Service Design Toolkit #gov2au #gov2local

the toolkit

Created with local and regional governments in mind, although I’m sure it has broader application, this toolkit is the outcome of a partnership between two European design firms and Design Flanders.

You need to buy the toolkit, but they have made some posters and templates available for download.

Hat tip to the Putting People First blog.

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Social rubber, meeting content management road – Alfresco / Jive Toolkit

Functional Overview, aka “What will it do?”

As announced at Gartner’s Portals, Collaboration & Content Summit this week, the integration (known as the “Jive Toolkit”) is a set of pre-built components that allows Jive to store documents in Alfresco while still offering all of the same social features as “native” Jive documents (commenting, rating, discussions, etc.). While not yet all-encompassing – Jive’s “social” content cannot yet be stored or managed within Alfresco – the Toolkit will provide a foundational level of document-centric integration, allowing implementers to focus on more use-case specific integrations as required (hence the positioning as a “toolkit”, rather than a fully fledged solution).

Sometimes technology surprises us, but this example of integration between a social platform and content management system is something we’ve been anticipating.

Incidentally, I’ve been talking about architecting for collaboration and there is a currently active discussion on my post about broken mental models in the way many people try to manage intranets.

I also noticed that this isn’t a pure CMIS based integration, which highlights opportunities for better support from social platforms to support it and also that CMIS needs to be improved to support the needs of social platforms.

Clearly, there is still a little way to go but we’re heading in the right direction.

The Myth of Self-Service 2.0

With self-service, the transaction costs of managing information appear to have fallen. But the real costs have not gone away. In fact, they’ve risen as they shifted from lower-cost administrative staff to professionals — hidden in the salaries of professional staff who start early, stay late and spend weekends checking email, searching, answering questions on discussion boards and organizing documents. Though it only takes a few minutes here and there, self-service information management consumes a significant portion of our personal and professional lives. Anyone with a slightly complex problem booking a flight on-line, seeking computer tech support, comparative shopping or using different software to participate in discussion forums, find an expert, or document an insight understands how much time this consumes.

Self-service has another consequence. It takes professionals’ attention away from their real job, which is to use information to think.

You might be surprised, but I don’t believe that self-service is the answer to everything. l’ve actually written a few things in the past about this point of view (see my articles page: ‘Beyond HR Self-Service’ and ‘Empower customers with self-service, not automation’).

What’s surprising here is that Richard McDermott is effectively describing in his article a knowledge management approach that is a decade or more old. But its one that is still very much applicable, even in an era of social software and big data. Web 2.0 and social software should not automatically mean self-service – that’s entirely the wrong perspective.

Hat tip to Jack.

Will O’Farrell modernise NSW with some help from Government 2.0? #gov2au #gov2nsw

As Barry O’Farrell and the Liberal and Nationals Coalition assume power in New South Wales following the state election over the weekend, it would be nice to think that Government 2.0 might be on his mind. Certainly, he comes with promises to:

“overhaul government online and mobile phone information and set up a 24-hour one-stop-shop to improve state interactions with the public.”

There is more here on the Microsoft side of the story, although I would caution against more big bang IT infrastructure. Building Government 2.0 isn’t like building railways or roads (although I wouldn’t say no to better wifi and wireless internet access on the train).

He needs to be thinking of small pieces, loosely joined and using Government 2.0 to reconstitute how the state innovates and delivers services. Government 2.0 is not about applying a veneer of social media over current infrastructure.

Will this happen? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next 100 days.

Your intranet *still* isn’t working

[Andrew McAfee] polled the audience about their Intranet.  NOBODY finds their own intranet easier to find information on, than the global unmanaged Internet.  The people trying to make intranets easy to use are failing at this job.  Bad situation and a deep puzzle.

Euan Semple, knowledge manager at BBS noted that managers talked mostly about “I can’t find anything”.  They have a big content management system.  Most of it was static documents stored in “knowledge coffins”.  One problem is that the structure was determined by someone else.  If user does not have the same mental model as the person who organized it, they can’t find anything.  If they do find something, the resulting document was usually terribly out of date.

Sharing his notes from a recent conference presentation by Andrew McAfee, Keith Swenson from Fujitsu shares this all too familiar anecdote about the failure of traditional intranets.

What’s amazing is that we know this is true – we’ve know for years. But people are still desperately trying to fix these intranets and failing despite stronger governance, best practice information architecture, the latest software upgrades, etc etc…

Maybe its time to try something else?

Social objects in the enterprise

We have to start thinking about social objects in the enterprise as having two primary purposes: to collect patterns, via the metadata generated around the social object; and to collect pattern recognisers, via the communities built around the social object.

This is the third in a series of posts about ‘Social Objects’ (with at least one more to come) from JP Rangaswami. I mentioned Social Objects in passing in my recent Architected for Collaboration presentation at BarCampCanberra 2011. JP helps explain this idea in more detail.

Building a ‘networked society’ in Australia, with the NBN

Connecting Communities is a groundbreaking review of the community benefits and innovation enabled by broadband in the UK and the policy implications for Australia. Commissioned by Huawei Australia but independently researched and compiled by Dr Tim Williams, Connecting Communities is based on a wealth of case-studies, interviews and analysis combined with a sharp personal insight. The report offers compelling real life evidence of the impact of broadband – on public services, democratic activity, and on communities themselves. Its conclusion that ‘broadband is too important to be left to geeks and engineers’ and that the objective should be to build not just a network but a ‘networked society’ will provoke debate. The author also hopes to promote and inspire engagement and discourse between Australian businesses, industry groups, Government and, of course, communities themselves.

Maybe he is preaching to converted, but I really like the optimistic, community benefit focused message in this report. Its a counterpoint to the ‘hard’ technology and cost-benefit debate that has been the focus around the NBN so far.