And …. relax. Just about sums up the week just gone! A whirlwind of activity with our Carers Week campaign, interviews for new roles and choosing a digital partner to work with us on our new web platform. Looking back, here are a few learning points I’ve had:

  1. There was engagement with our public campaign

This was a key hypothesis to test. Does anyone care that we’re shouting about carers and that carers need to be seen, heard and supported? The answer seems to be at least some people do. Early analysis shows we’ve doubled our following on our fledgling Instagram account and doubled the number we’ve reached through Facebook.

More analysis is needed to help us understand the figures in detail and what they really mean, but it’s an encouraging start. There is awareness of carers in B&NES. How do we engage further to understand this group and how do we translate this into meaningful support for carers within their community? I can’t answer these questions right now, but I’m smiling at our success as I leave for the week.

2. User research benefits from a ‘hook’

For the past month we’ve been trying, not very successfully, to survey our colleagues in health and social care. I get it — they are all incredibly busy and filling in a survey is the last thing on their mind.

Yet one final push for responses, using the ‘one thing you can do this Carers’ Week’ line has doubled the responses we’ve received. We’ll definitely be considering how we use this learning moving forward to gain feedback. We might introduce surveys using a video or consider other key days/events we can tap in to. It’s not quite as easy as just ‘throwing a survey out there’ is it?!

3. Choosing a digital partner is hard!

We have a winner. And we’re confident we’ve made the right choice. But it wasn’t easy! Why? There are many different ways to ‘do digital’. There are also many ways to ‘do agile’. Each of the organisations who responded to our brief brought a slightly different mix of background, skill and approach. Scrum; Kanban; Sprint — it can feel like the language is bamboozling. How do you choose?

Reflecting on this afternoon I think there is a lot of going with your gut. What feels best value (as opposed to the cheapest!)? Who gives you confidence in the room? Who do you understand and relate to (very important if you’re not confident in digital!)? Who feels like they’ll support you through the process and beyond? Who will give you the flex you need?

Each proposal we received was great. Each organisation could do the job. But getting in the room with them to understand who they really were meant there was one who was best for us. A blog post on the whole process will be coming soon!

For now, I’m looking forward to a weekend away from my screen, bathing in the success we’ve had, before we hit another week!

Deputy Chief Executive & Digital Lead at B&NES Carers' Centre #tech #carers #community