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The #digitribe community is a group of like-minded local government staff who come together to help build awareness, tools and support to transform council services. The group are passionate about building capability across the Digital Partnership of 31 Scottish councils so that we offer council services that citizens trust and find easy to use. We are a group of enthusiasts for challenging the status quo and the digitribe community provides a safe space to work together to look at the work we are doing in councils and how we can do things differently.


There are a myriad of tools and methods that can help but for some councils they want to know where they can start. This group is looking at agile, lean/six sigma, service design #SAtSD, innovation and benefits realisation (5 approaches).


So, at our meet up on 22 November, we started to sketch out the taxonomy for an online practitioners guide called a "playbook", which includes self-help resources on all the 5 approaches. Jude Quinn from Fife Council led the workshop. Jude had already created personas from discussions with her colleagues in change, customer experience and customer services  in her council. We also had other users in the room with us giving their experiences i.e. Alison McBride from West Dunbartonshire Council and Niall Brittain from South Lanarkshire Council. 


Personas (users of the playbook)



First Jude set out the “who “using the personas above and she captured many reasons why different people would use a “playbook”. We all agreed that people would be likely to access resources to try and solve a  problem so we needed to build in a problem checker to route them to the best tools that could help them. 


Workshop - the taxonomy for the online playbook

Then we started to add the resources we have already around agile, service design, lean/six sigma, innovation and benefits realisation. We know that people want short “How to” video blogs, case studies, templates and tools. In creating a guide like this we need to know if it is making an impact so we need to include a community feedback space where people can tell us how they have used it and share their experiences.


We then looked at how these approaches all fit together and we had a very active conversation about the diagram below. We agreed that the approaches work together and when you use an approach will depend upon the scope and stage of the transformation. Some problems would benefit from certain tools at specific stages and we all agreed that we should not get bogged down with what method we are using.


Linking the different transformation methods (sketch from Steven Kyle, Dundee City Council)

First sketch to try and link approaches but we had lots of talk about this and how the whole thing needed to be circular.

Next sketch but still needs work, we agreed we would link tools across the methods to these stages e.g. understand (link to tools in service design and lean/six sigma who all have this stage).


Having project leads of Jenny Sime, North Ayrshire, Sally Kerr (City of Edinburgh) and Sarah Kelly (West Lothian) input into the conversation about the approaches helped shape where we want to be.


We were very fortunate to have Rachel Dowle from the Office of the Chief Designer at Scottish Government to join our meet up and she gave us a great steer to hold workshops around the stages to find out what council staff need at the various stages. She also talked about how they are working on ensuring leadership buy in at the highest level in Scottish Government to using service design to understand the problem at the earliest stage. It should be part of policy setting to do this work so that we work on the right things. Recently Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy explained that she wanted Scotland to be seen as the international pioneer of service design which is hugely exciting.


So next steps are to work more on the diagram above, start the build of the online playbook, hold workshops with potential users, publish more webinars and gather material on the different approaches. A busy but productive #digitribe meet up and we welcome any observations that you may have. Get in touch.


I would also like to give a huge thank you to everyone who has joined the #digitribe in 2018 and contributed to all of the work of the Digital Partnership. 


We finished off the day with a nice lunch! 



Various members of the digitribe have been / will be involved in presenting transformation capability information through a webinar series. Check them out: