Hey, I’m Ellie, and I’ve just joined dxw as a Product Manager.
I’ve cut a winding path to get here. My first office job was typing up survey responses from hundreds of GP patients for a Primary Care Trust. I managed to get it done with enough time left to help run some conference events, aimed at trying to make palliative care pathways better. This little bit of experience helped me get my next public sector job as a temp secretary for an NHS consultant. It was only 8 weeks, but I have some battle scars…
At the end of that job and with a year to go at university, I swore off ever working with the public sector in the future, with its complex problems and constraints. And yet, after finishing my English degree and spending seven years in academic publishing, I applied for a job with the Government Digital Service. Despite my earlier assertions, I was drawn to the public sector and to GDS’ values of putting users first and doing the hard work to make things simple. The contrast to academic publishing, where lots of people are still silently hoping the internet is a phase that won’t catch on, was a welcome bonus.
I started as a Delivery Manager before making the move to product management, with a bit of time spent juggling both. I was fortunate to join the data infrastructure team at GDS, helping to solve common data problems at their source, rather than obscuring them at the surface.
Working in the public sector
My early experiences of public sector work have given me a strong drive to help fix the underlying processes and tools behind a service – I’ve seen so many teams and individuals working doubly hard to deliver great services with imperfect tools. I’ve been privileged to see first-hand that the hard problems can be solved, and the broken things can be fixed. Not only is it possible, it’s happening. There are reasons to be cheerful.
I’ve been inspired by the ways public sector organisations are embracing the opportunities that user-centred approaches offer to make a real positive difference to the ways things can be done, enabled by digital technology. It’s exciting to be involved with change that was prompted by new technology, but has become much more than that, reaching into wider cultural shifts like working in the open and starting with user needs, and continually learning and adapting to deliver the right thing.
I’ve been impressed by dxw since I first heard about their work a couple of years ago, particularly the collaborative and supportive approach they take to working with public sector organisations, wherever they are in their transformation journey.
I’m really excited to have joined such a talented team and eager to get started working with them to solve problems for users and help public sector organisations build great services.