The UX problem with Agile | mmitII
One element that can help is for the providers of systems to try to hold onto empathy for their users – and to understand fundamentally that sometimes what we see as “making things better” might not be perceived in the same way by the people using a service. For most of us the status quo, no matter how buggy or badly designed, is initially favoured to the new because, whilst it might be crappy, we know its limitations and have built coping mechanisms to work around. Every improvement runs the risk of initially removing a level of self determination from the people who are using the system.
usability  agile  change  userexperience 
yesterday
FutureGov | Play time is over
We can’t just sleepwalk into this stuff, we must think about the impact of decisions we make and the values we want to design into the public services we build. Technology and open data is not neutral anymore than anything else we do. We need to think carefully about whether and how we want to design with people. To give them access to their data – or not. To support participation in public services – or not.
design  government  politics 
3 days ago
Why I Tweet | Sharon O'Dea
I tweet because it makes me look good. I tweet because I’m selfish; I’m a voracious collector of half-remembered knowledge, and by sharing what I have, I gain more than I give away. And I am lazy; why find the answer when the hive-mind can tell you in an instant?

I tweet because I’m a selfish, vain and lazy person who wants to change the world. And so are you.
socialmedia 
4 days ago
Let citizens spend tax revenues rather than the technocrats at the top : RSA blogs
In these creative times, when people have so much more confidence in their capacity to think for themselves, develop ideas and change theirs and others’ worlds, a relationship built around the notion that citizens should simply hand over cash in return for top-down provision is bound to cause annoyance and confusion. It also encourages the very abdication of personal responsibility which politicians now tell us we need to revive to meet the challenge of long-term austerity.
government  civilsociety  tax  welfaresystem 
10 days ago
The Quiet Movement to Make Government Fail Less Often - NYTimes.com
The United States government has historically been good at the big stuff, from fighting wars to breaking new scientific ground. It’s everything else that tends to present a problem.
decisionmaking  policymaking  ministers  civilservice 
15 days ago
Government should be joined up and grown up | LabourList
Mature and competent ministers can work very successfully with officials. Politicians should provide a sense of direction. Civil servants should carry out the work that ensues. It may not always be easy, but it must be doable.
civilservice  ministers  decisionmaking 
17 days ago
more work required: on ‘big govt IT’, ‘transactions’ and the future of public service design | new tech observations from the UK (ntouk)
Many current government ‘transactions’ are merely automated versions from the old paper world, moving electronic versions of forms from one place to another — either literally, or by mimicking the form online in a series of interminable web pages that ape the paper world. We can throw all the tin and software we like at these ‘digital forms’, but it’s not going to do much to improve the quality, efficiency, or relevance of the services involved.
transactions  servicedesign  organisationalchange 
17 days ago
Why big IT projects always go wrong | Technology | The Observer
The message is clear: if you run a big company or a government department and are contemplating a big IT product, ask yourself this question: can your company or your ministerial career survive if the project goes over budget by 40% or more, or if only 25-50% of the projected benefits are realised? If the answer is "no" go back to square one.
projects  IT  management 
18 days ago
10 Lessons from 4 Years Working Remotely at Automattic | When I Have Time by Sara Rosso
When you work with a distributed team, the only way you measure if they are working is on their output. Did they do what they said they would do? Where is the result of that work? Did they even say they would do anything, or have they gone dark? It’s frightening easy to notice when a distributed coworker checks out or becomes disinterested in what they’re doing…they stop communicating, they stop creating. There’s no output.
workandtools  workplace 
18 days ago
Don’t blame the mandarins | Freethinking Economist
From time to time you will read columns revealing how some great idea has been being thwarted by Mandarins.   This is usually the clearest sign than an incompetent spad has been on manoeuvres.  It isn’t a coup.
civilservice  ministers  policymaking  decisionmaking 
19 days ago
Help Joy help you. On the unusability of internal systems. – disambiguity
