169 – A series: Managers as designers in local government. Part 2.

Posted by Lancing Farrell                                                                              800 words

rapid prototyping

This is the second post in a series of four. It discusses the second and third principles of design-thinking.

Models can be used to examine complex problems. In this context, the ‘model’ is an artefact of the design process that is used to ‘explore, define and communicate’. Typically this will include diagrams and sketches instead of (or in addition to) the spreadsheets and specifications usually used to analyse and resolve problems. According to Kolko, they ‘add a fluid dimensions to the exploration of complexity, allowing for non-linear thought when tackling non-linear problems”.

There are a number of local government services that routinely use models or design artefacts in their work. Continue reading


71 – ‘Melbourne People’s Panel makes bold decisions where politicians fear to tread’, The Age, 1 April 2015.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         550 words

Peoples panel

“The public is smart if given the time and information necessary to work through an issue. And this has been demonstrated by a people’s “jury” which has delivered its verdict in a bold experiment in democracy by the Melbourne Town Hall.

The results should give hope to people despairing that Australia has lost its reform mojo, as it provides a new way for government to get hard but necessary things done.”

I read this article by Nicholas Reece, a Principal Fellow at Melbourne University, with some interest. Involving the community in budgeting is not new. Continue reading