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1. How can you involve people in developing solutions?
Apply techniques used in other disciplines to help people come up with ideas o Show people what ideas are coming through to build momentum
Help people help each other develop solutions o Coming up with ideas o Case study: What skills would you want to share?
Focus ideas on community outcomes o Break up the stages of developing ideas in ways which are practical o Case study: What would make your area a better place?
Test new ways of producing research o Explore how you can use the competition to gather and analyse insights o Case study: How are we going to use the ideas?
Identify new technological trends o o What would make it easier for you to use technology? Case study: How do you think about how to make services easy to use?
Show your organisation how the ideas can inform their priorities o o o o Categorise ideas put forward to your competition Support citizens to shift to online personalised services Managing information to improve decision making Enable users to group together to solve problems
2. How do you get people to take part in your competition?
Develop a stakeholder engagement strategy o o Work with your partners to engage and manage expectations Get feedback from stakeholders to design the message and process
3. How can you ensure the benefits can be realised?
Create measures of success Issue challenges based on local priorities o Issue challenges that are relevant to your service’s priorities
Involve the public to suggest ideas o o Identify what resources you can secure Collaborate with partners who can provide competition resources
Agree criteria to review ideas & prototypes o o o Work with your partners and sponsors to design criteria Provide a competitive element by securing sponsors Select the most highly rated ideas to be developed into prototypes
4. How can you support people to come up with prototypes?
Explain what you mean by a prototype o Tell developers what you want them to come up with
Define the specification to provide to developers o o Enable people to have the resources to help them develop prototypes Make systems and data integrated and re-usable
Explain to developers how the event will work o o Invite external participants to describe what resources could be used Update people on how the event will work how they can prepare
Show developers how they can use open data to come up with prototypes
5. How can you involve partners in shaping the process?
o o o o Involve people representing your partners Define the challenges Involve your staff to guide developers Define the expertise you have that can help people
Use approaches to help developers come up with prototypes at your event o o Provide a combination of structure and flexibility Invite people who are willing to make the day work
Review the prototypes o Select criteria that you would use to review your own services
Use the judging to learn lessons from the prototypes o o o o o Identify gaps and assets you can use to develop the idea Plan for future development of the prototype to ensure sustainability Design the prototype around the needs & assets of the customer group Use specialist techniques to help develop the idea into a prototype Consider tools that make the user fully engaged with the prototype
Offer prizes for the competition o o Offer prizes to the winners of the best idea and prototype Provide non-financial prizes to help take forward the prototypes
Provide routes for ideas and prototypes who haven’t won o o o Ensure that people can continue to work on prototypes together Report the event so others can learn from it Celebrate and recognise everyone’s contribution
Identify what could be improved after the competition o o Work through strong relationships and existing networks What could we have improved?
Introduction With the financial constraints they face, public services need to explore more agile and efficient ways of making use of ICT. Various councils have responded to this through launching calls for ideas or competitions, whether it's involving staff and users to rethink ways of working, getting ideas for local budgets, developing banks of social capital or connecting students with entrepreneurs to stimulate innovation. We have co-designed a programme to help public services in Kent engage communities & SMEs to prototype solutions to local challenges. We designed an approach focused on impact and sustainability by getting entrepreneurs to build on community ideas and secured partners to get residents to test prototypes and experts to support the winners to develop business models. Through the lessons learned from this programme, we’ve developed a guide to help organisations who are looking to get o o ideas and prototypes that be used as applied research to inform development of projects and services methods of engagement & access to digital entrepreneurs to explore opportunities for future collaboration & joint development of solutions
What is Kent Connects? Kent Connects is the lead technology partnership for Kent and Medway. It has already invested in a single, county wide infrastructure (both technology and people) to enable its partners to join up and share their services delivery mechanisms in a secure, robust and cost effective environment. Kent Connects is an extremely effective and productive strategic partnership facilitating partner projects by providing advice and sharing best practice and resources. If you would like to find out more about Kent Connects or Developing Solutions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can you use the guide? Please find below symbols to help you understand how to use the guide: Categories Sections of the guide Examples
Steps of the process Recommendations Examples used our competition in
1. How can you open up the development of solutions?
To open up the development of ideas and solutions to entrepreneurs, universities & colleges and public service staff: Apply techniques used in other disciplines to help people come up with ideas o Apply techniques used in disciplines like design & research or even fields like art or community development – such as blank canvas or skills dating - to stimulate people to come up with ideas
People might have seen something that uses technology in a really creative way. Encourage them through the online platform to think about how these new ways of using ICT could help improve their neighbourhood or public services. Show people what ideas are coming through to build momentum o o We blogged “idea of the week” to highlight good ideas coming through To be open and transparent, we published the scores of all the ideas.