If you’re going to do this user experience thing properly, you’ve got to look at all the angles. If you respect for your employees and your customers you need to care about the user experience of internal systems. Challenge yourself to solve the often more difficult design problems of internal systems, and know that by doing that, you’re creating a better user experience for all.
usability  internalchange  usercentreddesign  workandtools 
22 days ago
We need public service reform but it won’t be enough on its own | Flip Chart Fairy Tales
The whole reason I started banging on about the country’s fiscal position in the first place was to demonstrate the need for reform of the state. Anyone in the public sector who thinks that, under a more sympathetic government, things will go back to how they were, is deluding themselves. Even with a growing economy, the squeeze on budgets will be a feature of public sector management for at least the rest of this decade and probably well into the next one too.
publicservicereform  publicspending  radicalefficiency 
22 days ago
Making prison visits easier to book | Government Digital Service
This visit opened my eyes to just how hard people will work to cope with inadequate and unsuitable IT systems. They’ll tolerate a huge amount of unnecessary administration without challenge or complaint.
workandtools  servicedesign  usercentreddesign 
23 days ago
7 tribes of digital? | Curiouscatherine's Blog
Leadership is essential not just in terms of effective decision making because we don’t want this to be a values-less exercise. Technologists make values based decisions everyday and if they are not being guided by shared strategic and cultural principles set by organisational leaders who understand what they are doing then they are likely to make at best chaotic and at worst bad choices. Ensuring our digital spaces reflect our cultural values is going to be a key aspect to leadership in the 21st Century.
leadership  democracy  strategy  systems 
25 days ago
danah boyd | apophenia » What does the Facebook experiment teach us?
I resent the fact that because I barely use [Facebook], the only way that I could actually get a message out to friends is to pay to have it posted. My minimal use has made me an algorithmic pariah and if I weren’t technologically savvy enough to know better, I would feel as though I’ve been shunned by my friends rather than simply deemed unworthy by an algorithm.
socialmedia  socialnetworks 
29 days ago
Jill Lepore: What the Theory of “Disruptive Innovation” Gets Wrong : The New Yorker
Among the many differences between disruption and evolution is that the advocates of disruption have an affinity for circular arguments. If an established company doesn’t disrupt, it will fail, and if it fails it must be because it didn’t disrupt. When a startup fails, that’s a success, since epidemic failure is a hallmark of disruptive innovation. When an established company succeeds, that’s only because it hasn’t yet failed. And, when any of these things happen, all of them are only further evidence of disruption.
innovation  change  disruption 
6 weeks ago
Stumbling and Mumbling: The home-working puzzle
Early factories supplanted home-working not because they were technically more efficient, but because they gave capitalists more control over the labour process and hence the power to extract more of the gains from the employment relationship for themselves. A similar thing might explain employers' aversion to home-working today. Or, more loosely, perhaps narcissistic managers want to feel a sense of power from seeing employees working.
workplace  work 
6 weeks ago
Sensible security | Cabinet Office technology
The answer isn’t to compromise security in order to meet the user needs. The answer is to think about security as part of the user needs, something that is integral to (and should be balanced against) every other facet of the service.
security  userexperience  technology 
7 weeks ago
Five Whitehall lessons that Sir Humphrey never learnt - FT.com
The first thing I learnt was that there is no such thing as HM Government. Westminster is a ship without a bridge; there is no captain who can observe everything and steer a course. There are only the departments – 20 or so disparate organisations, peopled by stubbornly uncommunicative officials, each with its own direction of travel and prone to colliding with the others.
government  civilservice  ministers 
7 weeks ago
Everyone is doing strategy right now. – disambiguity
You are already doing strategy today. Don’t waste time trying to come up with the perfect strategy. Take time to understand the strategies that are in play today, make those as visible and addressable as you can, and start iterating.
strategy  organisations 
8 weeks ago
The Internet With A Human Face - Beyond Tellerrand 2014 Conference Talk
I've come to believe that a lot of what's wrong with the Internet has to do with memory. The Internet somehow contrives to remember too much and too little at the same time, and it maps poorly on our concepts of how memory should work.
design  personaldata  panopticon 
9 weeks ago
Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium
It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire.

