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ChildStory for grown-ups: agile, iterative development and co-design

ChildStory is the digital transformation project at NSW’s Department of Family and Community Services that has impressed both public servants and digerati across the country. The Mandarin journalist Stephen Easton sat down with NSW’s child protection head Lisa Alonso-Love and former NSW Health chief information officer Greg Wells about the ICT and people project they led:

Wells says one challenge has been getting the team working in a way that is completely foreign to the department, and keeping it going in the right direction. “We have a leadership team but not siloed, hierarchical, traditional structures and everything, and it takes the team a while to get their head around that way of working,” he said. “It’s a constant challenge.”

Alonso-Love says they interviewed for particular skills and personalities they hoped would bring challenging ideas and build a healthy creative tension. “We’ve deliberately put people together who would not traditionally work together, or wouldn’t do things the same way,” she explained. “But you can’t throw people together like that and let them go, you have to be really heavily involved in managing that dynamic. And to their absolute credit, they have worked very well together.”

Read the full ChildStory story here.

Author Bio

Harley Dennett

Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.