The Jamming Take Away: What can we learn from doing not talking?

Liz Whitefield
May 18, 2017 · 3 min read

Tuesday 16th May saw the launch of this years Global GovJam, a worldwide series of service design events designed to involve people from all backgrounds in the future design of public services. Rolled out starting from Australia, the concept of 48 hours to rock the public sector, now in it’s 5th year.

I am a ‘seasoned’ Jammer as participant and host so wanted to share my views on the aftermath? I spent much of my 30 years in the public sector working to improve the services customers experience and when I got involved in user centred service design I was hooked.

It’s why I decided to become part of hippodigital, who I am proud to say is sponsoring the Leeds Jam for 2017.

GovJam is a perfect 2 day marriage. You get to work on a subject you care about that affects your community and and you learn how to ‘do not talk’. After all, time is of the essence in an agile working world!

So what are the takeaways that I know GovJam has given me and I would hope Jammers keep hold of:

Be brave

Take the leap! Go out there and ask your users what they want, what they think of your idea and put it in front of them. If it’s using lego, cardboard or the multitude of design tools, draw it out, try it out, role play, iterate then iterate again.

Organisations and teams are often afraid to start in case they get it wrong.

News flash! You will never get it right so the sooner you discover that and learn the better.


Build your toolkit! You will have had a flavour of tools and techniques learnt through doing and shared learning with fellow jammers. Use journey mapping, story boarding, personas, service maps, prototypes and many more that are openly accessible to you.

Add them to your toolkit, look for others and you can start to use them, even if in a small way.

Stay Connected

Join the community! You are now part of a community, yes really a global community. User centred and Service Design applies at organisational and international levels. You have worked on projects that impact your community and that you care about, making connections with people from within your city that you can build on.

Whatever happens you are not alone! There are communities and events locally and virtually that you can join and learn from.

Step off the soapbox?

I am afraid I can’t do that, I am very passionate about the values and behaviours that GovJam represents.

I apply the learning everyday helping teams and organisations. I use my own toolkit of techniques and am always seeking new ways to help deliver great services. I am lucky to be part of a community and had the opportunity to not only work with some of them but can call them my friends too.

So spread the word Jammers, you are part of it now!

Hippo Digital

Insights and news from the Hippo Digital team

Liz Whitefield

Written by

Hippo Digital

Insights and news from the Hippo Digital team

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade