Personal blogging by Steph Gray, former digital agency founder and erstwhile bureaucrat


A better website brief

July 16, 2015

As someone who runs an agency offering WordPress website development, I get quite a lot of website development briefs in my inbox. Some are excellent: they give me and the team a clear sense of what’s required. Typically, they’re documents under 20 pages long which talk quite a lot about users and goals and priorities, about what’s…

Digital people by the ounce

February 5, 2015

Five years ago, I remember being in Government trying to buy an enterprise licence for Huddle, an innovative UK cloud-based project management tool. In those days, the technical co-founder himself would pop round our office to sort things out, and it took days of internal negotiation with IT colleagues to reassure them that using a secure…

Feet on the ground

February 21, 2012

There’s been a lot of buzz about the G-Cloud today and over the weekend, and rightly so. It’s a potentially exciting development, and a real achievement for Chris Chant and his team. Not only have they set out, aggressively in Civil Service terms, to get a better deal for taxpayers, but they’ve also managed the…

How to kill off a brief

November 16, 2011

It’s one thing to run a pitch, compare proposals, pick one, and turn down the others. It’s sometimes hard on the losers, but people know where they stand: they tried, they didn’t get it. But sometimes it’s not as clear cut as that. Sometimes, you’re not quite sure what you want to buy, you chat…

The Minister, the Entrepreneur and the Civil Servant: a cautionary tale

October 27, 2010

I’ve come across this little situation enough times now to make it worth a quick post here. It’s the story of the innovative SME, the minister, and the civil servant. And it’s not exactly a fairytale. The story starts well enough: an enthusiastic entrepreneur develops something clever. They think it could have a great public…

How to sell me stuff

September 4, 2009

(Photo credit: thinkpanama) At work, I get a fair few people come and try and sell me their thing. Some are better at it than others. Here are eight tips on how to sell me stuff (and if you’re smart enough to find these before you contact me, you’ll be well on the way): 1.…