Help people help each other develop solutions Coming up with ideas sounds really easy, but sometimes to get the simple but most effective ones, it's worth thinking about how to stimulate them. Breaking up the ideas makes the process seem more meaningful to people taking part and more likely for them to want to work together to develop the ideas. Coming up with ideas We started off by looking at what skills people want to learn and share and then onto what would make it easier for them to use technology , how people want to make their neighbourhood a better place and how people want to help each other. What skills would you want to share? From showing people how to cook to encouraging young people into sport , many of the ideas build on people's personal motivations to either learn or share expertise with others. This is often the easiest way of getting individuals to help each other.
Focus ideas on community outcomes
Break up the stages of developing ideas in ways which are practical – such as what skills people want to learn and share, how people want to improve their neighbourhood and how people want to help each other
What would make your neighbourhood a better place? We wanted to enable people to reflect on what would make their neighbourhood a better place. It was very striking how much people focused on what physical improvements were needed, whether it was making their streets cleaner or look more appealing - and what behaviour changes could improve community spirit. Test new ways of producing research o Explore how you can use the competition in such a way that you can gather and analyse insights and prototype ways to turn ideas into research
How are we going to use the ideas? We explored how we could make sense of the ideas people submitted as new forms of community insight. This included mapping a "neighbourhood of ideas" or creating personas on how people want to help others.
Identify new technological trends If you want to understand how your service can adapt to the changing trends in how people use technology and what tools they use, design approaches that enable you to gain insights on how o o people can move to digital by default by focusing on what would make it easier for people to use technology you can encourage re-use of your ICT assets and of your partners such as open data, customer relationship systems and development environments
What would make it easier for you to use technology? All of us will reject a way of doing things that we think will make us look stupid whether it’s learning how to use technology or repairing a car. We worked with community groups & students to help them come up with ideas that can help them think about what makes it easier for them to want to use ICT!
How can you think innovatively about how to make services easier to use? Many people put forward simple solutions from being able to access information in a single place to being able to contact people in your neighbourhood via getting text alerts when your bin needs emptying.
Show your organisation how the ideas can inform their priorities To understand the potential of this process to provide applied research to inform development of projects and services, categorise the ideas put forward to your competition by different types of approaches based on how they can improve the capability of partners to deliver their priorities or inform the development of services. This will help you work out where to direct the ideas in your services and in what areas your customers and partners would be enthusiastic in providing feedback on or even shaping projects that you want to involve them in. Types of approaches to improve the capability of partners Over 40% of ideas support citizens to shift to personalised online services, while close to 30% show a desire to make the best use of technology assets owned by public services, while over a quarter could support them to solve their own problems. Slightly less popular were approaches to support people to group together to solve their own problems or to manage information to improve decision making.
See http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/types-ofapproaches-2 to visualise
2. How do you get people to take part in your competition?
To ensure you can test out effective “methods of engagement and access to digital entrepreneurs to explore opportunities for future collaboration & joint development of solutions”: Develop a stakeholder engagement strategy o Work with your partners to ask questions you could use to understand how to engage and manage expectations. These could include: o What audiences do you want to reach out to? o Why would persuade them to take part in the event? o What content would appeal to them? o What content should you feature? o What format would appeal to them? o How can they contribute? o What tools can you provide that enable them to contribute?
Get feedback from stakeholders to design the message and process Feedback provided suggested we should focus on the following: o Can do something for the good of the public o People are willing to go the extra mile o Create commitment by the councils to work with the developers to get the apps adopted o Signposting to the website & marketing the app o Focus on market share, content and reach We worked with existing networks to identify and invite 1230 local and over 5000 national members to take part o invited over 370 professionals & groups in Kent working in the ICT sector o partnered with local colleges and organisations to host workshops to enable 140 users to submit ideas to the competition o promoted the competition at key facilities including 12 Libraries and 9 Gateways, as well as to 120 delegates at the Kent Connects Conference o issued press releases to 90 media outlets and got press in UKAuthoriITy, The Register, LGC and the Guardian and received High Impact Status from the Global Entrepreneurship Week o secured participants to the event from across Kent and beyond with 40 delegates attending
