‘Internet of Public Service jobs’ is a weekly list of vacancies related to product management, user experience, data and design in…you guessed it…the ‘internet of public service’ curated by @jukesie every Sunday.

[01] Executive Director, Students & Digital
The Open University
Milton Keynes
No salary information
Closing date: 19/04/2018

[02] Innovation Consultant
ODI Leeds
No salary information
Closing date: 17/04/2018

[03] Digital Transformation Manager
Forestry Commission
Edinburgh or Inverness
£40,013 — £43,587
Closing date: 15/04/2018

[04] Digital Portfolio Manager — Data & Digital Services
Department for International Trade
£48,968 — £56,934
Closing date: 08/04/2018

[05] Lead Digital Product Manager
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
£51,549 — £69,659
Closing date: 13/04/2018

[06] Account Manager
£27,000 — £30,000
Closing date: 11/04/2018

[07] Dean, UAL Institute for Creative Computing
University Of The Arts London
No salary information
Closing date: 15/04/2018

[08] Corporate Lead for Digital and ICT
Calderdale Council
£53,790 — £56,924
Closing date: 08/04/2018

[09] Director of Digital, IT and Customer Services
Information Commissioner’s Office
£66,000 — £85,000
Closing date: 16/04/2018

[10] Digital Strategy Lead
Swim England
Closing date: 15/04/2018

Internet of Public Service Jobs: 25/03/2018 was originally published in Product for the People on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original source – Product for the People

If you had told me four years ago, when I joined the Cabinet Office, that by 2018 we would have worked across 15 major government departments on over 40 policy projects, working with over 6,000 public servants, I wouldn’t have believed you.  For a start, I was on a one-year contract, with just one member of staff, the wonderful Beatrice Andrews who was on loan. I remember vividly our Permanent Secretary warmly welcoming everyone to our first open event, but concluding by saying “if in a year it doesn’t work, we will shut it down" – words that would return to me time and time again over the coming months.  That evening he had publicly laid down the gauntlet which would put us both under pressure to deliver impact quickly.

The policy canvas: demonstrating the genesis of many of our tools

On reflection this short deadline was really important. We didn’t idle over endless strategy sessions, we actually held our first project workshop three working days after I accepted the job.  It felt fresh and energising just to be getting on things, even though we didn’t quite know what the job was yet. I asked Christian Bason of MindLab what metrics we might use, he replied “there is only one metric for you that matters, to still exist in a year”. Fair point, I thought.

Lucy Kimbell, a past policy fellow, doing some early planning in the corridor.

Now this all seems a long time ago. Over four years, we’ve supported some of the most exciting and intractable policy priorities of both the PM and departments. Policing, exports, homelessness, employment support and the red-tape challenge, to name a few. Our Policy Lab introduction, on SlideShare, has had over 31,000 views. One day I found myself accidentally in the wrong meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister’s team, I innocently suggested we run a policy jam to help with the Northern Futures project. I had no idea this chance conversation would lead to eight simultaneous ‘open ideas days’ around the country and new ideas for the Autumn budget. 

Change cards, some of our earliest tools

I would never have imagined that I would be invited to give a speech on patient-centred care at the palace of Westminster with the Speaker, John Bercow and NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens. Or that I would facilitate a cross government Anti-Corruption strategy workshop. These things just weren’t in the plan.

Today the Lab is a team of ten, including ethnographers, researchers, designers and senior policy-makers.  I am super proud that the team have won or been finalists in awards in every year, including awards for collaboration, impact, innovation, leadership and the most ‘inspiring individual’.  I wouldn’t have dared think that the team would have one of the highest engagement scores in government, with 100% score for ‘my team’ and 96% on ‘diversity and inclusion’. And that we have done all this by applying open-policy-making principles of humility, curiosity and openness – our work was once described by a department policy lead as ‘quietly revolutionary’.

Supporting the Housing Minister at recent events with social housing residents across the country

We still retain our own thinking time at work, with allocated research and development time for each individual if they wish to pursue new ideas or improvements. Many of the Policy Lab team are doing external masters and courses.  For me this has been time to attend the LSE’s Executive Masters in Public Policy, Cambridge Science and Policy Fellowship and Ashridge Executive Education courses. These are not distractions but fundamental parts of our team being at the cutting-edge of our various fields.  For my part, I never expected to receive an honorary doctorate in Civil Law and to sign my name under Jeremy Paxman in their honours book, or to become the 10th female in its history to be awarded the prestigious Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal. Clearly these were not listed in our project KPIs.

Then: an early workshop in pop-up fashion

Back in 2014, I wouldn’t have dreamt we would do all this. It’s happened in part because have been both responsive and strategic in seeking out new challenges and seizing opportunities. But more than that, it has been possible because of the open-minded talented colleagues, co-conspirators, cross-Whitehall champions and departmental commissioners.  Over the last four years I have begun to understand more deeply how the Civil Service works, and today I am really proud to work in such a vibrant, inspirational organisation that is the Brilliant Civil Service.

Now: a ‘Futures Lab’ with the Department for Transport

Original source – Policy Lab

On GOV.UK we have undertaken a huge project to build a topic taxonomy. You can read about why we are doing this, and our user research strategy for the first topic we tackled, ‘Education’.

The ‘Education’ topic gave us lots of ideas for how to do future topics. So last year, we started testing out some of these ideas, to see whether they would help us get to a draft taxonomy faster.

To do this, we used card sorting, a well-used method in user research and information architecture.

Why we did a card sort

In card sorting, we give participants a set of terms on cards and ask them to sort these cards into categories that make sense to them.

This can help the team understand users’ mental models. And make sure we bring user needs into the way we organise content.

We did a card sort on the ‘Education’ topic and focused it on a narrow set of concepts. The ‘Education’ card sort:

  • only looked at a very narrow subsection of education content, related to early years
  • used cards showing the title of an existing piece of GOV.UK content, rather than a generic concept
  • was not an open card sort because participants were given predefined categories

Example cards in a card sorting tool

Some things didn’t work out how we had expected. We found that:

  • using titles on the cards made it hard for participants to really understand what the card was about
  • tackling a narrow subsection of the content wasn’t helpful at the early stage of taxonomy creation – it’s better to card sort with a broad range of concepts from the start, to prevent unnecessary rework later in the process
  • we lost the opportunity to learn more about users’ language by having predefined categories

This is why we changed our approach.

A proposed new approach

Following this, we proposed a new approach to card sorting. This would:

  • broaden the scope and include concepts from across the topic
  • use GOV.UK search terms as concepts for the cards, because they are simpler and closer to users’ language
  • make it an open card sort in which users could make categories and name them using their own language

We’ve already trialled this new open card sort approach with different topics.

Getting to the right approach

Trying these different methods has helped us figure out our ‘sweet spot’ for card sorting to build taxonomy themes.

Should it use all of the content in a theme or a narrow subsection of the content?

The ‘Education’ card sort taught us that all of our research activities at the beginning of the taxonomy building process need to be holistic and consider the full breadth of content in the taxonomy.

However, our open card sort showed that using a broad set of concepts produces patterns that are too weak to influence the taxonomy creation phase.

Should it be open or closed?

A closed card sort doesn’t make sense at the beginning of the taxonomy creation process because we don’t have a good idea of categories to suggest to users.

However, an open card sort will produce weak patterns, given the breadth of categories that our taxonomy themes cover.

Should it be done early in taxonomy creation?

We now know that we can only get strong enough patterns with a narrow subset of concepts and a closed card sort. However, we need to be confident about how that narrow subset fits into the whole taxonomy and that our proposed categories are appropriate.

Getting to this level of confidence requires time to try out different structures and relationships between concepts, informed by insights from contextual research.

Next time

For future themes we will wait until we are further into the taxonomy process before we use card sorting to help us make decisions.

We will do a series of closed card sorts using categories that have been thought through in the context of the entire taxonomy. We will include concepts for which we have the least user research and knowledge.

As a result, the set of concepts will be narrower and produce stronger patterns that we can use to iterate the taxonomy.

By integrating this with planned research activities that include interviews and tree testing, we can strengthen our confidence that our final version of the taxonomy is truly user-centred.

How have you used card sorting?

We’re creating guidance on card sorting for the Service Manual. It would be great to hear how you’ve used the method.

Follow Katie and Emma on Twitter and don’t forget to sign up for email alerts.

Featured image captured from Optimal Sort

Original source – User research

[Summary: Looking for great candidates to drive progress on Open Government in the UK through the UK Civil Society OGP Steering Committee and Multi-stakeholder Forum. Nomination deadline: 16th April]

Nominations are now open for civil society members of the UK Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi-stakeholder Forum. It’s a key time for open government in the UK, as we look to maintain momentum and push forward new reforms, within a wider national and global environment where open, participatory and effective governance is increasingly under threat.

