Everything these days is about collaboration. There are still vast swathes of local government working in silos but if we keeping chipping away at the virtual walls we’ll eventually be working in one huge open plan office.
Even our website started off in silos – one team for content, one team for transactional stuff, one for developing and various business teams, working in their own silos responsible for back office systems which were shoehorned onto the website as an afterthought.
Over the last couple of years things have been changing. There has been a recognition that the most important person in the whole equation is the person on the other side of the computer screen trying to pay a bill, find out the school holidays or book a bulky uplift. It seems obvious now but there are still parts of the system which are focused on internal processes which gets in the way of our Big Plan.
Today was a good day for collaboration and general thinking. I’ve been saying for a while now that we’re all so stretched in local government that we don’t even have a spare 15 minutes to stare into the middle distance and just think. Thinking is what leads to new ideas and creativity and I believe it’s being stifled because people are leaving and not being replaced leaving those behind to pick up the work over and above what we were already doing. Imagine my glee when I was invited to a 2-hour ideas session with our developers this afternoon. We’re really lucky to have 3 in-house developers, all full of talent and ideas. We talked for two hours, exchanged ideas, realised we’re all thinking along the same lines and have basically put the online world to rights. We’re planning regular sessions with chunky crayons, sheets of A3 and colour-coded Post-Its. Thrown in will user testing, customer journey mapping, Google analytics, transaction stats, demographics, blogging and general industry research. All I can say is ‘Bring it’!
One little gem that made me laugh was the revelation that due to budget restrictions and not having the all devices he’d like to test our site on, one of the developers can often be found in Carphone Warehouse trying out our site on all of their devices – genius 😉
So on Thursday morning I’m off to the creative space, armed with my Post-Its, to re-group some of our content from the bottom-up instead of the usual top-down method to see where it gets us. Next I have some hallway testing but that’s a whole other blog.
Today I have learned:
- oranges are actually green
- MiniMe is a great writer
- I can’t enthuse about her writing cos it’ll put her off
I’ve decided to add a track/tune/video link each day. I started just doing it on Twitter and Facebook but then I thought I’d add it here instead. I’ll also have to get round to doing a recipe index but that’ll be a job for a rainy day.
This is dead simple and I served them with the Roasted tomato and marscapone soup. You can serve them with anything instead of croutons and they’d also be good on a salad.
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Method: Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Put a heaped teaspoons of cheese on a backing tray and put in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes then remove using a fish slice.