Strategy and change — making things better with digital


GOV.UK, Ofsted

As Digital Product Manager, working in the Ofsted digital change programme, I lead an agile development team to deliver GOV.UK digital services for early years and children's social care. 

The Government Digital Service’s transformation programme is an exemplar of user-centred design. I was keen to to see first hand how the GDS Design Principles and Service Standard worked.



Southbank Centre

Recruited specifically to lead digital transformation at Southbank Centre, I worked with the board and Executive Team to design and implement strategies for digital platforms, content and audiences. This involved executive stakeholder management, digital governance and programme planning, plus negotiation with Southbank Centre’s many artistic and business partners. I set up digital production and social media teams and established workflow, systems and standards for content creation and distribution. 

I also initiated and commissioned a major new artistic programme of digital art, interactive and virtual reality experiences, presented as part of Southbank Centre’s festival programme for the first time. In four years, I radically transformed a non-digital organisation into one with capability in content production and distribution.

James's new role in leading digital transformation required close working with the Executive Team and Southbank Centre’s wide range of partners. He set up new processes for successful delivery of new content and created an original programme of art, broadcast and community activity - our ‘Digital ABC’.  In particular his work on the Web We Want festival - with Tim Berners-Lee looking over his shoulder - was much admired.

— Alan Bishop, Chief Executive, Southbank Centre


James transformed the digital programme at Southbank Centre, enriching every festival with consistently high-quality digital activity. 

— Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre

Universal Music UK

As Digital Innovation Lead, I was tasked with fostering relationships with the start-up community and applying digital best practice to achieve Universal Music UK's strategic objectives. I realised that the most valuable contribution the world's largest music entertainment company could make was to open our data to anyone building a music technology product. 

The Universal Music Artist Gateway aggregated proprietary Universal data with data and content from third party sites to create a persistent, well-structured web page for every single artist and release across all Universal labels. The data was offered in three machine readable formats - XML, JSON and RDF. This was the first time a major label group had engaged with linked open data and the semantic web in this way.

The project required a substantial amount of stakeholder management and liaison between Universal Music. Musicbrainz and editorial partners including BBC Music and The Guardian.