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Category: work

Bias and barriers in government procurement

I quite often see buyers asking how they can make it easier and more attractive for suppliers to come and work with them. I was also reading PUBLIC’s recent report about government procurement that “Procurement continues to favour insiders and incumbents”. I’ve also recently had conversations with suppliers that some organisations appear to be closed shops to particular suppliers or groups of suppliers. This is all true. We all have biases. This gets talked about a lot in relation to recruitment, but not often in relation to procurement. We quickly form judgements about suppliers and what they’re capable of. Whether…

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So long and thanks for all the…cheese

I’ve been working in central government, in various guises, for ten and a half years. It’s been quite a decade. I don’t tend to talk or write much about what I do. But today, I’ve sat down and made myself go through that career. It’s entailed: 8 roles 8 departments 3 general elections 5 administrations Tens of millions of pounds of budget managed Delivery of over 40 digital projects/services I’ve edited an multi-award winning staff magazine. Developed and operated the first cross government online community using an open source platform. I delivered same day payday loans iterations of G-cloud and…


The road to freedom: reflections on 6 months as a freelancer

I was reading Paul Sutton’s reflections on being freelance for a month and nodding vigorously. I started to write a comment and realised it was morphing into a post on it’s own. So, here are my reflections on having been freelance for almost 6 months. Freedom The sense of freedom is still strong at this point. It’s really hard to describe this feeling. Even when working a contract role which required me being in an office on a daily basis, I still had that sense of freedom. I have no boss putting expectations on me (though my own expectations as my…

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It’s time for a new challenge

I’ve had a fantastic time working for dxw over the last year, but the time has come for me to move on to new challenges. I’ll be leaving dxw at the end of August. I’ve been privileged to work on over 20 great projects in the last year. A few that really stand out in my mind include the National Planning Guidance Policy Framework. From ministerial level down, everyone on the project was completely bought into agile, user needs & testing, from the very beginning. The site is now on its second iteration and providing important planning information in a digital-first way.…

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JFDI: How to run an unconference

I seem to have been talking about this topic a lot in recent weeks.

At CommsCamp13 and UKGovCamp13 I ran sessions with the lovely Simon Whitehouse on this topic.

I’ve been getting lots of questions and requests for a sort of how-to guide.

And hearing a lot of people saying things like ‘I wish there was an unconference on x’, ‘I didnt’ get a ticket to x event’. And I firmly believe the response to this is ‘okay, so organise your own.’ And Dave Briggs says so too.

Housing Camp was launched just days after CommsCamp.

So, go on. What’s stopping you?

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There IS a future for digital comms teams

I took part in on a great session at #ukgc13 run by Julia Chandler on the future of digital comms teams. Julia has also written up some notes from her session and there is a link to her full notes there too.

This subject seems to be coming up a lot lately in conversations and others have been blogging on the subject – see Dan Slee’s excellent post on this topic.

Many people are suggesting that digital comms specialists and teams will disappear in (soonest) two years or five years or ten years.

I’ll set my stall out now. I think this is a load of crap. The same question can be asked of comms teams in general. And I don’t see those going anywhere. Ever.

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*Updated to slightly reframe post…* I’m awake far too early on a Sunday morning but have just been involved in a really interesting Twitter conversation about the correct use of MTs and giving attribution on Twitter this morning. That and other recent tweets grumbling (rightly) about a few things, I thought I’d jot down this quick list of 10 Twitter annoyances I have. I don’t write this as a general rant/moan, but with a genuine desire to want to help people engage better via Twitter (and other social media channels) auto-tweeting only from so-called personal account. Robo-person! Chances are we…

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21 observations from an organiser of CommsCamp13

Slowly coming back from the dead after running my first unconference, the AMAZING CommsCamp13.  Some things I learned: Expect crazy anxiety dreams the night before the event Stop being a perfectionist Charity cake tables are a fantastic addition to an unconference. We need to look at how to increase inclusivity at unconferences. Inclusivity of newbies, women, personality types. Nervousness at participating in pitching isn’t just about gender I could probably talk to Catherine from Public-i forever Local gov comms people are afraid of central gov comms people. Central gov comms people are afraid of local gov comms people. We need…

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