what happened...
7 May - Neil Mellor - a director of PSNGB approached us. 8 May - Eggvid man Mark Hainge and I had a half-hour telephone discussion with Neil and Stuart Higgins - another PSNGB Director. We explained our approach (see pic below). 7 June - The four of us had a 3-hour flipchart session to work out what should be in the video. It was an excellent interactive session where we ended up with the bones of the story. 14 June - We produced a full-length rough & ready first version of the video, which Neil and Stuart provided feedback on. They liked the overall style and the way we put over the main messages; they also gave us a list of revisions to consider and some ideas about the humour (which is where the "groovy boots" came from). They also asked us if we could get the video ready for the PSN annual conference on 25 June. 21 June - We produced an improved version that was discussed by the board of PSNGB. It was approved with a few changes. 23 June - We produced the final version (after a couple of late-nighters). 25 June - The video was shown at the PSN Summit.
This production went smoothly. Neil and Stuart were great to work with (the reason it went smoothly) and were keen to participate - it felt like an interaction rather than a transaction. I'd say that it would be near-impossible to produce a video like this in a transactional way from a traditional written brief. The humour, always a potential sticking point, came easily with some super suggestions from the PSNGB folk.
I was at the first showing of the video at the PSN Summit yesterday. There was laugher, spontaneous applause and many positive comments.
We wish the PSNGB and the PSN huge success.
More stuff about the video and its production.
We work iteratively. Here is a pic we used to explain our approach to Neil and Stuart...
This was the output of the flip-chart session. Scientific, this...
PSNGB We are the industry association for the Public Services Network
The GB bit originally meant Governing Body but we aren't one Instead, think of Growing Benefits, Government Betterment, General Blossoming, Any of those
Our members are companies supplying either the PSN, or the services delivered over it,
So, the PSN itself Public Services Network
It's a computer network. Think of it as a house-trained version of the Internet for the public sector.
Any organisation providing public services can connect to it.
It replaces a whole lot of terribly disparate network wherewithal from the past that made it very hard for people in government to do internetty things.
Most public sector organisations are on it now and are shifting their services across from existing networks like the GSI (God bless them and all who sailed in them).
Of course there's box ticking and IT faffing about involved but we are getting to the end of that.
The PSN will carry the services that existed before but the important thing is it's not just a replacement network, it is a jolly sturdy foundation that some people call a platform for building all sorts of completely new stuff . Like...
Organising public services around citizens by linking the operations of different departments Or... Enabling third parties to create new dead-funky services that no one has thought of yet Or... Making it possible for people in the public sector to use the latest technologies to work flexibly Hurrah!
And this totally new stuff will bring new ways of working, new communication, new policy, new support, new procurement, new structures, new management, new thoughts and new almost anything else you can think of
PSN can change the shape of government
Which brings us back to the PSNGB:
Yes, we'll do the usual industry association things: standards, technical palaver, all that helping suppliers to get their boxes ticked and their faffing faffed helping customers to get with the right suppliers
But we've got a bigger ambition. We want to do our bit to enable this change We want to connect people, spark ideas and make a genuine contribution to the reshaping of government
Right nuff said.
PSN, GB The industry association for the PSN... bringing Great Bounty and Glittering Breakthroughs So, fill your Groovy Boots.
This post was originally an announcement on fodengrealy.com - Changes in Foden Grealy explains why it is here. ---
Here’s a nice thing: Foden Grealy has been selected for the Digital Leaders 100 list for 2014.
The list... "recognise(s) the top 100 individuals, organisations, and products making a real difference in the world of citizen-facing eServices"
There were 575 nominations across all of the ten categories of the list; and we were one of ten firms selected in the SME category.
Huge, huge thanks to those who nominated us.
There’s some voting and judging going until 2 June to select winners in each of the categories and also an overall top ten; if you are prepared for some minor online faffing - you can vote here.