Putting out fires, Open Data and our new robotic overlords.
I’ve been working on…
- This week started with a bit of a bump. Monday morning I experienced one of those situations where something landed in my lap that was urgent & important but had zero notice of. This meant I (and colleagues) had to scramble to get it done.. which we did. Whilst it would be incredibly easy to vent spleen (which I admittedly did for a bit in the privacy of our office) the correct option is to think.. “What could I do to avoid this situation again?”. Perhaps the person who chucked the work at us didn’t have an appreciation of the complexity involved to deliver it, especially short notice. How can we communicate that more effectively in future? It seems like a bit of a zen thing, but it’s often (too?) easy to lay blame at the doorstep of others. Thats an uproductive road to go down which eventually ends up creating an Us VS Them culture the breeds distrust. I think better instead to view it as an opportunity to develop understanding of how to avoid the same mistakes next time.
- My week continued to be rocky as my carefully laid plans were de-railed by more urgent (and unforseen) things. This culminated in a Friday mostly spent trying to untangle weird email issues that lie somewhere between external DNS, our firewall and the mail server itself. This was not the Friday I had planned.
- Next week I’m considering trying out a physical Kanban board in the office. As a team we’re generally good at quickly responding to new emerging priorities, but this week it felt like we were stretched that bit too thin. On Wednesday I was doing so much time slicing between different tasks that I felt overwhelmed and demotivated. I’m hoping even a basic Kanban setup will help visualise workflow and better focus efforts on the right things in the right order.
I’ve been reading…
- Good example here why things like Slack are infinitely better for mass communication than email.
- Open Data Camp took place last weekend. There’s a multitude of excellent reading on the #odcamp hastag on Twitter. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, this post is a good primer for newbies.
- I liked this post on why learning is potentially the new form of procrastinaton. The Internet has given us an infinite ability to learn — but it’s only by applying knowledge (the doing) that we can develop and move forward.
- Here’s a belting post on why it’s deeply unacceptable to have people in leadership roles who are wilfully ignorant of digital services.
- “Digital is not about engagement, people just want to get stuff done.” — well said!
- Automation is often painted as a negative trend which is threatening to displace human workers. What if we actually need automation to put people in the places where human inginuity does best?
- New software does in seconds that which lawyers normally take 360,000 hours per year.
- Critical customer feedback is a goldmine for service improvment. Resist the urge to smother it to death (the feedback, not customers).
- What if HR departments adopted a service design approach?
- Chatbots! They’ve had an incredible amount of hype, but this set of slides illustrates some really practical applications for them in the workplace.
- Speaking of ‘bots, here’s another post on the potential for AI to drive massive efficencies in government.
- 3D Printed 400 square foot home takes 24 hours to construct, for less than $10,000. Are you listening fellow housing people?
- Here’s a post that reminds us that just listening, learning and helping each other can go an awful long way to improving.. well, everything.
- Essex County Council appear to have their ducks in a row when it comes to digital transformation. This post is an excellent whistle stop tour of why and how any organisation should embark upon this journey.