Humble advice to any public service leader getting to grips with a new brief: ask to see your organisation's list of services

Not the acronym-laden pseudo-services that obfuscate, with names like "hubs" and "portals".
I mean user-led "good services are verbs" services, named with words that anyone can understand

10+ years ago, Dunleavy and Margetts wrote that digital era governance has three main characteristics: reintegration, digitisation, and needs-based holism.
The hardest of these has been needs-based holism. Until now

Across the public sector, small bands of service designers are working to redescribe, in straightforward terms, what their organisations help people to do.
Their work is founded on primary user research, with the people who use and deliver the services

Accountability for a whole, needs-based service may well be diffused across organisational boundaries. In that case, it's even more important that everyone involved shares a clear common purpose

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So, if you want to learn what your organisation does, ask to see its list of services. Bonus points if the answer is at a publicly accessible web address

If there isn't yet a list of services covering your area, ask who's working on it, and what help they need to complete and sustain this simple idea whose time has come

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