If you are, or you know someone, passionate about open government reforms and with the capacity to drive change, please consider making a nomination. Self nominations are welcome, and membership of the Open Government Civil Society Network (the only pre-condition for nomination) is open to anyone who supports the principles of the network.

Shaping open government

The UK is currently preparing it’s fourth Open Government National Action Plan. In previous plans we’ve pursued and made progress on issues like beneficial ownership transparency (in the news this week as campaigners seek more data on offshore ownership of London property in the context of debates on illicit Russian money invested here), open contracting (equally topical as the Carrillion Crisis, and debates over passport printing unfold), and open policy making.

Yesterday, members of the current Civil Society Network Steering Committee and other guests were hosted at the Speakers House in Parliament to hear an update from Dr Ben Worthy, the independent reviewer of UK progress. The event underscored the importance of active civil society engagement to put issues on the open government agenda, and the unique opportunity offered by the OGP process to accelerate reforms and support deep dialogue between government and civil society. Ben also challenged those assembled to think about the ‘signature reforms’, engagement experiments and high profile interventions that the next National Action Plan should support, and to look to engage more with Parliament to secure parliamentary scrutiny of transparency and open government policy.

One of the ways in the UK OGP Civil Society Network we’ve been preparing to meet these challenges is by updating the Terms of Reference for the Civil Society Network Steering Group so that it is ready to act as the civil society half of a standing Multi-stakeholder Forum on Open Government in the UK. This will meet regularly with government, including with Ministers with Open Government responsibility, to secure and monitor open government commitments.

To bring on board a wider set of skills and experience, we’ve also increased the number of places on the Steering Committee, creating five spaces now up for election through an open process that also seeks to secure a good gender balance, and representation of both civil society organisations and independent citizens. I’m personally keen to see us use this opportunity to bring new skills and experience onboard for the Steering Committee and Multi-stakeholder Forum, including people with experience of working on reforms within government (though current government officials working on open gov policy are not eligible to apply), specialists in civic participation, and experts on right to information issues.

Responsibilities of Steering Group members include:

  • Engaging with the relevant Minister and civil servants with responsibility for the OGP
  • Participating in the Multistakeholder Forum between government and civil society
  • Speaking on behalf of the Open Government Network
  • Supporting and overseeing the work of the Network Coordinator and ensuring the smooth running of the OGN

and to date it’s been a committment of 3 – 15 hours a month (depending on the stage of the National Action Plan process) with a regular Steering Committee call and periodic meetings (usually in London, though we’ve been trying to move around the country whenever possible) with government officials and other members of the civil society network. The nomination form is here if you are interested – and even if you’re not interested in a role on the Steering Committee right now, do join the network via it’s open mailing list for other opportunities to get involved.

As a current Steering Committee member, I’d be happy to answer any questions (@timdavies) about the process and the potential here to take forward open government reforms in the UK, and as part of the 70+ country strong global OGP network.

Original source – Tim Davies

 Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm, Uppland, Miljöer-Stadsmiljö

We’ve had Beast from the East parts I and II. There are forecasts there is part III and IV to follow. Here’s what one comms person learned about communicating really well.

by Albert Freeman

We are always under pressure as local government communicators, with many demands on our time. But paradoxically I have found that my stress levels actually seem to be more manageable during extreme weather events when there is greater urgency to our communications. It might be partly because the urgency of our work during such episodes means that I can temporarily stop fretting about everything else – it can all wait.

We had a number of successes and things to learn from during the heavy snow of February and March 2018.

We use GovDelivery for our public emails. Our extreme weather emails were particularly effective during this recent episode of heavy snow. I had only recently added extreme weather as a new subscription topic, and we hadn’t yet sent any emails to the thousand subscribers who had so far signed up for those emails. But when the Beast from the East reached us on 26 February, we started sending emails at least once a day, and promoted these emails heavily across our website, on social media, and to subscribers of some of our other topics.

In the five days between 26 February and 3 March, we gained over 6,000 new subscribers to our extreme weather emails, and in a week we had 16,000 new subscriptions to topics across our whole account. At one point I found myself transfixed watching the subscriber numbers go up by the minute.

