Tag Archives: localgovdigital

Could you go without internal email?

Is email bound up in the future of the way we work, or can new ways of working help us to share information more efficiently? Dyfrig Williams spoke to Lee Mallon of Rarely Impossible to find out.

LocalGovDigital's Unmentoring Logo

We all know the feeling of returning to work after a holiday to find a mountain of emails waiting for us. I always have a nagging feeling that I need to get to grips with my emails before I can start with the “real work” that I have in front of me.

My colleague Beth recently blogged about the recent review of our Randomised Coffee Trials, which pair people randomly to discuss the topic of their choice.

Alongside that, I’ve been taking part in LocalGovDigital’s Unmentoring, which is their version of Randomised Coffee Trials. In my latest discussion I had the chance to see if email really is a help or a hindrance by catching up with Lee Mallon of Rarely Impossible, who have ditched email for all internal correspondence.

Why chat about email?

Email has some issues, and a lot of that is down to behaviour. Whether it’s sending unsolicited emails or a dodgy use of the cc function to justify a sense of importance (check out Chris Bolton’s series of posts on bad email practice), a lot of the problems that come with email are down to us as users. The latest Natter On podcast gives a good account of both sides of the Email: good vs bad debate.

Another issue with email is that it tends to focus on work that specific individuals do rather than teams. That’s where tools like Slack can potentially help, as the format encourages people to work in teams. Tools like Trello can also help – why don’t we just log in and check the current state of play instead of sending a long series of email updates?

That’s not to say that changing the means of discussion is an answer in itself. Adopting a new tool comes with its own issues. People may not be particularly happy about having another source of communication to check, and an informal work tool like Slack (which comes with Emojis and GIFs) may be an anathema to some organisations’ working culture.

But if society is changing, and people’s expectations of public services are changing, do we as public service providers need to change too? A lot has already been written about how we can’t continue to communicate in the same way when using social media (including Helen Reynolds’ great post on psychopathy and social media). Can we really connect with communities when our day-to-day staff communications are inherently different? There are already signs that young people are choosing to communicate through apps instead of email.

What are Rarely Impossible doing?

I found my conversation with Lee really valuable. Not only was he happy to share his experiences over the phone, but he was also happy to share resources afterwards. It was fascinating to hear about the channels they were working through after 6 months, and their “1 year on post” is a fantastic “How to guide” for reducing your reliance on email.

And in case you think that it’s one thing for a private company to go email free and quite another for a public service, check out the work that’s taking place at Halton Housing.

Although email is our current default means of online office communication, we’re in a fascinating time where new tools are being developed all the time. If your organisation is thinking of ditching email, we’d love to hear from you so that we can share the learning from your experiences and whether it’s helping you to deliver better public services.

Dadfentora 3: Meddylfryd digidol ac ymddiriedaeth staff

Mae Dyfrig Williams yn edrych nôl dros drafodaeth gyda Kelly Doonan o Gyngor Sir Dyfnaint yn y blogbost diweddaraf mewn cyfres ar Ddadfentora LocalGovDigital.

Pan mae’r Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru yn agor ein seminarau dysgu ar y cyd, mae’n annog cymryd risgiau sydd wedi’u rheoli’n dda, gan na fydd gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn gallu parhau yn eu ffurf bresennol.

Mae Phil Rumens wedi ysgrifennu blogbost grêt ar y pum cam o drawsnewid digidol. Mae hyn yn dangos y gwerth ychwanegol o feddwl am wasanaethau o ran darpariaeth ddigidol. Rydw i wedi bod yn feddwl amdano’r cysyniad yma’n ddiweddar, felly wnaeth fy nhrafodaeth Dadfentora i gyda Kelly Doonan o Gyngor Sir Dyfnaint cymryd lle ar yr amser perffaith.

Agwedd digidol Dyfnaint

Mae Kelly wedi ysgrifennu blogbost gwych sy’n amlinellu pam y dylai ni cyhoeddi gwybodaeth ar-lein mewn ffordd wahanol i gyfryngau print traddodiadol. Mae hi hefyd wedi rhoi enghraifft wych o sut maen nhw wedi rhoi’r syniad yma ar waith ar ôl iddynt gael ei ofyn i greu cyfeiriadur bapur o wasanaethau lleol ar gyfer cyn-filwyr.

Penderfynodd y Tîm Cyfathrebu doedden nhw ddim yn gallu cefnogi hwn achos byddai’n dyddio bron ar unwaith. Mae fe hefyd yn anodd mesur effeithiolrwydd y cyfeiriadur, doedd dim cyllideb i’w ailargraffu neu ei chynnal a doedden nhw ddim wedi cynllunio ffordd o gael y cyfeiriadur i gyn-filwyr.

