October 28, 2022

In the spirit of transparency and candour, we publish weeknotes reflecting on the what and why for the ENV service transformation team.

Kelsey’s notes

This week felt a little too full (in-person training, sick kids!) — but we’re through it. And Kevin’s back!

The Service Transformation team delivered two of three sessions on Digital Leadership to the Climate Action Secretariat. Highlights below from some of the slides and discussion points. A few high points: engaged executive, in-person learning and team building, great collaboration and storytelling from across the ministry and sector (thanks for joining us Mines Digital Service team!) — and it seemed like the material hit folks at the right level. One final session next week on the practical how-to’s.

Day 1 of Digital Leadership Training: The ‘why’ and key leadership traits.
Day 2: Foundational approaches and perspectives.

The Environmental Protection Digital Services work is humming along. I like to think of it in layers to help me get my head around all the moving parts. My week was spent working through all these layers.

  • Product/delivery team: The team’s in Sprint 1, exploring existing digital systems’ operability with a new digital application. There may even be a migration away from our legacy Oracle database (TBD) — thanks to the Modernization Services team at the Exchange Lab for their potential collaboration on this.
  • Service and policy design: Great work from Jackie this week to map the policy across the service and identify big P (regulations/legislation) changes and little P (processes and ways of working) that need to be addressed. The policy roadmap is broad and deep — next up is prioritizing where we want to focus.
  • The big picture: How do we tie all the pieces together into a clear digital service mission? Karen is working on a roadmap to help tell this story and lay out the broader team’s collective focus. The big picture also includes the existing digital systems and web work that underpin existing services.
  • Hot spots: The contaminated sites application process is a key part of the Province’s housing strategy. It’s one that a variety of development projects in B.C. (including construction of affordable housing, schools, hospitals, etc.) need to move through. This means leadership and all our users are looking to the Digital Services team for specific deliverables and big improvements to improve the application process. The fine line is listening to the needs of key decision-makers and ensuring we’re still supporting the product/service/policy/big picture work (you can’t have one without the other).

Few other pieces through the week:

  • Really enjoyed having time to attend the BC Gov Design Community session — Martha spoke about working in the Open and the Climate Action Secretariat’s Product Team on design research into user needs for emissions industrial reporting data
  • Built out a content strategy on regional water quality issues (and reflected how we need dedicated content design support for this work!)

Kevin’s notes

Whew! I am indeed back, right into the aforementioned training days with CAS! I’ll +1 everything Kelsey said regarding the value of those two mornings, and add how meaningful it was to do it in-person. It’s the sideline coffee convos that glue the cross-functionality of the ministry together, creating a trust layer for us as design (or ‘transformation’) practitioners when partnering with our colleagues from the program areas. I also really enjoyed delivering the Designing From Ambiguity talk, hope to do it again sometime soon!

+1 pt.2 to the EPD work — I’m looking forward to working more closely with Jackie in the coming days on the policy and service stream, from mapping the big and little ‘p’ policies to service lines, to our emergent collaboration with the Strategic Policy crew at ENV, to crafting a roadmap which might action high value changes and create an impact for EPD in the here and now.

Friday I sat on a panel at the Public Sector Network’s Victoria Roadshow:

I spoke to two questions specifically:

  • How do leaders embed a culture of digital adoption in their organizations? How do they ensure buy-in?
  • What strategies can be used to attract and retain the next generation of digital leaders for tomorrow’s public sector?

I’ll admit, due to the packed week I didn’t really put the advance thought into the Q’s that I might of liked. But it wasn’t difficult to speak from the heart. For leaders, digital adoption — that is, contemporary delivery practices — need to be set through example. Champion great services and the people, processes, and backend resources which deliver them. For attracting and retaining the next gen of public sector digital leaders, provide the ability — the aircover — to follow through on the mission and not become mired in bureaucracy. And protect them when the going gets rough. These are the Coles notes of what I’m sure were much more verbose answers at the conference!

A more robust weeknotes from me next week, promise 🤞🏻

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.



notes and reflections from Kelsey Singbeil (A/Executive Director) and Kevin Ehman (Director, Strategic Design) at the Service Transformation Branch

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Service Transformation @ ENV (BC Gov)

notes and reflections from Kelsey Singbeil (A/Executive Director) and Kevin Ehman (Director, Strategic Design) at the Service Transformation Branch