3. How can you ensure the benefits can be realised?
Create measures of success Before identifying any indicators that come to mind, start up with exploring those measures of success which can show how (well) you’ve achieved your objectives, managing the balance between qualitative and quantitative metrics. Objectives Measures Targets Actual % Over/Under Target
Issue challenges based on local priorities To ensure that the entrepreneurs you engage can produce ideas and prototypes that can be used as applied research to inform development of your projects and services , design approaches that: o Issue challenges1 that are relevant to your service’s priorities and accessible enough for the public to relate to and where you can provide ICT assets to developers to use
What were the challenges we issued? There are two challenges we invited people to submit their ideas to on how the use of digital technology can… 1. Help people help each other in your neighbourhood There are many opportunities for how the use of technology could improve people’s neighbourhood, whether it's to help people find a voice, share skills for a good cause, or even organise community cleanups. 2. Make it easier for you to report issues to your council There are many ways that technology is being used for people to report issues, whether it's reporting a pothole that needs fixing, texting in a photo of waste on the street or sharing your experience with frontline staff. And that information can be used in really creative ways. But there are issues which people can’t report easily. Who was eligible to participate? This competition is open to any UK resident. To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, all visualizations and other contributions you make to this challenge will be covered under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.
1. Help people help each other in your neighbourhood and 2. Make it easier for you to report issues to your council
Involve the public to suggest ideas o Identify what resources you can secure to enable you to involve people to suggest ideas online on how ICT could be used to tackle those challenges in advance of the event you invite them to
Collaborate with partners who can provide competition resources Kent Connects partnered with DotGovLabs to develop an online space for the competition at http://bit.ly/submityouridea, securing over 16,2292 views on the competition website, 254 comments with 8 prototypes put forward. The proportional increase in people engaging in the competition showed that the development and stimulation of ideas built strong momentum for getting people exciting about the process. What is Dot Gov Labs? Dot Gov Labs is an online innovation competition platform which has over 1700 entrepreneurs, developers and users of public services. Public service agencies (so far including DWP, NHS and Cabinet Office) put forward challenges they require ICT solutions to and people are invited to submit ideas to these. Each challenge will have different criteria and prizes, but runs through the same process. We also obtained venues & organisation of events by Mid Kent & Thanet Colleges, Turner Contemporary & Gravesham DC with 200 people.
Agree criteria to review ideas & prototypes o o Work with your partners and sponsors to design criteria that means you can use the ideas to inform the development of projects and services Provide a competitive element by securing sponsors 3 to provide awards to the best ideas and prototypes developed
Select the most highly rated ideas to be developed into prototypes The winners of the best ideas - a civic entrepreneur developing a way to incentivise people to look after each other and local students making it easier for their neighbours to use their smart phones to access services - demonstrated the key principles we’ve been encouraging. The ideas put forward to both Challenges were evaluated by the Judges based on the following criteria: o o o
How well could the idea help people help each other? How easily could the technology suggested be used by people? How well could this idea offer volume of take up that would deliver a profit?
The most viewed challenge on http://dotgovlabs.direct.gov.uk since it began in 2010 Sponsored by Kent Business School, Lagan, Geovation and Ordnance Survey
The ideas with the highest ratings overall were: o Challenge #1 “Help People Help Each Other”: Sunshine Bank “Online community of young people and others who earn virtual tokens of recognition for posting the things they do to take care of themselves, other people and our world ” developed by a digital entrepreneur Challenge #2: “Make It Easier to Report Issues”: Abbreviation 999 “When a friend asks you for a number for the doctors but you don't know the number, use this app. When looking for a good taxi service but you can't remember the number, use this” developed by a group of students from Thanet College.
4. How can you support people to come up with prototypes?
Explain what you mean by a prototype o Tell developers that you want them to come up with visual representations of what the person is putting forward (i.e. a website, app, etc), but these don’t need to be working applications. Prototypes therefore could be wireframes, screenshots, mockups, prototype websites, etc.
To give you an idea of prototypes developed in similar circumstances included Rewired State, CityCamp Brighton and SI Camp (all developed over 48 hours). Define the specification to provide to developers o Enable your digital entrepreneurs to have the resources to help them develop prototypes that could work with your organisation’s systems.
Make systems and data integrated and reusable We provided developers with a data request facility from www.openkent.org.uk and provision of the Lagan Open 311 Environment for developers to create apps that link their sites, social networks or mobile applications direct to council customer relationship systems. We also opened our technical and enterprise architecture to SMEs to improve front/back office integration with external apps (as demonstrated by developers being able to use Open 311 and OS Open Space) and created open APIs4 - as demonstrated by the APIs of Events & Activities data and overall open data from Open Kent.
