Weeknotes from Content and Publishing (S1 E8)

Hello there. I manage the Publishing, Content Design and Digital Content teams at the ONS in Digital Publishing. Each week I attempt to give an overview of my work, key projects we’re involved in and how we’re trying to improve the ONS website and its products. You can find me on Twitter.

This week focused somewhat on planning around the potential impacts from Covid-19 (Coronavirus). That’s ensuring our staff have all the information they need to understand the health implications, and our internal comms teams is doing a great job of sharing updates, while also considering the potential impacts on our publications.

We’re putting in place mitigations for publishing in the event of staff sickness – so we can continue to deliver a service, but are also pragmatic about what’s sensible and achievable. Everyone is realistic that our publishing schedule could change, and that we need to ensure essential data and analysis reaches audiences.

I spent some time this week re-drafting a vision for future publishing of data and content, and working with the service manager Chris Mitchell on how best to present that to senior colleagues. Collectively, senior managers in Digital Publishing agree that the future is open, linked and machine readable data and content, which makes the building of digital products on top of that (from individual products to entire websites) so much easier, more consistent, more efficient and more effective.

But the path from here to there is neither straight, or straightforward.

Away from projects and my teams’ work I spent some time this getting some advice and feedback from peers in the ONS who manage high-performing teams to learn a little more about how they manage, engage, share information and co-ordinate. One of the great aspects of the ONS is how willing colleagues are to share best practice and I came away with some really useful approaches, tips and things to try.