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Wow! What a week!!

Company updates

Visits - As the first week of public sector visits, we are giving our companies amazing exposure.

  • Grant Moir - CEO of Cairngorms National Park. A perfect visit: meet some of the companies and offer contacts and suggestions on go-to-market strategies.

    ‘The CivTech approach was something that I had heard about on the SG Digital Champions course and also at the NDPB CEO Forum. It struck me as an innovative and interesting approach to solving some tricky issues. It was really good to meet some of the people at Codebase to discuss their existing challenges and the solutions that they were bringing to the table. It was also good to see different companies working in the same creative space and to be able to discuss issues with multiple teams. Lots of food for thought and an interesting way to harness digital technology to deliver public policy objectives.’


  • John Connaghan, COO of NHS Scotland - took a particular interest, understandably, in WallScope and Symphonic who are developing solutions for NSS.

'Different kind of working atmosphere compared to the world of the civil servant.  It’s refreshing to see the steps you have taken to fostering a culture of innovation and blue sky thinking but with an underlying theme of practical and pragmatic delivery.'

  • Rebecca Heaney, former marketing director of CodeClan and many other illustrious organisations (!)
  • Good to meet the people behind getsafeonline. Here to meet our Cyber colleagues - where better to host
  • And then we had our very own Digital Directorate colleagues come round - some extremely interesting feedback reflecting well on the companies ...

CivTech® team - This was a strategically productive week. A number of nights spent carving out how I see  the next 3 months leading up to demo day shaping up. Good old MindNode - invaluable! And then quickly thoughts turn to CivTech2... The first key thing was to set out an initial vision statement. See the photo below. By defining our key stakeholders, we can help shape their journeys. Mark and Joe look after our customers (the innovators in the room), Rui looks after our clients (our daring challenge sponsors) and Katie looks after the citizen input and external communities. And I look after our paymasters! What I wanted to steer away from - even in a small team - was a sense that once you hand a customer off to another part of the team they are no longer your responsibility - and ensure that everyone manages their own 'customer' from start to finish.

Companies - It's week 3 and the access our companies are getting is brilliant. What particularly pleased me was one of our teams being introduced to their challenge sponsor's counterparts in another devolved administration.

Workshops - Thanks to our Information Security Officer, Paul Craig, for his workshop on data security.

Events - I had a particularly encouraging meeting at the Scottish Crime Campus' Future and Benefits Realisation Committee. When I presented to them in May, this was still a plan. Five months on it's a reality. I attended ScotSoft16 and was blown away by the positive endorsements from Mike Neilson (Director Digital) and Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, Derek Mackay, who very kindly plugged us 3 times in 30 mins.

Insights - There are a few elements still requiring ironing out. The studio is a little spartan still and it's taking a little longer to get kit in. And evidently we'll need to reschedule the days of the workshops as some of the companies are offsite for a few days a week so attendance isn't as high as it should be. But these are minor things in the big scale.

Final thought - As I have written before: some of this will work, some of this won't. Fast failure is at the heart of innovation and there is nothing half-hearted about this project. Indeed, if we are to deliver an "awesome experience" to our stakeholders, then we must be about the relentless pursuit of excellence...

Still, what a week for us as a project and some of our companies...

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