Computers, and computing, are broken.
security  technology 
9 weeks ago
Everything is Distributed - O'Reilly Radar
There are no complex software systems without people. Any discussion of distributed systems and managing complexity ultimately must acknowledge the roles people play in the systems we design and run. Humans are an integral part of the complex systems we create, and we are largely responsible for both their variability and their resilience (or lack thereof).
complexity  risk  failure 
10 weeks ago
Guest Post: Culture, context and ways of working | Government technology
To really get the benefits from our digital journey, it is not just about rethinking our customer interactions.  We need to re-think the whole organisation:  culture, context and ways of working are as important as the technology.
culture  organisations  workplace 
10 weeks ago
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data [pdf]
Economists suffer from physics envy over their inability to neatly model human behavior. An informal, incomplete grammar of the English
language runs over 1,700 pages. Perhaps when it comes to natural language processing and related fields, we’re doomed to complex theories that will never have the elegance of physics equations. But
if that’s so, we should stop acting as if our goal is to author extremely elegant theories, and instead embrace complexity and make use of the best ally we have: the unreasonable effectiveness of data
data  semanticweb  language 
10 weeks ago
How to write a risk log in 6 easy steps | Freedom From Command And Control
Writing about risks is a powerful weapon. Risks can’t read so they won’t know what you said about them. A completed and signed off risk log is a credible deterrent. A draft or incomplete risk log is a major threat.
management  projects 
10 weeks ago
Don’t Force Google to ‘Forget’ - NYTimes.com
Data is data. Google and company have not internalized just how significant that first page of search results has become to someone whose name has been queried. What they place on that page may do more than anything else in the world to define a stranger in others’ estimations.
identity  panopticon  personaldata 
11 weeks ago
Makessense Stop! — Crooked Timber
Thinking generally uses the “makessense” stopping rule. We take a position, look for evidence that supports it, and if we find some evidence — enough so that our position “makes sense” — we stop thinking.
thinkingskills 
11 weeks ago
The Five Axioms of the API Economy: Axiom #1
Everything and everyone will be API enabled.

APIs are core to every cloud, social and mobile computing strategy.

APIs are an economic imperative.

Organizations must provide their core competence through APIs.

