Weeknote 1 of 2022

Welcome to LOTI’s first weeknote of 2022! 

We were delighted to begin the year with the arrival of Polly Kwok – LOTI’s new Communications and Engagement Manager. Polly joins us from Healthy London Partnership, where she was Project Manager for the Good Thinking programme. She’ll be working closely with the LOTI team to create engaging content, build new partnerships, and help share the amazing work of our LOTI boroughs. 

Joining the team, Polly said: “It’s such an exciting time to be part of LOTI and the LOTI community. I look forward to learning from each other and thinking creatively about how we can raise the profile of LOTI together.”

Image of Polly Quote profile photo against a LOTI pink background

Launch of LOTI Job Description Library

This year, LOTI is launching a wide range of initiatives to help boroughs access the talent they need in digital, technology, data and innovation. The first of these is LOTI’s Job Description Library, a database of job descriptions (JDs). This open library is pre-populated with links to 45 JDs that are based on versions developed and kindly shared by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Comment access is left open so anyone can propose improvements.

Since roles evolve fast, we’ve included a form for any council to upload their own job descriptions, together with details of the advertised salary. Over time, this will help provide several alternative versions of each JD so councils have a selection of examples to inspire their own. It will also help us build up more detailed information about the salaries offered for each role. We warmly invite UK local authorities to contribute!

Screenshot showing list of jobs in the LOTI JD library

LOTI Away Day

On 11 January, we convened the main representatives of each LOTI borough for a virtual Away Day. During the morning, boroughs pitched and voted on five topics they wished to discuss in detail. These included: how councils can change their behaviour and culture towards technology; how they can develop their skills, people and diversity; how digital transformation can be used to improve the experiences of residents; cyber security and digital leadership. 

In the afternoon, Eddie Copeland gave a recap of the LOTI community’s evolution and key achievements over its first two and half years, and described some options for how the LOTI team might expand to meet a broader range of borough needs.

Slide showing LOTI's main achievements in numbers

The meeting then divided into breakout sessions to explore five major challenges that still affect our community, and which are likely to shape where we focus our attention over the coming months.

  1. Many boroughs are not yet developing and using their digital and data teams to full effect.
  2. Boroughs lack the capacity and the ability to hire key skilled roles in the fields of digital, technology and data.
  3. Some service models are not sustainable or fit for purpose.
  4. Boroughs are still being divided and conquered by big tech companies.
  5. London local government is not making the most of its collective data.
Table listing LOTI's big five challenges

Through the day’s discussions, two points stood out. First, boroughs feel that one of their most existential challenges is getting access to the right talent. Without having a sufficient number of people with the right skills, boroughs cannot fulfil their commitments to using digital and data innovation to improve their operations and services for residents.

Second, boroughs want to raise the level of conversation and awareness about digital and data amongst senior officers and elected members. Leaders play a vital role in creating the conditions in which digital and data innovation can thrive. The key question is how we best engage with them. LOTI will be working hard on a range of initiatives to help boroughs with both these challenges.

Social Value for Digital Inclusion

As part of the Digital Inclusion Innovation Programme, we’re working on a project to help boroughs direct social value contributions from contracts to support digital inclusion related initiatives. Last week we held a demonstration of Impact – a platform that allows users to measure, evaluate and visualise their organisation’s social value and social impact. To understand how this platform could be used in a borough context, we were joined by colleagues from Havering who have recently adopted the tool.

You can watch the recording of this session here and view the slides here. Screenshots of the platform can be found here.  If you have any questions about the platform, please contact Bethan bethan.williams@impactreporting.co.uk from Impact.

Coming up

Coming up this week, LOTI will be:

  1. Publishing a tender to invite a freelancer recruitment consultant to support boroughs to improve their hiring methods.
  2. Working on designs for a new LOTI jobs board to help promote digital, tech and data roles in our member organisations.
  3. Planning our goals for our next quarter of activity, details of which will be published in a blog very soon.

For all the latest news from LOTI, follow us on Twitter.

Eddie Copeland
17 January 2022 ·
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