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Tech, design, business, messaging, and more. Writing about product stuff is a job and a passion.

What if given a specific set of circumstances you could predict the future or see the past? What if you could foresee the things people would need too?

If you’ve seen the current BBC show DEVS you’ll know that this may well be possible in the fictional world it’s set. For those of you that haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so; it’s awesome. The role of product management is, in many ways analogous to the goal of DEVS. To consider a set of circumstances and, from those:

a) identify issues, challenges and desired outcomes

b) identify the optimum ways in which to solve the issues, overcome the challenges and deliver the desired outcomes

c) design and build a solution or service that does b)

So…


Enveloping ourselves into a multidimensional vortex of time travel, let’s go on an odyssey. Warping through an 11th dimensional wormhole of space and time to see how things change between now and 2031.

And change they most definitely will.

A renaissance in service delivery

Looking back from 2031, we’ll see that we were on the cusp of enlightenment. The cusp of an age of data, orchestration and automation. We’d see that in 2021, we rose to the precipice of a renaissance that had its genesis catalysed by a pandemic not seen in a century. As with any renaissance driven by a traumatic event:

“It’s always darkest before the dawn” Dan Brown (also Florence and the Machine)

To help…


A mission statement seems somewhat nonsensical if it is nothing more than aspirational.

How does a CEO know whether they are reaching closer to, delivering, or failing to deliver their mission statement?

To deconstruct a mission statement from an aspirational snippet into a model that one can work with, I have created the following:

Measuring the Mission © John McMahon

This model is cyclical; arrows going backwards, to reflect this is a living and fluid process.

Conveying that things might not always work.

The wrong measures/OKRs could be being recorded.

Methodologies may be flawed.

The strategies to achieve what the customer wants may need nuance.


Introduction

The purpose of this document is to set out a standard, objective approach to the appraisal of the APIs available for a given service area of local government.

These are common functions that would be available to a user in a back office application that one might need to be able to replicate from an external source e.g. an online form, self service portal, mobile app or chat bot etc.

This will cover the service area of Council Tax.

Given council tax is generally the highest volume area for transactions within a council, the importance of having effective APIs cannot…


Dinosaur with device

Not long ago, I was informed by my teenage niece that “email was for dinosaurs”.

Slightly dumbfounded, I thought about it more. Email definitely did not have the same level of immediacy that the patience poor Generation Z desires. This moniker — Generation Z, Gen Z or Zillenial is part of a wider, broad strokes categorisation of the generations.

Born in 1980, I just scrape into the Generation Y (Millenial) category and it got me thinking.

Email has not really evolved from the service it was when I started using it in 1997. Partly because it is so entrenched into…


In three pictures:

The needs of our customer’s customers influence the problems our customers have

In an earlier blog, we talked about how we enhanced our eDesigner (IEG4’s online forms builder) product to enable non-technical users to capture geo-location based incidents. This was but one of the Lego blocks we had in mind when shaping services that revolve around location.

Essentially, capturing where an issue is, without code, enabled teams to build ‘Report it’ functions that are simple for customers to use.

Four other blocks of Lego were in our minds. We’ve now delivered three of these:

The ability to create a process/case that contains the location captured without code

The ability to retrieve the…


Imagine, as a local authority citizen, walking down a corridor where each door relates to a page shown every time a hyperlink is clicked, that potentially leads you to the information you require.

Many doors may need to be opened before you find the answer you want. In fact, with this analogy, it doesn’t matter the circumstance of the person opening the door, the time of year, whether revenues and benefits recovery and billing has happened; each door remains fixed in place, and the answers remain hidden.

It doesn’t sound the most effective way to respond to customer enquiries does it?

Yet, that is how citizen legacy self-serve solutions for Revenues and Benefits work. …


During the inaugural eDesigner (IEG4’s online forms builder) hackathon, one of the things that was heavily voted for by our users was the ability for citizens to report issues on a map. Indeed, by the end of the day we had a prototype created.

As they say, location matters, and we felt this was an important function to add to eDesigner as a part of the personalisation strategy we have in our digital services. …


For organisations engaged with customers around many different interconnected products on a regular basis, it makes commercial sense to invest in developing a single view of the customer across legacy infrastructure. Particularly when information in each silo needs to be understood in order to make effective business decisions.

In the private sector, organisations faced with such challenges have invested large financial amounts in IT for decades, to reach a stage of knowing their customer at any precise moment in time, whilst protecting their investment in legacy. …

John McMahon

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