Organizations must consume core competences of others through APIs.
networks  connections  architecture 
12 weeks ago
Guest post: You’ve got two hours to fix government IT | Government technology
The “risk averse, responsibility shy” attitude of some managers. There was quite a lot of discussion on this point at our table. We talked about how senior leaders want people to try digital things, like social media or open internet tools, but don’t want to accept responsibility when things go wrong or when people make mistakes (and that’s definitely a when not an if). What’s your incentive to try something new if you know you’ll be dragged over the coals if you fail?
leadership  management  reputation  socialmedia 
may 2014
The best way to organize your business communications is not to organize them at all - Quartz
But the truly interesting thing about Slack is that it puts the whole fragmented list of ways we communicate beyond email, chats, messages, documents, and reports into one stream and makes it searchable. It promises to end the need to constantly categorize and sort everything we do. When everything’s already in one place, you don’t need to spend time creating folders to sort things into and trying to keep track of where the information you need is. You just search for it as needed.
workandtools  workplace 
april 2014
Stop Making Users Explore — Product Management — Medium
Figuring out what that most obvious first task is can be tricky. In order to do it well, you need to truly understand why your user might want to use your product. What problem are they trying to solve? What task do they want to accomplish? How do they want to change their lives? What sort of hole are they trying to drill?
usability  workandtools  design 
april 2014
How to take a report to management team | Freedom From Command And Control
Talk them through the paper and invite comments. This means you talk as they read; at the same time, but never in the same place in the document. You may need to raise your voice as they shuffle through their papers searching for bullet points. If you do raise your voice, remember to lower it again. As you talk, try not to show any teeth. This could make them aggressive. Speed up as you go through it. Say you are conscious of time.
management  decisionmaking  workplace 
april 2014
How Uber and Airbnb Resurrect ‘Dead Capital’
Uber connects black car drivers with passengers, Airbnb links renters with travelers, and Etsy allows small artisans to create virtual storefronts. Uber owns no cars, Airbnb has no properties, and Etsy prints no Insane Clown Posse fan art
servicedesign  servicedisaggregation  businessmodels 
april 2014
Why it is not possible to regulate robots | Technology | theguardian.com
We really only know how to make one kind of computer: the "general purpose computer" that can execute every instruction that can be expressed in symbolic logic. Put more simply: we only know how to make a computer that can run every programme.
law  technology  futures 
april 2014
Thirty Percent Feedback
When you meet someone who is hungry for tough feedback, the effect is powerful.  You can just tell that they’re going to be successful because they are so hungry for information.  Their pace of learning is so much quicker than anyone else who toils alone.  They don’t take criticism of their work personally, and because of this, they exude a deep sense of confidence.  I’m always inspired when I see that in its purest form.
feedback  culture  trust 
march 2014
danah boyd | apophenia » Why Snapchat is Valuable: It’s All About Attention
Snapchat is a reminder that constraints have a social purpose, that there is beauty in simplicity, and that the ephemeral is valuable.
socialmedia  simplification 
march 2014
It’s not about making a comment. It’s about making a difference | Patient Opinion
Patient Opinion is nothing like Tripadvisor. This isn’t about “reviewing” a service or comparing “top-rated” services. It is about an effective, scalable collaboration between patients and staff, right across the NHS, to make care better.
feedback  engagement  servicedesign 
march 2014
Digital public management - Jerry Fishenden
While technology remains an enabler of new opportunities in the design of our public services, digital is not primarily about technology. At its core are new organisational values and practices: successful digital organisations have user-centric operating models clustered around speed and adaptability.
digital  publicservicereform  servicedesign  change 
march 2014
Sound of success: finding perfect acoustics for a productive office
"We need architects to start designing offices that are fit for the ears as well as the eyes," says Treasure. "We really need to start designing for all the senses and end up with offices that are truly fit for purpose."
workplace 
february 2014
But what would you do instead?
We’ve always done it this way. Yep. That’s probably the biggest barrier to any change. Someone has to make a decision to do something differently. Yes, that involves some risk. Yes, that means you’ll be vulnerable.

