Weekly Braindump #9

Weekly Braindump is a curated list of things I’ve worked on, thought about, read or listened to during the last 7 days.

I’ve been working on…

  • As we leave the implementation phase for two big projects, I’m now working on how best to engage with staff on maintenance and improvement. Normally we’d run a user group for this stuff, but sometimes people get volunteered at gunpoint — so enthusiasm levels are generally low. I wanted to try something different this time around. Current approach.. Yammer (to facilitate broader discussion & spread the learning) combined with Trello (to visibly show what’s in the pipeline and where we are with progress). Will report back in a couple of weeks with progress.
  • Following last weeks meeting with DooPoll, I’ve been asking colleagues what they might use anonymous polling for. As it turns out, there are quite a few use cases. Historically we have tended to go out and record a lot of information face to face, but that’s not brilliant if you want brutually honest answers (which are often the most useful for shaping services). Some examples : The handling of complaints, anti-social behaviour, starting/leaving tenancy.. etc. Next week we’re looking more closely at this and figuring out what other sorts of problems DooPoll might solve for us.
  • Couple of weeks ago I was thinking about how we could encourage our staff to develop their digital skills. We’ve pushed out quite a lot of new systems lately and it’s left some people a bit hesitant to deviate off the well trodden path of what they know and love. A friend at another Housing Association was doing some work with digital certifcation badges which sounded really interesting. I thought we do something similar, but much lower fidelity (fill in a short Google Quiz Form, If you get X number of points, you pass = get a badge/sticker on a board to show your skills). If nothing else, our lot are a competitive bunch.. so it just might be enough to overcome their initial resistance to trying something new. I threw a Google form together this week (all about our tenant app and what it does) and we’ll look at testing it out next week to see what happens.

I’ve been thinking about…

  • Digital Inclusion and Digital Strategy are often treated as separate entities. I’ve been pondering if there should be a more cohesive approach since they overlap and feed into each other. Thoughts on that here..
  • After listening to the WB40 podcast on IT, I’ve been pondering their very sage words on shared infrastructure. If you live in London near a tube station, it’s extremely likely you’ll use that rather than go to the hassle and expense of buying and maintaining your own car. That, in a nutshell, is where IT infrastructure is rapidly heading. It makes increasingly less sense to manage this stuff in house where you need a large specialised team to do it justice. Better instead to outsource it and focus on the challenges which give your organisation a competitive advantage and/or better serve its customers/citizens/tenants/users.

I’ve been reading…

I’ve been listening to…

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