Digital changes everything, but do we know how?
9 June 2016
Sue Holloway, Director of Services Strategy
Technology is making huge improvements to our working lives, but judging by the 2,000+ responses to our survey the journey feels bumpier for some civil servants than others.
Bitter experience with government IT hiccups is behind some of the concern, but for me the biggest worry was that many don’t feel they’re on the journey at all. There was a real unease about the impact of new technologies and a feeling that the ‘user needs’ mantra had passed them by.
It might be why 74% of respondents said they didn’t understand Government as a Platform, a major programme that will overhaul how government works as well as the kit it uses. Directly or indirectly it will change people’s working lives – it’s sort of the point – but what we don’t know yet is how.
If you take your eye off the people affected by a change you won’t achieve the outcome you want, whatever type of change it is. You have to understand the immediate impacts and at least attempt to predict others, getting strategies in place to mitigate any unwanted effects.
Keeping people engaged works wonders, and this came through in the survey, with the work of the digital champions highly valued.
Digital disruption is all the rage, but government is not a machine; it’s a collection of individuals and teams that won’t work tomorrow like they do today. That’s always personal. And remembering that will help government to smooth out the bumps and get greater value from the change.