Instead – don’t go it alone. Find others in your organisation willing to share the risk with you. Find collaborators from outside who can bring in new ideas.
workandtools  collaboration  innovation 
february 2014
We Don’t Sell Saddles Here — Medium, Long — Medium
When you want something really bad, you will put up with a lot of flaws. But if you do not yet know you want something, your tolerance will be much lower. That’s why it is especially important for us to build a beautiful, elegant and considerate piece of software. Every bit of grace, refinement, and thoughtfulness on our part will pull people along. Every petty irritation will stop them and give the impression that it is not worth it.
userexperience 
february 2014
Schneier on Security: The Insecurity of Secret IT Systems
I used to decry secret security systems as "security by obscurity." I now say it more strongly: "obscurity means insecurity."
security  processdesign 
february 2014
The policy world and academia offer widely different opportunities for early career researchers. | Impact of Social Sciences
In academia you look for a problem you can answer well, and in policy you find the best answer you can to the problem you are given.
policymaking  analysis  problemsolving 
february 2014
Striking a balance between security and usability | Government Digital Service
All too often, it’s been the case that people have approached security as something that either people who deal with compliance and writing documents deal with, or that the techies deal with. It’s a fundamental part of the service; it’s not this separate thing that one team thinks about.
security  servicedesign  agile 
february 2014
Five Things You Might Not Know About Offices: 1. The Office Is Not Dead | spaceandorganisation
So what exactly is it that the office adds to our working lives, or in other words, what are the affordances of space? Grounded in my research, I would argue that space is important since it affords 1) co-presence, 2) encounter and 3) routines.
workplace  workandtools  disruption 
february 2014
There is no UX, there is only UX | disambiguity
The truth is that, for many of our projects, the truly challenging user experience issues come not from designing the interface*, but from the constraints of the product that must be designed. Those constraints and challenges tend to come from our friends in policy or standards, or procurement or other parts of the organisation. Try as you might, you can’t interface away inappropriate policy.
uxd  design  servicedesign 
february 2014
The Four Freedoms | Matt Mullenweg
I believe that software, and in fact entire companies, should be run in a way that assumes that the sum of the talent of people outside your walls is greater than the sum of the few you have inside. None of us are as smart as all of us.
openservices  organisations 
february 2014
Flip Chart Fairy Tales | Business Bullshit, Corporate Crap and other stuff from the World of Work
A well-managed hierarchy is among the most effective weapons for getting rid of the friction, incompetence, and politics that plague bad organisations.
organisations  management 
january 2014
We need to start talking about public service reform again : RSA blogs
Instead of focussing solely on supply side reform and choice and competition, we need to understand how better to manage demand. This is about households, families and communities – what they want for their lives, what they expect from public services and what they can do for themselves. Unless public services start to engage with and try to change the dynamics of demand then they will face a bleak future as residualised services.
publicservicereform 
january 2014
Foden Grealy – Document standards and the rankling print presumption
Our mental model for handling textual information is based on the printed paper created by a typewriter, distributed by post and kept in a folder. It got us over the introduction of personal computing but it’s time we moved on.
workandtools  publishing 
january 2014
Innovate on Purpose: Why innovators need a word other than failure
Corporate innovators need all the trappings of failure - learning, experience, insights - but without the ripple effect.  What we need, as corporate innovators, is the ability to experiment, prototype and test new concepts and products as thoroughly and as rapidly as possible.  Then, our experiments become controlled "mini-failures" that offer much the same learning, but without the devastating effects more common in a startup.
change  innovation  organisations  failure 
january 2014
Failure porn | Johnnie Moore
The question,  ”but how will that scale” is often an effective way to kill off interesting ideas that might benefit from a bit more oxygen, and going with safer ones that will eventually underwhelm.
management  change  organisations  failure 
january 2014
Shambles, from mini to omni
The thing about system failures is that nobody has a strong incentive to do anything about them. The risks are high, the potential rewards minimal. They are hard to sort out because it takes a long time and involves getting a lot of people to agree to change things in ways that make their lives a bit more difficult. There is no personal risk in continuing with things they way they are now.
systems  decisionmaking  civilservice  ministers 
january 2014
Seth's Blog: Accuracy, resilience and denial
Resilience is the best strategy for those realistic enough to admit that they can't predict the future with more accuracy than others. Resilience isn't a bet on one outcome, instead, it's an investment across a range of possible outcomes, a way to ensure that regardless of what actually occurs (within the range), you'll do fine.

