I was inspired by a previous Director of Children’s services I reported to - with any digital project the first thing she asked me was ‘so what?’. It’s good to have the confidence to challenge digital people so they get better at speaking in plain English.
Digital to me is just - more modern - administration.
Technology is supposed to make things better. You can challenge corporate - one size fits all - technology driven projects if they don’t work for your service. After all people services are not tick box exercises.
Not sure what it is? Or what it does? Then - decisions makers - just ask. Here are 10 simple questions that you can use in succession when talking to digital people.
What does it do?
How will it work for people without internet access at home?
What‘s the impact does this have on people - how does it make things better?
What have other people that are using it said about it (other teams / councils).
Do they love or hate using it?
How many support calls does it generate and why? (NB have your antennae up for anything blamed on ‘user error’ - its not a good sign).
How long does it take staff to train on this? (NB if the answer is 2 days’ training in a classroom then it’s not intuitive enough).
How does this help my staff deliver services?
In what way is this better or cheaper than a paper process / what we do now?
How will a blind person access this service?
Does it save time?
All technology should make things easier - in what way does this achieve this for our staff and clients?
Perhaps we can put them into an AI driven chatbot.