This enabled developers to come up with prototypes in under a day from wire frames, apps to mashups to outline specifications.
Explain to developers how the event will work
Like Mumsnet using Directgov tools built on standardised interfaces to provide their users with official up-to-date information on schools and family services
Invite external participants to describe what resources could be used to help people develop prototypes. Update people on how the event would work and how they could prepare in advance of the day by describing the challenges and what developers could consider when building on ideas
We hosted a twitter chat to discuss any queries people had about the event. Show developers how they can use open data to come up with prototypes Local public services also have ICT assets that could be re-used by entrepreneurs. There are amazing opportunities for open data to be used. Competitions organised across the world have shown how effective they are at illustrating the opportunities it can offer to the public. You can see a selection of them here. We know that open data is a very new area for the public. Most people will never have heard of open data, let alone used it to create visualisations. Others however may have used tools to turn data into new web applications. They are also using APIs from customer relationship management systems in a similar way. That’s why it’s an opportunity for public services to stimulate use of open data by encouraging innovators to use datasets to turn ideas into new ways of using technology. o o o o Work with relevant partners who could sponsor and support the development of the winning prototypes Get senior stakeholders within the partners organising the competition to review the prototypes to give them ownership over the process Involve officers with different types of skills from our partner organisations to act as critical friends Profile the winning prototypes to provide them with kudos and credibility
Show prototypes that have been developed through similar competitions We reviewed prototypes that had been developed through similar competitions and uses of open data and open 311 to show people taking part in our competition how they could prepare for developing prototypes on the day.
“ The best entries aren't necessarily the technically brilliant applications. It is more about making somethi .” ( Jim Morton, Applications Architect for Warwickshire County Council)
“ It is a great opportunity to be really imaginative and yet produce something that will have a solid local im ” (Kevin Malley, from Bristol Futures)
5. How can you involve partners in shaping the process?
o Involve people representing your partners to review the ideas and prototypes basing the criteria on financial and social impact
Define the challenges We defined the challenges for developers in a much more technical way than we did for local communities:
Challenge 1: Help people help each other in your neighbourhood”, they will be asked to develop a prototype based on an idea submitted by the public in that challenge and use OS Open Data. Challenge 2: Make it easier for you to report issues to your council, they will be asked to develop a prototype based on an idea submitted by the public in that challenge. They will also be able to use the Lagan Open 311 Integration Toolkit if they wish.
Define the expertise you have that can help people o Involve your staff to advise and guide developers on how their prototypes would work in a public service environment, as well as learn new techniques themselves.
The expertise provided by the critical friends for Developing Solutions included o Designing wireframes and mock-ups of user interfaces o Interaction design or user experience o Creating applications using OS Open Data or OS Open Space o Developing software prototypes, database design, APIs or outline code o Managing customer focused projects We learnt from the approach of partners, such as Geovation we had purposefully built relationships with to gain expertise on how to develop competition-based prototyping challenges. We are now helping Geovation shape its forthcoming challenge – the first ever focusing on localities
Use approaches to help developers come up with prototypes at your event Just as you can learn from other disciplines to involve people to come up with ideas, use approaches – like agile development - that can help developers come up with prototypes in an easy and effective way o Provide a combination of structure and flexibility to create an atmosphere of purpose
Ensure the process of the day challenges people to prioritise and iterate exclusively based on the criteria of the competition, focusing on value to the business and the customer. “The structural elements for me included the competition (giving our activity an edge and excitement), the time-bound nature of the day (we had to present our work at the end of it), the identified roles on hand to help us out (are there other roles that could help with the process perhaps groups?) and John’s style of facilitation (which made everyone feel heard).” (Participant on the day) o Invite people who have a willingness to make the day work while having different experiences to build trust amongst each other
Enable people to self-organise into teams. Beyond the people who put forward the prototypes, invite people who can provide their cross-functional skills to help develop the prototypes. This challenges them to work out as a team how to take decisions and responsibility for specific tasks to produce the prototype. “I think the main ingredient for me was we discussed without prejudice: everyone expressed their opinions and that view-point was as valid as anyone's; and reasoned argument was the name of the game. The day worked because we had a belief in the goal.” (Participant on the day)
Review the prototypes o Select criteria that you would use to review your own services or products . This will mean the prototypes that have been developed can inform better ways of designing and developing your own ICT applications Judging Criteria Score (1- Weighting 5) (1-5) 5 2 Overall Score (Score x Weighting)
Submission Questions What’s the idea? Who help? would it
What technology would it use?