And denial, of course, is the strategy of assuming that the future will be just like today.
forecasting  futures  strategy 
january 2014
Telling Stories | Patient Opinion
We make the assumption that what has been posted is true. There is something about embracing the spirit of Patient Opinion that means that you have to be an advocate, and that means you have to trust the voice. That might seem an obvious and easy assumption to make. But coming to that view is actually quite complex and the rationale needs to be explained to staff if they are to buy into it.
story  feedback  culture  leadership 
december 2013
In 2014, let’s get digital skills out of the classroom – Postbureaucrat
A barrier we come up against time and again is the reality that a large chunk of the public sector in 2013 isn’t trusted or equipped to access common digital tools. Beyond the evergreen problem of having the right kit and being able to access the right websites, changing how people work takes time and creativity, to find shortcuts, try a new approach for a specific project, and identify where digital can add value, rather than becoming just another thing to do.
workandtools  workplace  trust  socialmedia 
december 2013
How Open Floor Plans Are Killing Employee Productivity | Inc.com
when managers watch their workers work, employee productivity dips. The reason? Employees feel more compelled to put their best face forward and follow all corporate policies to a T.
workplace  management  trust 
december 2013
Let's rethink the idea of the state: it must be a catalyst for big, bold ideas | Mariana Mazzucato | Comment is free | The Observer
To foster growth we must not downsize the state but rethink it. That means developing, not axing, competences and dynamism in the public sector. When evaluating its performance, we must rediscover the point of the public sector: to make things happen that would not have happened anyway.
innovation  risk 
december 2013
Five Ways to Learn Nothing from Your Customers' Feedback - Rob Markey - Harvard Business Review
Anonymity in customer feedback is, frankly, overrated. People want to be heard. They want their feedback to be acknowledged. They want to know that the time they invested sharing feedback meant something and was acted on. Closing the loop is essential to building lasting customer relationships, and it is an invaluable opportunity to dig more deeply into the details of what delighted or enraged them. It offers an opportunity to begin digging into the root causes of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction to uncover policy problems, issues with product design, or other pesky issues that require cross-functional collaboration.
feedback  customers  servicedesign 
december 2013
Is the public sector more innovative than we think? « MindBlog
The public sector can be just as pioneering as the private sector when it comes to organising innovation. The degree of complexity that characterises many public issues means that organisation, incentives and processes often need to be more sophisticated than in the private sector.
innovation  publicsector 
december 2013
Agency of the Future Guide: Telework More Than a Trend – A Workplace Transformation - GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government
Roughly 35% of the federal workforce is eligible to telework, but only 11% take advantage. The main reason for the low percentage is that employees feel culturally pressured to work in the office by supervisors who are not comfortable managing remote professionals.
behaviourchange  culture  workplace 
december 2013
Care Connect: there is a better way | Patient Opinion
As patients and carers, we now want to be more than ‘feedback’. We want to be heard. We want to be reassured. We want to support those we care about. We want to encourage staff we see doing their best, against the odds. We want to know our stories get to the right people. We want to see what others are saying. We want to see real change. And we expect all of this to be transparent, right down to seeing who has read our stories.
userexperience  elephants  story 
december 2013
Pitting Cyclists Against Drivers Is A Bloody Stupid Idea | Londonist
Stupidity is a statistical inevitability. What we actually need to do is to redesign our roads to make it less likely that stupidity is a fatal condition.
design  usability 
november 2013
Designers ! The challenge that needs your attention | Redjotter
How do we create interface design that rewards patience?

How do we design email systems that represent people and not information?

What does hardware that reminds you you have a body look and feel like?

How do we build social networks that develop compassion?