The daily emails we sent during that period included the latest information about delayed bin collections and other council service disruptions, gritting, advice on helping vulnerable people, and photos of staff or other local people working hard to help others. Those emails had an average open rate of 68%, compared to an account average of 38% this year to date.

Facebook was another particularly useful channel for communicating with local people during the snow. We took a similar approach with our Facebook content as with the content we shared by email. The photos of local people and council staff helping out went down particularly well, as did the advice on helping others and, of course, gritting and bins. One post about how we would catch up with missed bin collections was shared over 2,200 times and reached 180,000 people without us spending a penny on it. We did pay a small amount (less than £50 during the whole week) to promote some of our other posts to local people.

The frequency of our Facebook posts was greater than normal that week. Our general rule on Facebook is the less is more, but during extreme weather, it does seem that people, and the Facebook algorithm, forgive more posts.

Speaking of the Facebook algorithm, if reactions, comments and shares are what the updated algorithm rewards, we nailed it that week. We had over 10,000 reactions comments and shares during the week beginning 26 February, more than 12 times as much engagement as the previous week.

Google Analytics insights from our website, plus insights from social media and GovDelivery helped us to learn which information people were looking for, and what information they most valued. This helped prioritise which information to repeat. For example, our tweets about support for rough sleepers had high levels of engagement. So we repeated these tweets, and included this information in every subsequent email bulletin that week. On average 18 people were housed by the service each night during the week of heavy snow, more than twice the average number on a normal cold night (eight).

We had photos and videos sent to us to use of staff out at work, from wardens helping people get about to home care assistants visiting people in their homes, as well as local residents getting involved to clear snow. Illustrating these human stories on social media and in our emails helped to demonstrate some of the less visible yet vital work a local authority does at a time when missed bin collections and road conditions seem to be the main council services people are aware of and talk about. As well as content sent to us by staff, I was pleased by how much content we received from residents, such as photos of our gritters.

One of our learning points has been that council staff who regularly see local people during severe weather, such as wardens, bin collection teams and care workers, can help to let people know about the communications we offer. So we have begun distributing more promo cards for our email subscriptions for staff to give out.

While naturally not all local residents were happy or complimentary about service disruptions, we did receive a lot of kind messages of thanks that week. Some of those messages came via our website, and others via social media. I particularly like this one, sent to us as a private message on Instagram after a local resident spotted our bin men out in the heavy snow:

“Your guys are brilliant. I haven’t dared drive down this road all week! I think your publicity this week has been amazing and I hope all your staff get reward and recognition.”

I’ve seen countless examples of other local government comms teams doing brilliant things during the recent cold weather, and lots of things I’ve seen that we can learn from for next time. While there are some things we have identified that we could have communicated in better ways, I am rather proud of what we achieved, how everyone in our team played to their strengths, and we engaged a large number of local people in meaningful ways.

Now, having said all that, can we have spring please?

Albert Freeman is digital comms and marketing specialist at Bradford Council.

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

There’s been a lot written about how the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica crisis.

It is absolutely an issue that threatens democracy and trust.

I recommend Albert Freeman’s post and

this Business Insider post on how Facebook dropped the PR ball. The Guardian’s coverage has been essential quality journalism.

Many people in my bubble have advocated ditching Facebook and I can sympathise with that.


will this force the public to stop using Facebook?

Not really.

Should it stop the public sector

from using Facebook to talk with them?



won’t fall until a platform gets better at being the place to share pics, cat videos, jokes, rants, opinions, memories.

Or do something that people don’t know they want really well.

Then people will go there.
It will happen one day.
But that’s not anytime soon.
If we think the wider population care or are even following this debate we are very much mistaken.

Original source – The Dan Slee Blog » LOCAL SOCIAL: Is it time for a Local localgovcamp?

We’re currently looking for new recruits to join our thriving community of software engineers here at DWP Digital. Read on to meet some of the team and find out more about the work we do.

Meet Phil, a QA Engineer

I’m Phil Ross, a QA Engineer working on DWP Digital’s Business Operations Support Systems. I work on a multi-disciplined scrum team developing internal-facing DWP applications. I’m responsible for all testing activity and the automation of this activity where possible.

Phil Ross

Phil Ross

DWP was at an early stage of its digital journey when I joined, which I felt was a great point to come in and make a difference: for example to define standards and working practices. I’m highly involved in the testing community and have offered to mentor my fellow QAs.