How would people use it?
What would you call the idea? What is the potential commercial value in this idea
How well the idea would achieve the objective of the Challenge selected How well the idea put forward would benefit and help the selected target audience How well the technology put forward would be able to implement the idea in a way that could help the target audience How well the process to use the idea would work on the technology put forward and could be used without difficulty by the target audience How well the idea could be understood to the target audience? Does this idea offer the volume of take up that would deliver a reasonable profit over costs?
Use the judging to learn lessons from the prototypes Eight prototypes were developed below. The most popular type of outcome the prototypes were trying to achieve was to help citizens use quality of life data to make choices, including both Sunlighting in Kent and the Learning Game who won the prizes for Best Prototype. “The criteria gave us some ideas to work with, rather than determining what we produced.” (Participant on the day)
You can see the individual evaluations of the prototypes hyperlinked below. Here is a summary of the key points o Identify gaps and assets you can use to develop the idea o Learn from entrepreneurs working in public services on what gaps exist in the market to spin out online services
Build on existing work in opening up specific datasets, making it more likely to make the prototype up to date and sustainable Show “connected difference”, by combining elements of innovations from the civil society and technology sector o Link up with competitors who are developing similar ideas and different skills to explore opportunities to join up your idea with theirs5
Plan for future development of the prototype to ensure sustainability o o Enable the flexibility for data from beyond the sector to be included into the application, incentivising other stakeholders to provide data Look towards the future, on how to position the prototype with external stakeholders as well as how it could be used by people within organisations
Design the prototype around the needs & assets of the customer group o o o Strip out all the complexity of the idea and focus exclusively on the needs you’re trying to meet Tackle unmet needs with specific customer groups using existing infrastructure and explore how the technology could be used in new ways Work with young people to build apps for the future that can improve the customer experience
Use specialist techniques to help develop the idea into a prototype o o Demonstrate clarity of purpose, tapping into what people might be thinking when they’re online Use personas and scenarios from user design methodologies to describe the prototype to people that can develop it
Consider tools that make the user fully engaged with the prototype o o o Provide the platform for people to take action using the assets displayed Make it “usable by default”, working off-line as well as online Think of the user by focusing on embedding mechanisms to build trust online
Offer prizes for the competition o Offer prizes to the winners of the best idea and prototype of each of the challenges you issue for your competition and explore if you can get them jointly sponsored by suppliers or other organisations.
Provide non-financial prizes that can help winners take forward the prototypes
“As there were some similarities with Paul Brewer’s ‘I can help’ solution, we met to share ideas.” From evaluation of Sunlighting in Kent
The “User Testing” Workshop is hosted by Tunbridge Wells Council bringing together a selection of users of their services to test out the winning prototypes. The winners will also be invited to gain vital feedback on how to improve usability. The “Prototype to Proposition” Workshop is hosted by Kent Business School where a cohort of its MBA students will work with entrepreneurs on developing a business proposition that will help them take their prototypes to market. Provide routes for ideas and prototypes who haven’t won o Ensure that people who submit ideas that are not selected to go forward to the next stage of the competition can continue to work on them together online . Indeed these prototypes could be beneficial to other local areas and public services.
Social reporters are valuable not just to connect these ideas and tools between communities, but to get people with those ideas to discover and link up with people! o Report the event so others can learn from it
The Big Lottery Fund’s Social Reporting Programme was present at the Developing Solutions Camp to capture insights on the day as well as connect ideas with other projects they’ve been working with. They filmed video interviews and report the event on new models of councils supporting civil society using existing resources. o Celebrate and recognise everyone’s contribution
By participating at the event, all participants received a Certificate valuing their collaboration in helping develop prototypes and they will be able to work with professionals with a range of digital and technical expertise in designing prototypes on community-based ideas. By profiling the ideas and prototypes, we’ve provided the kudos and credibility to encourage people who put them forward to pitch them to other competitions, such as Computer Weekly’s Awards or NESTA’s Innovation in Giving. Identify what could be improved after the competition Work through strong relationships and existing networks to signpost the groups to organisations related to their challenge area that the event organisers have a strong
relationship with. Recommend encouraging groups to make use of their own relationships to take forward their prototypes.
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