How does a website that supports concentration and presence work?
design  affordance  authenticity 
november 2013
» Healthcare.gov and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality Clay Shirky
An effective test is an exercise in humility; it’s only useful in a culture where desirability is not confused with likelihood. For a test to change things, everyone has to understand that their opinion, and their boss’s opinion, matters less than what actually works and what doesn’t. (An organization that isn’t learning from its users decided it doesn’t want to learn from its users.)
agile  changemanagement  culture  decisionmaking 
november 2013
Schneier on Security: A Fraying of the Public/Private Surveillance Partnership
It's impossible to build an Internet where the good guys can eavesdrop, and the bad guys cannot. We have a choice between an Internet that is vulnerable to all attackers, or an Internet that is safe from all attackers.
privacy  security 
november 2013
LGiU the council of 2043: Catherine Howe | LGIU: Local Government Information Unit
Being digital by default means the creation of shared digital and civic space where communities and councils can network and collaborate – not simply pushing 19th century transactions online.
digitalbydefault  collaboration  futures 
november 2013
Why is the corporate welfare state so flawed – and how could it be made better? - Nesta
The aim should not be one-sided welfare, but rather better deals in which both sides win.  Groups of firms or sectors should be encouraged to engage with government and propose deals - where governments sorts out the things only it can fix, like basic research, infrastructure, regulations and skills - and business gets on with the job of developing better goods and services. The crucial point is that these deals need to be structured around performance - with funding released in response to demonstrable evidence of growth. Welfare needs, in other words, to become conditional, while policy becomes experimental.
welfarereform  performance 
november 2013
Synthesisers and Provocateurs | Flip Chart Fairy Tales
To change an organisation you need to challenge. Informed challenge helps to shift the way people talk, think and, eventually, act. If HR professionals, or anyone else for that matter, want to change the way their organisations work, they will need to become synthnesisers and provocateurs.
changemanagement  organisations 
november 2013
Systems Innovation - Charles Leadbeater
Systems innovation depends on alliances, and alliances need to be governed, explicitly or implicitly. That takes political innovation as well as financial and technical innovation.
systemsthinking  innovation 
november 2013
A Horizontal Manifesto - Joel Bailey
I’ve spent 2,000 words describing how verticalism undermines private sector businesses. I could write 5,000 on how it undermines public sector organisations.
servicedesign  horizontalservice 
november 2013
Stumbling and Mumbling: Ten political assumptions
I don't say all this to mean these assumptions are necessarily wrong. I do so just to point out that politcal debate is much narrower than you might think.
politics  democracy  decisionmaking 
november 2013
Why Face-To-Face Meetings Are Overrated | Inc.com
By rationing in-person meetings, their stature is elevated to that of a rare treat. They become something to be savored, something special. Dine out every once in a while on those feasts and sustain yourself in the interim on the conversation “snacks” that technology makes possible. That will give you all the magic you can handle.
workandtools  collaboration  communication 
october 2013
No, minister | Matthew Taylor's blog
But still, the fiction persists that we can substantially improve policy making without discussing the performance of ministers and the interface between them and civil servants. As long as it does, the promise to improve the quality of policy making in Whitehall will ring hollow.
politics  policymaking  ministers  civilservice 
october 2013
Open practice, working out loud and the top five reasons why I blog | Sarah Lay
Open practice, or working out loud, makes us all better. It benefits the individuals in the team by letting them share success or learn from failure, it helps the team to see the steps on their journey and all the individual pieces of work going into their puzzle and it benefits fellow practitioners through knowledge sharing and making links to collaborate.
socialmedia  workandtools  collaboration 
october 2013
Why Policymakers Ignore Evidence
Speak to many University colleagues and they will report what appears to be a common experience: evidence carefully collected and assembled about significant societal concerns, and what to do about them, are presented to policy makers and then promptly ignored. How can this frustrating process best be understood? The dozen explanations I offer are less to do with the political process being corrupt and have more to do with its complexities which academics from all disciplines need to understand and respect.
policymaking  research 
october 2013
Stumbling and Mumbling: Why not a basic income?
A [basic income] is, perhaps paradoxically, a policy of pessimism. It's based in part upon the idea that governments lack the ability to distinguish between people of high and low needs or between strivers and scroungers - except at high cost - and so should adopt the low-information policy of giving everyone the same. However, politicians are self-selected for having faith in the power of government. They therefore believe - more than the rest of us - that governments can do better than a BI.
policymaking  politics  overtonwindow 
october 2013
Memex 1.1 » Blog Archive » The banality of organisational evil
Corporate employees are not evil people, but in their organisational roles they tend to follow five rules:

(1) You never go around your boss. (2) You tell your boss what he wants to hear, even when your boss claims that he wants dissenting views. (3) If your boss wants something dropped, you drop it. (4) You are sensitive to your boss’s wishes so that you anticipate what he wants; you don’t force him, in other words, to act as a boss. (5) Your job is not to report something that your boss does not want reported, but rather to cover it up. You do your job and you keep your mouth shut.
organisations  culture 
october 2013
The 10 Minute Clarity Test - System Thinking For Girls
The lesson here is that clarity is hard when people are afraid. Most of us will do anything to avoid looking stupid in front of other people. So,  if you want clarity, you have to do something about the fear. If you are in charge of a meeting, create some new rules.
management  culture  organisations 
october 2013
Why customers’ actual experience trumps company processes every time | Sole Trader PR
The focus on internal business process rather than the actual experience of real live customers must be the very definition of bad business practice. It’s certainly dreadful customer service. Complaints, though difficult to hear, are hugely valuable in showing where systems are failing. They’re not personal attacks that need to be defended at all costs.
customers  feedback  complaints 
october 2013
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