Link: Lessons from the UK Government’s Digital Transformation Journey

It’s probably OK:

In any organisation that’s been around for a while, ways of doing things build up and often disconnect from the reasons they were put in place. Things are cited as “rules” which are really just norms. We had to get really good at working out the difference, and on pushing back on some of those rules to get to the core principles.

Get involved with the backend people:

I know of one government project where the digital team couldn’t even add one extra textbox to their address fields, something users were complaining about, because the backend IT teams were too busy to make the change.

Working with the end user changes staff for the better:

I’ve talked to a lot of teams in large organisations who have taken all the right steps in moving to agile but are still having trouble motivating their teams, and the missing piece is almost always being exposed directly to your users. Whether they’re end customers, or internal users, there’s nothing like seeing people use your products to motivate the team to make them better.

Original source: Lessons from the UK Government’s Digital Transformation Journey

Link: “Gartner also found that there was a greater reliance on third-party developers in governments than other sectors, with more than half saying they used them. This is in contrast to 41 per cent over all the six industries surveyed, which comprised financ

Just over half of government IT work relies on outsourcing, 10% higher than private sector average: “Gartner also found that there was a greater reliance on third-party developers in governments than other sectors, with more than half saying they used them…. This is in contrast to 41 per cent over all the six industries surveyed, which comprised financial services, government, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and education.”

The y/y for the last five years would be interesting to see.
Original source: “Gartner also found that there was a greater reliance on third-party developers in governments than other sectors, with more than half saying they used them. This is in contrast to 41 per cent over all the six industries surveyed, which comprised financ

Link: Airmen given direct access to AOC development process

“Air Force acquisition leaders recognized the current acquisition strategy, in progress since 2009, will not deliver capability to the warfighter fast enough. Today, we terminated the current AOC 10.2 contract with Northrop Grumman in order to take a different approach.”

And:

“Once we field this platform and establish the software pipeline, we will begin the iterative improvement process,” said Sanders.  “That’s where this acquisition process really makes a difference.  The customers, in this case Airmen at the AOCs, are able to communicate their needs directly to developers and see the changes they request within weeks.
Original source: Airmen given direct access to AOC development process

Link: Project vs. product management, in government

Good discussion of doing product management instead of project management. Also, discussion of user metrics to track design and usability:

“Defining success metrics helps you focus on what’s important in your product and how well it solves the problems you’ve identified. Defining key steps the user must take is also important in order to shine a spotlight on where in the process users are failing. With this data, you can conduct further in-person research to understand why they are failing and devise an even better solution.”
Original source: Project vs. product management, in government

Link: Project management vs. product management

‘That discussion starts with a very concise and useful distinction between project management (the world the government knows) and product management (the world it doesn’t). Project management, they write, is “focused on managing to a plan” — such as managing schedule, budget, risk, policy compliance and then reporting status to stakeholders. “Success for a project manager is delivering a defined scope of work on-time and on-budget,” Johnston and O’Connor note. Product management, meanwhile, “is focused on delivering a product a user wants or needs.” Success for a product manager “is delivering a product that users love — and use to complete tasks (or in the private sector — a product customers will pay for).”’
Original source: Project management vs. product management

Link: Digital operating mode

“So to apply this to a public service, first map your value chain. Identify those areas where you are just providing an intermediary role, which could be replaced by an internet enabled service, that adds little value and just slows things down. Design those roles out of the process, then assemble the tech needed to deliver the new services…. Too often transformation processes skip the value chain mapping element. This leads to fundamental misunderstandings about what benefits services actually deliver to users, and thus miss huge opportunities to improve user experiences and reducing the cost of service delivery. As I have said before, there’s no shortcut around truly understanding the service you are meant to be delivering.”
Original source: Digital operating mode

Link: Digital operating mode

“So to apply this to a public service, first map your value chain. Identify those areas where you are just providing an intermediary role, which could be replaced by an internet enabled service, that adds little value and just slows things down. Design those roles out of the process, then assemble the tech needed to deliver the new services…. Too often transformation processes skip the value chain mapping element. This leads to fundamental misunderstandings about what benefits services actually deliver to users, and thus miss huge opportunities to improve user experiences and reducing the cost of service delivery. As I have said before, there’s no shortcut around truly understanding the service you are meant to be delivering.”
Original source: Digital operating mode