… I learned listening to Russell Davies at last night’s Firestarters. He was talking about GDS and their work on GOV.UK.

1. If you’ve made something brilliant, and it doesn’t explain itself, you’ve not made something brilliant. 

Or, show the thing. Better to make what’s needed than explain what needs to be made. It’s quicker, and you’ll find out more accurately whether you were right.

2. Say less.

Not only do less. But also, say less about it. Make fewer claims on behalf of what you’ve done. And don’t even mention what you’re going to do. Solve problems with humility, don’t fret about recognition.

3. If government can mandate and effect a digital transformation of its organisation, so can your client.

No organisation had it easy. But it’s not intrinsically impossible, either. Our role is to help our clients, not bemoan their situation. Every organisation lives out its embedded assumptions. Understand them, work with them, but focus on the how to change, not why.

4. Don’t squander people’s time for the sake of reputation. 

Don’t try to impress users. Just solve their needs. The job at hand is to create digital services so good that people prefer to use them. I can’t think of a brand that wouldn’t want that as their brief.

5. There is no 5.

I thought there would be. But I’ve sacrificed a lot of what I might have said so I can save you the time. It wasn’t complicated to do. But it was hard.

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