Llun o wefan arfaethedig Cyngor Sir Dyfnaint ar gyfer cyn milwyr

Llun o wefan arfaethedig Cyngor Sir Dyfnaint ar gyfer cyn milwyr

Roedd e’n braf clywed sut wnaeth y cyngor edrych ar sut allan nhw roi cymorth i’r prosiect yn hytrach na’i rhwystro. Edrychodd y tîm ar sut gallan nhw greu cynnyrch ar-lein gwell ar gyfer cyn-filwyr yn Nyfnaint (neu bobl sydd ar fin fod yn gyn-filwyr ac sy’n edrych i ddod i Ddyfnaint).

Fe wnaeth Kelly cyfarfod â gweithwyr proffesiynol sy’n gweithio gyda chyn-filwyr i drafod y posibiliadau, a diwygiwyd y cynllun o adborth Partneriaeth Lles y Lluoedd Arfog. Yna cynhaliwyd sesiwn gyda chyn-filwyr i ffeindio allan beth oedden nhw eisiau gwybod, sut byddan nhw’n chwilio amdano fe a sut oedden nhw eisiau’r gwefan i edrych. Fe wnaeth Kelly creu map o’r wefan a’r cynnwys, tra roedd dylunydd yn creu’r ffrâm gwifren.

Bydd fersiwn cyntaf y safle yn mynd yn fyw ar 8 Rhagfyr. Yn sydyn mae argraffiad o gyfeiriadur tymor byr wedi datblygu i fod yn gynnyrch sy’n diwallu anghenion defnyddwyr ac yn cael effaith tymor hir – gwych!

Beth wnes i rannu?

Fe wnaeth Kelly crybwyll y gwerth ychwanegol y gallai’r tîm gyfathrebu adio i waith cyfathrebu Cyngor Dyfnaint. Siaradais i am gyflwyniad yr Athro Ros Searle yn ein digwyddiad dysgu ar y cyd ar ymddiriedaeth staff. Roedd un o bwyntiau Ros ar sut all cyfathrebu mewnol da cadw ac adeiladu ymddiriedaeth o fewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus.

Yn ôl adroddiad CIPD ar ymddiriedaeth, mae uwch reolwyr yn rhy optimistaidd o ran ymddiriedaeth gweithwyr rheng flaen ynddynt, gan nad yw 34% o staff yn ymddiried yn eu huwch reolwyr. Mae’r broblem yn arbennig o ddifrifol mewn sefydliadau sy’n fwy o faint, ac yn enwedig sefydliadau hierarchaidd ble mae staff yn meddwl bod yna gofod rhwng rheolwyr a’u staff. Mae cyfathrebu mewnol yn bwysig iawn i sicrhau nad yw diffyg ymddiriedaeth yn troi’n ymddygiad gwrthgynhyrchiol fel dwyn a thwyll. Gan fod 37% o foddhad swydd yn dod o ymddiriedaeth, mae staff sy’n gweithio i sefydliad sydd gydag ymddiriedaeth uchel yn fwy tebygol o roi mwy o ymdrech, ac yn cydweithio, recriwtio a pherfformio’n well.

Mae ymddiriedaeth hefyd yn gysylltiedig ag arloesedd. I fynd yn ôl at bwynt yr Archwilydd Cyffredinol, bydd staff yn barod i gymryd risgiau sydd wedi’u reoli’n dda os dydyn nhw ddim yn meddwl bydd eu rheolwyr yn eu cefnogi? Mae ymddiriedaeth yn allweddol ar gyfer y math o arloesi sydd angen arnom mewn cyfnod ble mae adnoddau’n dirywio.

Bara Brith Camp

Byddai’n rhannu’r negeseuon allweddol o’r digwyddiad Ymddiriedaeth Staff yn Bara Brith Camp, sy’n ddigwyddiad am ddim o’r Satori Lab er mwyn rhoi lle i barhau’r sgyrsiau a ddechreuwyd yn GovCamp Cymru. Os wnaethoch chi golli’r anghynhadledd, rydym wedi cynhyrchu Storify a fideo i grynhoi’r diwrnod.

Rwy’n gobeithio gweld chi yna – rwy’n edrych ymlaen at drafod gyda mynychwyr sut y gallwn ni helpu i wella lefelau ymddiriedaeth mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, ac i hybu lefelau o gynhyrchiant ac arloesedd yn y broses.

Unmentoring 3: Digital thinking and staff trust

In the latest of a series of posts on LocalGovDigital’s Unmentoring, Dyfrig Williams reflects on a discussion with Kelly Doonan of Devon County Council.

When the Auditor General for Wales opens our shared learning seminars, he advocates well managed risk taking, as public services will not be able to continue in their current form.

