Creating a Digital Skills Hub - Week notes – Week 3-5

The Digital Skills Hub

Over the past 3 weeks, I have had various meetings with different areas of the digital team to discuss allocation of a space on the hub for their area of work. One of the first areas I will concentrate on will be the Service Desk; hopefully this will be a space were information on some of the most common reasons for contacting the service desk will be and will provide solutions and answers, which hopefully overtime will help reduce the calls and requests. I met with Chris, who is the team leader for our service desk. We decided that it would be a great opportunity to have things such as 'meet the team', a dashboard showing the level of work for that week, a link to the service desk portal with videos and documents on how to use it, as well as information for self-help on the most common issues. Once I have designed the space both the service desk and myself will keep content updated.

An important part of the skills hub is being able to have some way of measuring impact. Because the hub is designed using the Microsoft Learning Pathways solution the reports have to be pulled from there, unfortunately the analytics are very basic and do not drill down enough to be able to measure the impact as much as I would like. This would be something that is possible by using Microsoft’s Viva learning solution and that is something we will hopefully look into getting in the future.

In the meantime, the solution I have come up with is to use a combination of Microsoft’s reporting features for the various products and a staff digital skills survey, which can then provide data to a Power BI dashboard. This is an ideal project for Flynn to take ownership on as part of his Business Analyst apprenticeship. In order for Flynn to be able to do this he first needs to learn how to use Power BI and who better to learn from than our very own expert in the digital team, our Business Intelligence Manager Graham. In the meantime, I’ve been told to come up with a wish list of what information I want to be able to gather from the dashboard, I have been instructed to be as demanding as possible and believe me I can be very demanding - so watch out Flynn!

Digital Champions

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Digital Champion programme. Behind the scenes, Flynn and I have been preparing a skills matrix so that we can identify which champion would be able to help with which product feature of Microsoft 365. We have been able to do this by giving the champions a survey to complete which then is analysed by Flynn and a skills matrix created. This also allows us to look at what learning opportunities would be most beneficial to the champions and we can compile a list of available sessions as well as look at more bespoke methods in house. The skills matrix will be linked to the Digital Skills Hub so that staff can find a champion to contact for the product they need support with.

Over Easter the champions were lucky enough to have a virtual catch up with the Digital Champions from Derbyshire County Council and Sheffield City Council. This was a great session where Derbyshire shared their journey of their champion programme, which has been running successfully for the past couple of years. They heard from a few champions from different departments including Children’s services and HR, which was fantastic because we also had champions from these services on the call and we are now looking at being able to connect similar service area champions together from different authorities. More to come on this in the next few weeks.

A few of our champions have also completed an afternoon training session on Teams Rooms in preparation for them being Teams Rooms Champions, this will mean they will be allocated a Teams Room within the council in which they support people to get the best hybrid meeting experience.

What is Teams Rooms?

As flexible working becomes the new normal, it's important to make sure that the meeting collaboration experience doesn't suffer while some of us join from the office, and others remotely. Teams Rooms is designed to give all meeting participants an inclusive and reliable experience:

  • Cameras can frame the room and zoom into the active speaker
  • Audio devices are designed to ensure people's voices are clear and intelligible
  • Raise your hand to indicate you'd like to speak
  • Follow along with real time A.I. enabled live captions
  • A central console gives you full control over the meeting
  • use an analogue white board or take advantage of the Microsoft Whiteboard app

I am really looking forward to using one of the rooms to hold a Hybrid meeting for the Digital Champions Network.

My goals for next week are to:

  • Design the space on the Digital Skills Hub for service desk
  • Develop the news and events section for the hub
  • Prepare the agenda for our first Digital Champion Network meeting
  • Continue to be demanding for Flynn’s project

By Lara Lowe on 22nd Apr 2022
Lara is an assistant Service Designer at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.