January 5th, 2023
Four days after the winter holiday break, it feels like I’m finally getting my feet under me — though still trying to decipher some cryptic pre-holiday notes to myself! Happy New Year!
A few pieces I picked back up this week:
Environmental Protection Digital Services — Next steps on the December policy workshop with the Land Remediation Services team. I worked with the team on how we can visualize all the service transformation activities in play, including product development, staffing, policy development, public engagements and more. Bringing these together in a visual roadmap will help to identify complementary and competing activities and timelines. And, it’s a helpful tool to use for communicating change to staff — and holding ourselves accountable to. We’re also balancing focusing on the immediate Land Remediation Services product in development, while looking ahead to other lines of service across the division (and ensuring we have the staffing and strategic approach to do both at the same time!).
Compliance and Enforcement Digital Services — Discussions to sequence (design, development) work and planning for staff leaves and development team onboarding January through March. Also dove a little bit deeper into the C+E digital inspection application to understand how it’s managed and funded. My thinking is continuing to evolve on a portfolio product management approach for C+E applications based on current program accountability, funding and staffing approaches (these all vary across the four C+E applications).
Building the team — The job posting for the new Director, Digital Delivery in Climate Action Secretariat (CAS) closes next week. I’ve been working to set up next steps for this competition and thinking ahead to onboarding and key areas of focus. Excited to have this new position on the broader Service Transformation Branch umbrella!
I’m also working through the human resources hoops to officially update our EPD Director, Digital Delivery role with the Public Service Agency — and hopefully smooth the future path for the same process with the CAS role.
I also thought about how where the STB team might grow in the future. Service transformation crosses all parts of an organization (from policy to front-line staff and all the staff/change management pieces) and I see four key competencies needed on our team: design, data, content and development/technical. Our collaborative approach with other groups (like the Business Improvement Unit, central agencies, program staff) fill in the gaps.
Data and content feel like our biggest opportunity spaces — we have strong design depth with Kevin and Harry’s roles (and my background as a service designer). We also have strong partners with the Natural Resource Information and Digital Services (NRIDS) team on our technical/development approaches — a fantastic partner with the Architecture team and their dedicated Environment support staff. Our missing links are in data — skilled data analysts and stewards with a strategic/ministry perspective and content — plain language wizards who can ensure the public understands our web content and digital applications. Next steps are to move into these spaces!
Bits and bobs —
- Throughout the week I did some plain language review and planning for usability testing on a regional water quality website.
- Re-connected with staff after the holiday break and pushed through some finicky finance/admin pieces — why are we forced to use Microsoft Edge for government systems?!
- Discussions on staffing digital teams in partnership with NRIDS
- Finally, I wrapped the week participating in a great ecosystems mapping workshop (sessions aims below) around key users and relationships for climate adaptation data.
- Oh! And my son turned six on Tuesday.
Short week, short notes. I enjoyed 10 badly-needed days off over the holidays and went full matrix disconnect; precious little screen time other than a handful of classic action movies. Finding the rhythm his week was a bit more challenging than expected, but I’m feeling back in tune with the work as Friday draws to a close.
Picking up on a thread from just before the break, I (somewhat reluctantly) volunteered to participate in the DigitalBC call next Tuesday.
Is the progress scaling design and creating bigger/better impacts in the BC government stalled? Yes and no — we’ll dive in deep Tuesday. You can sign up to join the stream here. Looking forward to the discussion with Jill, Sarah, and Martha.
I continued to support Jackie on EPD service prioritization and roadmapping, working on a scoring rubric across a range of datapoints when considering how to position the product team’s next moves. A work in progress but something we need to have dialled in (and decisions made) in short order.
Speaking of roadmapping, I looped back into the compliance and enforcement design research and restarted our roadmapping work for where the team will focus over the next quarter — a few priorities, from wrapping up the current state discovery scope to a straw dog of what the future state complaints management ‘system’ might look like. It’s an exciting juncture in this initiative as the product team gets set to roll on in the next couple months and we’re keen to set the table in useful and effective ways.
Today (Friday) I met with Michael Pardy from Royal Roads (my alma matter) to talk about the design curriculum/pedagogy they leverage in their BComm program. I’m looking for ways to stay involved in academia (hopefully through teaching) and it would seem that both the undergrad and graduate levels have opportunity for contribution. Excited to see where this may go!
Otherwise a decent amount of the week was spent reconnecting with folks 1–1; always a good use of time after a break, picking up threads and being reminded of detail that may have faded. One thing’s for sure, I’m grateful for my colleagues, who share their whole selves and make our collaborations feel much more than the mechanics of work.
Finally, Marlieke Kieboom’s Unbounded Affairs: Public Systemic Design Blog Series is live! Go read the prologue and entry 1. Thanks for having me involved Marli, I deeply respect your critical engagement, thinking, and dialogue — you’ve taught me so much over the years.
I’m off to Edmonton for a few days for in-law hangs and nordic skiing. Let’s close with a photo of Murph from a holiday trail run, because it’s been a while.
The opinions and views expressed in this post are solely the author’s and do not represent those of the Province of British Columbia or any other parties.