Round-up and happy birthday
Well folks, I’m going to be off for a few days, so I thought I’d take the opportunity for a general round-up and response to some of the recent discussions on the blog. I also thought I’d take the opportunity to give you a little more info on our plans for the coming year.
Before that, I’d like to remark that this blog had its first birthday yesterday and in that time it has received almost 40,000 views. I hope you find it useful. I certainly enjoy the banter and relish some of the challenging feedback. I’d be delighted to hear your views on what the future of the blog should be, in particular, ways it might be improved.
A common theme throughout the year has been the fairly regular and fairly robust criticism of 1App. Not least in the recent thread of discussion around building control - where a regular comment has been: “Don’t do it if you are going to turn it into another 1App,” referring to what is considered by many to be its over complexity. There have been many perfectly sensible suggestions for how it might be improved and hopefully you will have seen some of those ideas come to fruition over the past year.
What we haven’t managed to do yet, is find the time to step back and consider the step-change in delivery that the process requires to make it truly compelling. In order to achieve that, we need some clear water and I’m sure you’ll appreciate from your own working lives that it is not always easy to find.
In the past year we have attracted several unanticipated projects that have distracted us from giving 1App the attention it deserves. But rest assured, we intend to make improving 1App a major objective for the coming year. In particular, we hope to make it simpler and easier to use.
You may have seen recent posts about multiple uploads and offline working, please take a moment to comment on these threads, but I’ll also post a separate “name your own improvement” post shortly, followed by a poll asking you to vote for the most pressing.
The most recent topic to excite your interest appears to have been the subject of Building Control and the Portal’s role in it. There appears to be a view that the Portal is attempting some kind of land grab and I’d like to reassure you that the view could not be further from the truth.
By far the most common question I receive personally, and our team receives at meetings around the country, is: “When are you going to do Building Control?” I have to react to this and thought I’d begin by giving our users a chance to corroborate or reject the proposal that we should deliver some e-capability.
Many point to LABC and the supplier Submit-a-Plan and suggest simply that we promote their services. While I regularly talk with both parties - and have a lot of respect for them - it has to be remembered that both are private companies and neither represents the totality of local authorities. The Portal, as a Government unit, has to engage equally with all players and must be seen not to be favouring any single company.
All that said, we won’t be doing anything at all without the support of our customers and the sponsoring department within CLG, so watch this space and keep adding your comments.
And finally, I’m not sure exactly how long I’ll be out of the office but colleagues will keep this particular fire stoked while I’m away, so keep the feedback coming please.