I’ve been doing the final third of my contract at UK Trade and Investment. My team’s recent blog posts explain what we’ve been doing better than I can.
Services for staff – Finding People in UKTI
Source: UKTI Digital Trade Blog
We ended 2015 by briefing Lord Maude, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, on the digital service for exporters project. He said it was ‘exactly what [he] was looking for’. But more importantly, the users we’ve been testing with say the same.
August was quite the month. Here I define ‘August’ to include the first few days of September.
In my previous monthnote I wrote about the work of the Public Health England digital team to transition the Health Protection Agency website to GOV.UK. This month it came to fruition. We have switched off the HPA website, though it lives on in the National Archives, and GOV.UK is now the place to find health protection information. Over the rest of September the team will transition the ‘tail’ (lower priority) content. Mahesh and Suzanne have written more about what the transition involved. When the dust has settled, I’ll write about what I learned during this project.
This is an amazing achievement by the team. Liz made some delicious cakes to celebrate.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of typing in www.hpa.org.uk and getting re-directed to the PHE section of GOV.UK. For a few sweet moments I’m going to forget about the other 135 sites that need transitioning.
Elsewhere, I persuaded a major IT supplier to government to start delivering digital projects for public services, and doing it properly. Or more modestly (and accurately), I did a presentation the senior management bods said ‘yes’ to. I really hope I can be involved in the delivery of this, because the opportunity to have positive impact across central government is huge.
I also did a short project with NHS Blood and Transplant. My role was to support the digital team managers to start an ambitious digital transformation programme for blood and organ donation. Together, we built a roadmap for the next 12 months, including a timeline that works for the agile digital team and the waterfall programme management team, and people and budget requirements. I love planning, so it was fun.
July was all about the work of the Public Health England content team, who have been working their socks off to get our priority health protection content from the Health Protection Agency website to GOV.UK. I’ve been doing my usual stuff, which you can extrapolate from my previous monthnotes, but for this month let’s focus on the content.
There’s one place for all health protection content. Much of the content is there already and we will be adding the less-used, tail content over the next few months.
You can browse infectious disease information.
And you can see all the information about individual diseases, for example ebola, together in collection pages.
It’s not even the end of June but I’m in the mood for a monthnote tonight.
This month at Public Health England (PHE), the team and I have:
- Produced new content for GOV.UK to meet our health protection users’ needs (that one was definitely the team, not me)
- Done the first half of our short, sharp digital strategy development, with SapientNitro (that one was mainly them too)
- Welcomed new content designers and started recruiting a digital policy person to keep us in line
- Taken feedback on a proposed new structure and expansion of the digital team
- Written a long business case, proper Treasury style
- Told about 1000 people to start with the user need
- Said fond farewells to Alison Hill, deputy Chief Knowledge Officer of PHE and my boss, and Rachel Neaman, Digital Leader at the Department of Health. We will miss you!
I’m now going to be working at PHE until the end of November, which is brilliant news.
The picture is a portrait of my by two members of the team at PHE, in which I am waiting for all our 150 websites to transition. She’s got great hair but in real life, I look less patient.
In other Rebecca Industries activity, this month I took a week off to say goodbye to my Grandma and ‘happy 30th birthday’ to the fabulous Kat Kennedy. I also carried on with my work helping a big IT company figure out how to approach the digital government market, about which I will remain secretive.
This month at Public Health England we have
- finished the content allocation stage of transitioning the Health Protection Agency website to GOV.UK
- chosen an agency to work with us on our digital strategy, who we procured through the Digital Services Store (I can say who it is next month when we’ve signed the paperwork)
- started the formal consultation about how we expand and restructure the digital team
- done a lot of work with finance to make sure we have the budget we need, as always
We have had great feedback and input from colleagues. The Government Digital Service and the Department of Health are really pleased with the approach we are taking on website transition and the progress we are making. I presented the work we are doing to the meeting of Digital Leaders from all the Department of Health arms length bodies. It was fascinating to learn about what the other organisations are up to and learn from them about what we can do. In particular, NHS Blood and Transplant have similar challenges to us, and it was great to spent some time with Ceri Rose, my counterpart there.
In Rebecca Industries I have settled into my second project. I am working with a big IT company on how they can approach the digital government market in the UK. I have been struck by how similar it is to the Civil Service in some ways. People are motivated by giving the best service to the public. The organisation is dispersed and personal networks are very important. And there are some people who have got digital projects going using their skills and entrepreneurial spirit, but some people who aren’t sure how to start. That’s where I come in!
I’ve re-titled these month notes because the numbers made no sense after switching from weeknotes to monthnotes.
At Public Health England, the team put 6 advisory committees onto GOV.UK
- Committee on medical aspects of radiation in the environment
- UK Atmospheric dispersion modelling liaison committee
- Administration of radioactive substances advisory committee
- Committee on mutagenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment
- Committee on the carcinogenicity of chemicals in good, consumer products and the environment
- Committee on the medical effects of air pollutants
We are on track to move 15 sites by our deadline of the end of July. As part of this project, we have decided what work we are going to make lower priority, and we are starting this new way of working soon.
We received and reviewed some proposals for our digital strategy work, through the Digital Services Store. We are going to decide the preferred supplier next week.
I changed how I use my time, because we have lots of things to do and there is no time for extra talking! I now only take meetings if they are to do tangible work with people. This has made a big difference to my working life and I may never go back.
And as ever, I did lots of work with finance and HR so we have the people and money we need.
In Rebecca Industries news, I started work on my second project, which is working with a large IT company. Together, we are figuring out how to approach the digital market in government. After 5 years in the public sector, I’m very pleased to be doing some private sector work again.