Lessons learnt

John Sheridan - CIO & CISO
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A few weeks ago, we posted a discussion paper on the draft Whole of Government Common Operating Policy on our blog. Regular readers will have noticed that it didn’t attract any comments online. Some 173 separate people viewed the post in total. As this graph shows, we posted on a Friday night and most people read it early the following week.  There was also a spike when an industry newsletter mentioned our blog.

Draft COE Post

We’ve compared this response with other related posts. This is the same graph for the draft Data Centre RFT, showing roughly an order of magnitude more of interest:

Draft Data Centre RFT

It would appear that people don’t read the AGIMO blog on weekends – who would have thought that! It’s also interesting that new readers continue to view the post even after comments have closed.

Not all our posts are about procurement. We might post some more analysis later about some of the others, which received even more attention.

Another interesting aspect is from where the viewers are coming. These two pie charts show the spread:

Draft COE Post

Draft Data Centre RFT

I’m not sure if there are any conclusions to be drawn from this data yet but we’d be interested in your comments.

We also allowed people to make comments directly to us via email. We did this to assist industry. Historically, we get little public feedback from identifiable individual industry members for a range of commercial reasons. We thought that a more private opportunity might help in this regard. Some vendors did contact us about the draft, requesting discussion time so they could elaborate on their services. While we appreciate their interest and willingness, we couldn’t accept these proposals at this time. If we need to approach the market to implement aspects of the policy, we’ll do so in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines.

So, where to now?  Based on the lack of content-based comment, we’re assuming the discussion paper doesn’t contain any issues precluding us from using it as the starting point for the new whole-of-government Common Operating Environment Policy. Our inter-departmental working group agrees. And, of course, we’ve gained an insight into what content attracts comment and discussion and what material might be better suited to other forums.

The COE post will be closed for comments now. You can, of course, comment on this post. We look forward to hearing from you next time.

John John Sheridan First Assistant Secretary
Agency Services

Comments (9)

I have followed the COE post regularly, and I was surprised it didn't attract any comments - especially compared with the DC one. Reading the COE Draft Discussion paper, it seemed that most of the points were going in the right direction.

If I was to put in my 2 cents , I'd speculate that people either felt that the nature of their submission needed to be quite substantial and properly referenced (amounting to a fair bit of work), or perhaps they felt that the success of such an approach is much more dependent on the execution rather than the level of detail in the overarching framework?

P.S. I wonder how many comments this post will attract...

The "where the viewers are coming from" screenshots show a large amount of Direct Traffic - especially for the Draft Data centre RFT. Did you do email blasts for either of these? any links in the emails to the posts would show up as Direct Traffic unless the links where tagged in a way Urchin could understand (the screenshots look like they are from Urchin)

Did you have replies from email blasts? as J.R. mentioned above, maybe people felt more comfortable with a larger reply than you would normally have in a comments field - can you tie email or other replies back to the original posts?

The large proportion of direct traffic certainly indicates familiarity with the site from your users, as they would have either typed the url, had it as a bookmark or come from an email as mentioned above - therefore familiar with processes around RFT such that a comment on a blog post did not seem like an appropriate response.

Just came across the documents for the COE via eGov.au via on-secure. Can say with a lot of certainty that the COE will completely change how we do business with staff. Is there a mailing list or community for the COE, I would be very interested in following developments?

Hi Michael,

Yes, there is a COE community available to public servants and if you or any others would like access please forward an email to coe@finance.gov.au

After running various blogs internally within my govt agency for the last 18 months, I can say that the absence of comments is not a safe basis for assuming that you have support for your ideas and that there are no issues.

Still I gotta applaud you for trying to engage with the public, agencies and industry. Keep at it.

Hi John,

I have to admit I was one of those that read the post but didn't comment. I think the lack of comments was not because of a lack of interest, but it's such a big issue that a single author couldn't possibly cover everything. A room full of people on the other hand ...

Keep up the good work.

Additionally, I was thinking that a new forum for Lessons Learned would be valuable. Users could upload their lessons learned document with headings such as Name of Project, Category and Purpose. One of the first steps in a new project is to review any previous lessons learned documents, and having a range of lessons learned would undoubtedly improve new projects.

I noticed that the govdex site has this facility. Sorry for the post. It must have been in my subconscious.

Comments on this post are now closed. Please let us know if you would like to discuss this post.

Last updated: 27 July 2016