I found out earlier today that Powerpoint is 20. Microsoft’s version of it is a year younger, as they bought the developer in 1988. Over the 7 years that I’ve worked in, around and for government, I’ve done a few hundred presentations, often on e-government, sometimes on project delivery and occasionally on other topics such as cultural change, organisational blockers and such like. I thought I’d start digging into some of those to see what I said and whether it’s still relevant.
From late 2001, I ended most of my slide decks either with a “do list” or with a “lessons learned” – the former was for UK government presentations, the latter often either for supplier presentations or for foreign governments (I reckon we averaged 2 visits a month to our offices during the time of the Office of the e-Envoy).
The first do list I put up, at the “electronic government” conference was on 21st November 2001:
Fittingly perhaps, it started with an admonition to narrow down existing do lists – I could already see people building complex sets of inter-related actions to deliver their own visions of e-government. Experience inside and outside of government taught me that we needed some of the basics first: XML schema definitions (I’d already worked, very indirectly, on Self Assessment and PAYE whilst at the Inland Revenue who I think were ahead of the game in seizing the XML opportunity), authentication standards (T-scheme was already looking like the wrong horse to back I think), and shared infrastructure (there was no way to implemented joined up online government if everyone had their own systems).
Perhaps the big topic was the buyer/provider point – a re-wording of JY’s wholesale/retail model. Departments needed to understand who they were retailing to and who they were wholesaling to and establish different strategies for each. I think this point is still outstanding in much of what has been done in global e-government. Too much is assumed to be essentially retail (i.e. provided at all stages of the process by government) and too little is wholesale (i.e mass market input mechanisms offered to 3rd parties who can wrap their own products and services around them).
I have dozens more of these and they make for cheap blogs, so expect a few more to surface over the coming weeks. I’m also using a new blog tool that I’ve found easier than the standard blogger.com web pages. It’s Microsoft’s own Windows Live Writer. I stumbled across it quite by accident yesterday. It’s easy to set up, provided you understand your domain name web hierarchy and passwords (I had to look them up of course) and, so far at least, works quickly and effectively.