I’m currently working on an internal application to manage job vacancy requests across the digital practice. The aim is to digitise the existing laborious paper-based process using the latest tech stack. This will provide an enhanced user experience and visibility for those involved in the recruitment process.

Meet Aswini, a Principle Software Engineer

I’m Aswini Dasika and I work on Solution and Application Architecture for web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs). I’m part of the technical leadership for a team of software engineers.

Aswini Dasika

Aswini Dasika

The opportunities to develop greenfield projects and explore new technologies attracted me to DWP Digital, along with the chance to work on systems for citizens and the people serving them. It’s also been a good opportunity to contribute to a young technical community.

Recently I’ve been working on modern data visualisation applications, providing trends and embedded analytics for things like benefit data. The result is that those colleagues who usually have to work with lots of raw data statistics can now visualise it in more graphical way. I’ve also been involved in building APIs for other government departments to allow them to consume DWP data in real-time, self-service and in an automated fashion.

I’m definitely enjoying my role at DWP so far. I’ve recently moved from private sector and it’s been a real culture change, however I’m enjoying the challenge and relishing the opportunities. My career goal for the next year is to lead web application and API development into a sustainable, repeatable and reusable state for DWP.

Meet Stephen, a Technical Lead

Hi, I’m Stephen Moretti a Technical Lead working on DWP Digital’s Business Operations Support Systems. My days are quite varied: some days I’m looking at a bit of code in a product or helping extend our continuous integration and deployment pipeline, other days I’m scrum master for the teams or I’m looking at the architecture of a product.

Stephen Morretti

I joined DWP Digital for the opportunity to get involved in one of the UK’s biggest technology transformations at the very beginning. The scale of the transformation is so great that one day you can be working on existing products, or on greenfield developments with new technologies using agile frameworks the next.

I’m involved in quite a few different projects that vary from migrating an application from one hosting provider to another, through to working on a discovery for a product that helps DWP Digital better manage resource requests.

There are some great people working across DWP Digital who are genuinely interested in and enthusiastic about making it the best place to work, and ensuring that we’re delivering the very best products and services that we can.

We’re recruiting

We’re currently recruiting. To find out more visit our DWP Digital Careers website and have a look at our LinkedIn page. You can also subscribe to this blog and following us on Twitter @DWPDigital and @DWPDigitalJobs.

Original source – DWP Digital

..and this ‘thing of ours’

One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot since my move to the consultancy side of things is the perception of professionalism.

It was never something I really thought about when I was a civil servant — for better or worse I figured I’d be judged by my deeds and behaviours and at mySociety the remote working and open source nature of things changed the dynamic again.

Now though it is on my mind.

I’m pretty sure I don’t look like anybodies idea of a ‘leader’ really (well apart from being white and middle aged which probably plays into a LOT of preconceptions). If anything as I have got older and more senior I have become more casual in my attire. I wear trainers (Run DMC set my standard), the occasional hoodie, t-shirts and regularly show up to meetings with over-sized headphones around my neck.

Now I’m not going to change. My suit has been worn twice (once to meet the Queen and once for a wedding in NZ) and was bought for a version of Matt who was four plus stone larger. I mean I probably should own one that fits but lets just say it isn’t a priority.

I know none of this really matters but it is about perceptions and sometimes I wonder if this is one of those things that makes this ‘thing of ours’ just a little harder than it needs to be? Especially when you come from the ‘outside’?

Do all those things that make it easy to recognise members of our ‘tribe’ — the stickers, the Macbooks, the posters, the Post-Its, the hoodies, the bloody Lego — alienate others that we really need to bring along on this journey with us? Does it all reinforce the (still widely held it seems) idea that agile isn’t sufficiently serious and that being user-centric is somehow less important than delivering for the ‘business’.

The reality — as all of us know — is that agile is no easy option. Doing it well is hard work as is taking a true users first approach. It just doesn’t always look like it from the outside so I think it is our responsibility as advocates for this modern approach to do what we can to reassure everyone that this is serious stuff.

Now I’m not saying I’m going to get suited up as if I’m part of Don Cheadle’s crew in House of Lies (but I think I could pull it off!) but I am wondering what I can do to reinforce just how serious I am about this stuff (I mean would I really write so much about it if I wasn’t or spend hours reading a book about designing meetings if I wasn’t!?).

