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Sharing digital knowledge

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Cross Gov Collaboration, Digital services, Digital Skills, Digital workplace, Guest blog

A male member of the network is standing at a whiteboard which is covered in yellow post it notes. He's talking to 5 delegates who are sitting around a tableHi, I’m Azrael Grey – an analyst in HMRC digital’s Cyber Security Team. Have you ever spent a long time trying to solve a problem, only to find out later somebody else has already solved it? Don’t you wish you could have known that before you spent all that time? I know I do.

That’s why I and twelve other intrepid civil servants from across government met earlier this month to form the Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network. Hosted by Civil Service Local, the idea was to promote digital collaboration across departments throughout the region. Basically, we wanted to learn from one another.

Our first meeting

From the get-go, we found we were all facing (or had faced) a lot of the same challenges. For example we learnt HMRC, The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are all transitioning to Office 365 – a suite of collaboration tools. Yet we also learnt there hadn’t been much communication between our departments - at least not at our level. We were doing the same things in isolation.

We realised how much HMRC could learn about using Skype from DWP, and how much we both could learn from CPS about Team in Office 365. Just from this one meeting, it was clear how much we can help one another. We’ve also formed cross-departmental links which as time goes on and relationships develop we’ll be able to use and all benefit from as a result.

Reach out

So, if you’re battling with a problem, look for someone else who’s in the same position as you. Or better still, find someone who has already been there, battled through and succeeded.

There are loads of ways to reach out:

  •    face-to-face networks - like our own Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network
  •    digital networks - Slack has government groups for just about everything
  •    conferences and events - HMRC regularly holds Market Stall events
  •    newsletters and blogs - like this one
  •    colleagues - reach out to your colleagues next door, next desk. We all know someone who knows someone who could help

In the end, two heads are better than one. Don’t hesitate. Collaborate.

If you'd like to find out more about our Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network, leave me a comment at the end of the blog.

Azrael Grey, Cyber Security Analyst and founding member of the Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network

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  1. Comment by Dave McGurk posted on

    Hi Azreal
    Really good to meet you at the event and a really good blog. (Not my best side on the picture). I hope this generates some interest across departments.

  2. Comment by Azrael Grey posted on

    Hi Dena and Anne,
    Thanks for getting in-touch. We've done another blog which gives some more information on the group
    If you would like to get involved, or would just like to be included in our communications, please let Kam ( or I know.
    Thanks once again

  3. Comment by Anne Corbishley posted on

    Hi Azreal, a really interesting article and I'd like to find out more about the Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network please. Thanks.

  4. Comment by Dena Habashi-Ayub posted on

    Hi Azreal, great blog on cross-Government collaborative working and sharing of knowledge. I would like to find out more about the Yorkshire and Humber Digital Network.