The Lab has two purposes:
- To make environmental science and data useful
- To help transforming culture and improving ways of working at the Met Office
All our projects are means to achieve those ends so, within each project, we always do scientific/technical experiments…and social experiments.
Doing things differently…
Of course, all these elements go hand in hand. We could operate in isolation from the rest of the Met Office and move faster to create new things…but that would take us nowhere in the long term. Think about it this way: the challenge is not for the Lab to create the next-big-thing (although we create plenty of cool prototypes), the challenge is to help develop an organisation that can routinely create amazing products and services (in some cases using building blocks from the Lab). That is much more ambitious - and much harder! Far more rewarding too. By the way, the world does not end at the Met Office so our remit also includes linking and working with others to make environmental science and data useful.
The implication of all of this is that how we do things, matters as much as what we do.
…whilst getting things done
The process we follow is one of exploration while, at the same time, delivering prototypes - we value delivery because making things happen is key to building trust and building trust is the critical step to facilitate change. All the projects we embark on are also opportunities to investigate and do experiments to learn new things (technical, scientific, social) that can be applied to the way the Met Office is organised or the way environmental science and data can be transformed.
Same as with anything in life, there will always be compromises in our projects, the only thing that cannot be compromised is our approach: open experimentation and continuous delivery of prototypes.