In a recent blogpost, Phil Rumens examined the five stages of digital transformation. This really shows the added value of thinking about services in terms of digital provision. With that concept in mind, my latest Unmentoring discussion with Kelly Doonan of Devon County Council was timed perfectly.

Devon’s attitude to digital

Kelly’s written a great blogpost that outlines why publishing information online should be approached differently to traditional print media. She also gave a great example of how they’d put this thinking into action when they were asked to create a paper directory of local services for veterans.

The Communications Team didn’t support it because it would date almost immediately. It’s also difficult to measure its effectiveness, there was no budget to reprint or maintain it and there was no planned way of getting the directories to the veterans.

A screenshot of the proposed Devon County Council Veterans Site

A screenshot of the proposed Devon County Council Veterans Site

What I love is that rather than hinder the project, the team looked at how they could enable a better online product that could be accessed by veterans in Devon or those that haven’t been discharged yet, but are planning to come to Devon.

Kelly met with professionals who work with veterans to discuss it, and the Armed Forces Wellbeing Partnership revised and improved the plan from their feedback. They then held a discovery session with veterans to find out what they wanted to know, how they would search for it and how they would want a website to look. Kelly then created a sitemap, started writing content and the designer created the wireframe.

The first iteration of the site will go live on 8 December. All of a sudden a one-off print run has developed into a product that meets user needs and has a longer term effect – fantastic stuff!

What did I share?

Kelly mentioned the added value that the embedded comms team in Devon Council could provide to communications work. I mentioned Professor Ros Searle’s presentation at our shared learning event on staff trust. One of Ros’ points was on how internal communication can preserve and build trust within public services.

According to a CIPD report on trust, senior managers are overly optimistic in terms of how much frontline workers trust them, as 34% of staff don’t trust their senior managers. The problem is particularly acute in larger organisations, and especially hierarchical organisations where there is a perceived distance between managers and their staff. Internal communication is really important to ensure that lack of trust doesn’t degenerate into counterproductive behaviour such as theft and fraud. In fact with 37% of job satisfaction coming from trust, a high trusting organisation is likely to have staff that put in more effort, with improved co-operation, recruitment and better performance.

Trust is also linked to innovation. To go back to the Auditor General’s point, will staff be prepared to take well managed risks if they don’t feel they will be backed and trusted by their managers? For the kind of innovation we need in a time of declining resources, trust is key.

Bara Brith Camp

I’ll be sharing the key messages from the Staff Trust event at Bara Brith Camp, which is a free event that’s been organised by The Satori Lab to provide a space to progress conversations from GovCamp Cymru. If you missed the unconference, we’ve produced a Storify and the below video to summarise the day.

So I’ll hopefully see you there – I’m looking forward to finding out from attendees how we can help to improve trust levels in Welsh public services, and to boost levels of productivity and innovation in the process.

Unmentoring and Randomised Coffee Trials

Unmentoring

We launched Randomised Coffee Trials for the first time at our Wellbeing Seminar. For the uninitiated, they aim to get random people together to discuss their work. This guide by David Gurteen is a really useful introduction. In order to explain the concept to attendees, we played this video by the Red Cross on how they’re using it.

Happily, LocalGovDigital launched their Unmentoring at about the same time, which is based on the same principles. Perfect – a chance to experience the method and to learn about someone’s work at the same time.

I was paired with Paul Inman of Warwickshire County Council, and it was a great chance to learn more about their work and compare it with what’s happening this side of Offa’s Dyke.

Warwickshire have been undertaking some work around customer journeys and channel shift. An online transaction can be much cheaper than meeting in person – a transaction costs an average of 15p online compared to £8.62 in the flesh. It’s interesting to hear how small changes can make a difference, like prompting people to go to the website when they’re on hold on the phone.

Warwickshire County CouncilThe pleasing thing is that Warwickshire haven’t forgotten about people in all of this. Kate Bentham’s blog is a great example of why we should keep our people focus when making changes. In terms of their website, Warwickshire believe in evolution, not revolution. This means small changes along the way, like making the margins smaller on mobile, rather than big PR headlines. But each change makes a small difference, and people don’t have to re-learn the site.

In terms of what I brought to the party (apart from my own cup of tea), I expanded a little on how the Wales Audit Office are using Yammer and the Good Practice Exchange’s Effective Use of IT event, where we looked at the National Library of Wales’ disaster recovery.

Our next Unmentoring chat is at the start of next month, so we’ve both got a bit of time to reflect on our first conversation and delve a bit deeper into things. But what’s been really useful is the opportunity to take some time out to reflect on what a ‘good IT service’ might look like, and also to spend some time talking to somebody about the challenges public services face who has a different perspective to my own.

