Wednesday, February 24, 2016

NextGen Government 2016 – My Day 1 Highlights

I’m attending the NextGen Government 2016 sessions at a time when our state Education Department is taking a step back and reviewing online services before moving forward.

This review is shaping up to be a little different from those in the past for a number of reasons:
  1. There is general acceptance that a review is necessary
  2. There is an enthusiasm for participating in the review
  3. There is some appetite to do things differently
  4. The review is a collaborative project involving IT services, marketing, communications and digital media, and an external consultant.
Within this local context my takeaways from day 1 of #nexgengov were as follows.
  • User expectations have changed – largely driven by the commercial sector.
  • Users want online services to be simple, accessible on mobiles and satisfying.
  • Use client language  - not the language of compliance.
  • 55% of users can’t find what they are looking for.
  • Users want search to work, easy navigation and click-to-chat.
  • Most users enter websites deeply via Google – not via your front page.

  • Technology disruption is now largely seen as a positive thing – this is a big change and an opportunity to create the future.
  • Move focus from procurement to servicing user needs. User-centred design.
  • Spend twice as long talking to users as other activities when preparing business case.
  • Start by telling the user story – then expand the story and join the dots. Explain the level of pain.
  • What is it really like as a user? Follow the human experience. Get on the ground and see how things work.

  • Agile. Agile. Agile. Smaller projects with rapid iterative development. Larger projects should not take such a long time to get to launch – if they do you are too late because things have moved on.
  • Public access and testing of Alpha, ongoing Beta iterative update.
  • Iterative design and iterative development is an explosive combination.
  • Culture. Culture. Culture. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Eliminate blame culture.
  • Service to others is a key driver for staff.
  • Keep good people by doing interesting work, creating things that make a practical difference.
  • Collaborate. Collaborate. Collaborate. Collaboration is about giving up something to make someone else successful. Consider In-sourcing AND Out-sourcing.
  • Talk about values, needs, courage to take risks.
  • Openness, honesty, transparency generates trust and respect.

  • Benchmark what happens now.
  • Think through intended and unintended consequences.
  • Create once publish everywhere.
  • Citizen design – get users involved in design.
  • Gov 3.0 – customisable services
  • AI and data layers
  • If your data isn’t being openly shared you are missing out on opportunities - and soon the future of online services
  • Innovate. Innovate. Innovate.

While much of this isn't new to our organisation I'm not sure it's deeply understood.

Much of what was discussed today fits within a simple 4 quadrant model from Integral Theory from a few yeas ago. The key message is that the left hand side cannot be ignored.

Image: Dr Sue Stack

Looking forward to day 2...

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