So I’m just thinking about some habits I can double down on to reinforce my professionalism without betraying my sartorial style(ha!) or agile principles..

  • Always be on time to meetings
  • Always be prepared in meetings — do the reading and be present
  • If running meetings ‘design’ the agenda, share it early, arrive early, make sure room is right
  • Communicate with stakeholders via the channel that suits them best as much as they can handle
  • Written documents get a second pair of eyes and proofed before they get shared with clients — always
  • Always seek feedback — keep iterating and improving
  • Be open, honest and transparent as much as possible
  • Seek opportunities to ‘join in’ — to get to know the teams and their ways of working elsewhere in the organisation

It’s easier to adopt the language and vocabulary of the culture in which you are working than it is to teach them a new one.
Dana Chisnell

  • Show empathy for local ‘rules’ (doesn’t mean don’t push back when appropriate but don’t assume the worst)
  • If sharing a space with other colleagues don’t monopolise it
  • Share agile approaches as widely as appropriate but don’t be generic — be mindful of the local culture

This all feels pretty basic but I’m writing it down to hold myself accountable!

Then again — maybe I should just buy a suit…


The Professional was originally published in Product for the People on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original source – Product for the People

At FutureGov we’ve always wanted to help people consider future careers in the public sector by showing how it’s done. To support our work with government in the UK we’re now looking to find great people to work in important public service roles.

We work in partnership with organisations supporting design and delivery of large transformation and change programmes. And we want to see government succeed in delivering lasting change to the millions of people using public services.

This means that we’re obsessed with creating sustainable models for managing and delivering change with the organisations we work with.

Delivering better services means responding to people’s increasing expectations for modern and reliable services that make the most of new types of technologies. It’s not enough to only think about the design of services, but it’s also vital to design and support changes inside the organisations having to manage and deliver them.

To respond to this challenge we work with our partners to consider everything from business models and objectives to organisational structures, governance, teams and individual job roles. Increasingly, this means supporting the infrastructure that needs to be in place for business transformation and the implementation of new types of services and digital delivery. It also means that we’re working closely with those having to manage the impact of change at every level of each organisation.

What happens after FutureGov. A hiring strategy

If an organisation is becoming increasingly digital and using agile delivery methods this requires new types of skills and job roles.

We already deliver most aspects of projects in partnership. This usually means working in combined teams that support and train people to work in new ways, helping develop new skill sets. This includes skill transfer across agile and user centred design methods. For example, giving people hands on experience and involvement in user research, prioritising a product backlog, or running team retrospectives.

But what comes next? There’s the question of what happens after FutureGov.

The challenge is how we help organisations to build their own capability for the long term transformation of government.

It’s therefore our goal to make sure that every organisation we work with can sustain and deliver the future vision they have for how their organisation will work in the future and the services that they will deliver.

If anything, we’re now working more across entire organisations than ever before. In areas like policy, HR, with finance teams, as well as leaders shaping the future direction and decision making around how services will operate and their future roadmap for digital.

We still expect to work directly alongside design and delivery teams for the immediate future, still supporting important design and digital leadership roles in projects. But we’re now working to establish a new set of design, digital and leadership roles with a focus on local government. It’s encouraging to already see roles such as Head of Service Design being created in places like Essex, and we’re helping to shape how these roles will function and the responsibilities they will hold.

The types of roles we’re helping recruit are increasingly more senior, and these are important roles for influencing future priorities and delivery. There are a number of models that can work for digital transformation so there’s no one size fits all here. We see the challenge as always being about how to design an organisation within government in order to support the behaviours, and a culture that supports the delivery of better services, outcomes for citizens and continuous improvement of these services over time.

Most importantly, this isn’t just about filling ‘digital’ roles or creating digital teams. We’re working hard to establish new team structures fit for digital organisations. We’re also looking at how to best support new types of communities of practice, supporting them in order to help these roles and ways of working succeed.

Join the mission to deliver change for government

There’s never been a better time to work in government.

There’s a genuine opportunity to contribute to the transformation of public services and the impact they have in people’s lives. This is everything from Housing, Adult Social Care, Fostering and Children’s Services, even the future of Transport.

The support we’re giving to our partners is about finding brilliant people who want to work on services that matter. You could be part of these transformation programmes, delivering significant change to people and working in teams with the same motivation to make a difference.

