As statements go, "technology is easy, culture is hard" is neither original nor totally accurate. It was however the catalyst for the first Digital by Design Day, held yesterday at my place.
Technology isn’t easy, but it’s getting easier.
Creating a new digital service is a bit like baking a cake. In my well stocked cupboards below I need ingredients from three shelves and a couple of things from outside in the fridge.
It’s not as easy as throwing things together in a bowl and hoping for the best, there’s some knowledge and skill involved, but following the right recipe, and with the right ingredients success can be achieved.
Building a digital service is similar. Start with the right ingredients, or technical capabilities (some are shown below) and the right recipe, and with knowledge and hard work you can create a great service.
For example using forms, integration, email, BPN and our line of business waste system we’ve automated over 7,500 requests per year for a replacement bin.
Culture is hard, but perhaps not has hard as it seems
As technology gets easier, if your organisation isn’t constantly improving, the gap between what’s possible and the status quo widens.
Yesterday we ran two workshops, one on simple but effective user research techniques and the other on service re-design. For the latter we asked staff to choose an existing process, write a Post-It for each step, and see how many they could remove if they re-designed the service.
Obviously this isn’t proper service design, it’s just a bit of fun to get people thinking, but in two cases staff managed reduce a 10+ step process down to two or three steps by using technical capabilities and managing user need around expectation.
On Monday I’ll be starting to look at the next steps and how we build on the enthusiasm of yesterday, perhaps creating a network of digital or service redesign champions in the organisation. Today I’m happy that changing the culture of my organisation seems a little easier than it did twenty hour hours ago.
Huge thanks to support from Arcus Global, Goss Interactive and IEG4, Nick Hill for organising the day and to John McMahon, Ben Unsworth, and Richard Smith for their talks on technology, user centred design, and user research.