Most of us have worked in silos at one point or another, and it’s all too easy to get entrenched in these with our own specific ideas and perspectives. It’s been fascinating seeing how Unmentoring and Randomised Coffee Trials can play a part in breaking down barriers to information sharing, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Warwickshire’s work going forward. Mark Jeffs has outlined how we need to work differently. The inspiration for that has to come from somewhere, and hopefully Unmentoring and Randomised Coffee Trials can be that spark that helps people to think about things in a new light.

Dyfrig

Dadfentora a Threialon Coffi Ar Hap

UnmentoringLansiwyd Treialon Coffi Ar Hap gennym am y tro cyntaf yn ein Seminar Lles. I’r anghyfarwydd, eu nod yw cael pobl at ei gilydd ar hap i drafod eu gwaith. Mae’r canllaw yma gan David Gurteen yn gyflwyniad defnyddiol iawn. Er mwyn esbonio’r cysyniad i bawb a oedd yn bresennol, aethom ati i chwarae’r fideo yma gan y Groes Goch ar sut maen nhw’n eu defnyddio.

Mae’n braf cael dweud bod LocalGovDigital wedi lansio Dadfentora tua’r un pryd, sy’n seiliedig ar yr un egwyddorion. Perffaith – cyfle i brofi’r dull a dysgu am waith rhywun ar yr un pryd.

Cefais i fy mharu gyda Paul Inman o Gyngor Swydd Warwick ac roedd yn gyfle gwych i ddysgu mwy am eu gwaith a’i gymharu â’r hyn sy’n digwydd yr ochr yma i Glawdd Offa.

Mae Swydd Warwick wedi bod yn gwneud rhywfaint o waith ar siwrneiau cwsmeriaid a sianelu newid. Gellir gwneud trafodion ar-lein yn llawer rhatach na thrwy gyfarfod yn bersonol – mae trafodion ar-lein yn costio 15c yr un ar gyfartaledd o gymharu ag £8.62 yn y cnawd. Mae’n ddiddorol clywed sut mae newidiadau bach yn gallu gwneud gwahaniaeth, fel ysgogi pobl i fynd i’r wefan pan maen nhw’n gorfod disgwyl am ymateb ar y ffôn.

Cyngor Swydd Warwick

Yr hyn sy’n braf yw nad yw Swydd Warwick wedi anghofio am bobl yng nghanol hyn i gyd. Mae blog Kate Bentham yn esiampl wych o sut ddylem ni gadw ein ffocws ar bobl wrth wneud newidiadau. O ran eu gwefan, mae Swydd Warwick yn credu mewn esblygiad, nid chwyldro. Mae hyn yn golygu newidiadau bach ar hyd y ffordd, fel gwneud yr ymylon yn llai ar declynnau symudol, yn hytrach na phenawdau cysylltiadau cyhoeddus mawr. Ond mae pob newid yn gwneud gwahaniaeth bychan, ac nid oes raid i bobl ailddysgu defnyddio’r safle.

O ran yr hyn wnes i ei gyfrannu at y parti (ar wahân i fy mhaned o de fy hun), fe wnes i ymhelaethu ychydig ar sut mae Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru yn defnyddio Yammer ac ar ddigwyddiad Defnydd Effeithiol o TG y Gyfnewidfa Arfer Da, lle buom yn edrych ar adfer wedi’r trychineb yn Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru.

Mae ein sgwrs Dadfentora nesaf yn cael ei chynnal ddechrau mis nesaf, felly mae gennym ni ein dau ychydig o amser i adlewyrchu ar ein sgwrs gyntaf a thyrchu’n ddyfnach i bethau. Ond yr hyn sydd wedi bod yn eithriadol ddefnyddiol yw’r cyfle i wneud amser i adlewyrchu ar beth yw ‘gwasanaeth TG da’, a hefyd treulio rhywfaint o amser yn siarad â rhywun am yr heriau y mae gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn eu hwynebu, ag yntau â gwahanol bersbectif i f’un i.

Mae’r rhan fwyaf ohonom wedi gweithio’n unigol ar ryw adeg, ac mae’n rhy hawdd ymgolli yn ein syniadau a’n safbwyntiau penodol ein hunain. Mae wedi bod yn rhyfeddol gweld sut gall Dadfentora a Threialon Coffi Ar Hap chwarae eu rhan mewn goresgyn y rhwystrau sy’n atal rhannu gwybodaeth. Rwyf yn edrych ymlaen at ddysgu mwy am Swydd Warwick wrth symud ymlaen. Mae Mark Jeffs wedi amlinellu sut mae’n rhaid i ni weithio’n wahanol. Mae’n rhaid i’r ysbrydoliaeth ar gyfer hynny ddod o rywle a’r gobaith yw mai Dadfentora a Threialon Coffi Ar Hap fydd y sbardun sy’n helpu pobl i feddwl am bethau mewn golau newydd.

Dyfrig