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Tech debt hangover: a tsunami of point solutions and interoperability challenges #Interoperability

Over the years there have been a few subjects I have soapboxed on and interoperability is definitely right up there in my top three.

I left the NHS three years ago now. Even then we were talking about Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards and the challenge around Interoperability. It was one of the programmes of work that Paperless 2020 was set to address.

But, let’s face it, it isn’t in suppliers interests to open up their systems and get things connected. Licence fees and big old lock-ins have been the motivation of many suppliers for a long time.

There…


In the agile process, having an understanding of your users is critical to building user-centred services and meeting their needs. But ensuring the whole team and your stakeholders are aligned, show empathy, and are engaged can be a challenge. During a recent discovery phase, we used role-play to build empathy and champion the need for user-centred design.

Why we introduced role-play

As a User Researcher, I always encourage the team to observe research sessions and take part in group analysis sessions. I also build personas which are fictional character profiles created from user research to represent the users of a service. …


Image of a handshake
Image of a handshake

As of 1 Jan 2021, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the EU. Due to other pressing news, it hasn’t got the attention it deserves. This is a major change for how the UK operates and interacts with its closest business partners, from going on holiday to buying goods and services. As a procurement professional (geek if I’m honest), I get excited by anything to do with procurement, and there are some potential changes afoot!

Overhauling procurement rules

On 15 December, the government published a green paper called Transforming public procurement. This outlines the new plans to transform procurement to…


Wardley Mapping is something we’ve been using at Difrent right from the start. Our CEO, Rachel, used it to determine if Difrent was a realistic and workable idea for a company. She identified a gap in the market using Wardley Mapping, and since Difrent was born, it has been used on multiple projects to add value, even when selling the company!

Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Map used to help identify the right culture for an acquisition
Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Map used to help identify the right culture for an acquisition

What Wardley Mapping can be used for

Wardley Mapping is a brilliant tool for mapping out the landscape of a company, product, service, content strategy, and pretty much anything else. At Difrent, we’ve used it to map ourselves, our industry, our clients and the projects we…


Image: Difrent Talks: Diversity — are we getting the basics right? Difrent logo, Youtube logo
Image: Difrent Talks: Diversity — are we getting the basics right? Difrent logo, Youtube logo

Last week, we spoke to Rita Brockless, Sandeep Bansal and Daniel Leakey about building high-performing digital delivery teams in Healthcare. This was a great panel of experts and they gave us some amazing insight into bringing teams together to deliver quality products and services.

Meet our panellists


Image: Difrent Talks: Building high-performing digital delivery teams in healthcare
Image: Difrent Talks: Building high-performing digital delivery teams in healthcare

Last week, we spoke to Rita Brockless, Sandeep Bansal and Daniel Leakey about building high-performing digital delivery teams in Healthcare. This was a great panel of experts and they gave us some amazing insight into bringing teams together to deliver quality products and services.

Meet our panellists


Podcast Episode 2: Conducting User Research During a Lockdown

Take a listen to our User Researcher’s, Merissa Brown, Erin Grey, and Steven Palmer as they talk to Randal Whitmore about what it’s like to conduct User Research during a lockdown while working on the NHS Jobs platform.

Hear about the inevitable tech woes that become part and parcel of the experience as well as asking the big question — has User Research helped in delivering on the project?

01:06 Organisations we’re working with but is it more about the candidates?

04:00 What are the problems we are trying to save and the vision of the project?

07:35 Is this…


Our Wardley Mapping will transform your team

Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Mapping workshop held online with our experts and clients
Image: A screenshot of a Wardley Mapping workshop held online with our experts and clients

Last month we started work on our latest Wardley Mapping strategic partnership with Defra.

Their Future Farming and Countryside Programme is at the start of an exciting, groundbreaking, eight year project to fundamentally transform agriculture policy in England.

At launch, Janet Hughes, Defra’s Programme Director said:

“Difrent’s Wardley Mapping is able to take the whole team together on a journey into the strategic constraints and opportunities we face around people, technology, data, and operational delivery for our programme.”

“This partnership will help us map out what we have, what we are going to…


Methodologies & Frameworks, WHY?

Printed sticky notes glued on a board.
Image: Printed sticky notes glued on a board. Photo credit.

In this blog post, I will be discussing delivery teams’ use of methodologies and frameworks, and how they use terminology.

It should be noted I am no expert when it comes to all of the ways of working that are out there. My opinion on this broad subject shifts like the sands, as I use and adapt the skills and experience I have gained within the programmes of work I am delivering.

Where to start?

A few weeks ago I posed the question on Linkedin, “Do delivery teams use methodologies & frameworks correctly” and the results were:

Yes 8%


Diary of a CEO: July to September 2020

Welcome to Rachel’s latest instalment of Diary of a CEO.

Listen as Rachel updates on the crazy last few months and gets honest about what an acquisition really entails!

Listen here 👈

Apple Podcasts? Get it now

Spotify user? We’ve got you right here

Android? No problem

What went well?

01:20 A scientific approach to bidding and remote pitching

03:43 Difrent’s acquisition by The Panoply Group

07:04 Face-to-face meetings with staff and clients

08:15 Watching Nic Carney and Merissa Brown at the Socitm graduation and Rachel’s relationship with Socitm’s, Nadira Hussain

Difrent

At Difrent our mission is simple, Digital is about People, not just Technology. https://difrent.co.uk

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