Interested? Jason Kitcat, Executive Director for Corporate Development at Essex County Council has blogged this week about the roles we’re supporting at the moment: Hello world — come work with us!

We plan to advertise more vacancies that we’re supporting for government over the next few months. You can also get in touch with us directly.

Building digital capability for our government partners was originally published in FutureGov on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original source – FutureGov

A graphic reading '1,000th student on the digital and agile foundation course'

Today the GDS Academy celebrates the 1,000th graduate from its digital and agile foundation course. This 10-day course – an introduction to agile and digital in government – has been running since the Academy began.

The GDS Academy launched as the DWP Digital Academy in February 2014. Back then the Academy was training people at the Department for Work and Pensions. Classes were held in a room above the Fulham Jobcentre.

A lot has changed since those early days. The Digital Academy became the GDS Academy last year. It now runs at sites across Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle and has trained more than 7,800 civil servants, helping to build digital skills and capability across government.

GDS Director General Kevin Cunnington set up the Academy when he was Director General of Business Transformation at DWP. He says: “We wanted teach people how to embrace digital ways of working, in order to help teams build their own capability and give them the digital skills they need to transform public services.”

In this blog post, we speak to 4 graduates of the foundation course, to find out how the academy has helped them take their digital careers to the next level. And we hear from GDS Academy Business Manager Lara Stevenson about how the Academy has grown.

2 people standing in front of a sign reading 'GDS Academy'

Dr Carla Groom, Head of Behavioural Science, DWP

“Before I went on the foundation course, agile was just a vaguely useful set of concepts. After attending the course I became a full-on agile amateur. I realised that there were so many people out there thinking about basically the same kinds of organisational problems.

I joined Twitter within a week of graduating and have spent the 2 years since then wringing out every last drop of expertise from people all over the world. I’ve attended agile events and met incredible people from all kinds of sectors. And I’ve read books on design, engineering and computing that have changed the way I think about my own practice, Behavioural Science.

The modern digital community is like a sweet-shop of ideas and tools for solving the problems I work on, and the Academy has been the most wonderful shop-window.

As I have become more familiar with the digital world, it has become increasingly clear that the Academy does something that most private-sector digital consultancies don’t. It enables people to thoroughly explore some radical and useful ideas, but discourages them from getting too attached to them. There are no ‘commandments’, only suggestions. So it doesn’t just teach you things. It helps you learn to learn them.”

Baljit Rakhra, Digital, Data and Technology Fast Streamer, currently on placement with High Speed 2

“Doing the course gave me the foundation to build my career in the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession. It has helped me to think in an agile way.

One thing I found really interesting and useful was that the course involved working on a project. This meant that we got a chance to use all the techniques that we were learning.

Being able to do the course at an early stage of my Fast Stream has really increased my confidence. For example, I recently delivered a workshop on user research to the Business Analyst Community at HS2. I wanted to spread the knowledge that I’d gained during the course to my colleagues.”

Four people sitting on the floor gathered around some sheets of paper

The first ever digital and agile foundation course, in Fulham in February 2014

Doug Bell, Learning Facilitator, GDS Academy

“I was a student on the very first digital and agile foundation course in February 2014.

I had led several teams on traditional projects and as an Implementation Lead I had first-hand experience of the problems associated with the delivery of large IT projects as front-line operations. The Academy taught me how services should be built around user needs and how ongoing testing of prototypes could reduce service risk.

After I graduated from the course I worked as a Business Analyst on a cross-departmental DWP/HMRC team, working on transforming a service where customers could find out what their State Pension would be at their State Pension Age. This enabled me to consolidate all the things I had learned on the course and the team went on to win a number of awards – including the 2016 Civil Service Digital Award.

I want others to embrace the Academy learnings and to share the same sense of achievement I have experienced. To this end I have recently joined the Academy as a learning facilitator, where hopefully I can support learning across Government with real examples of successful delivery.”

Sylvia Romero-Reyes, Product Manager, Department for International Trade

“Taking the foundation course gave me not just the tools to do a better job but also got me in the right state of mind to work better as a part of a team, and to focus on delivering valuable outcomes for our users.

It made me realise in a very practical way how important it is to focus on user needs from the beginning. And the course made me think of the wider picture: there were lots of things I wasn’t even aware I didn’t know!”

Lara Stevenson, Business Manager, GDS Academy

“I’ve been in the Academy since it was first created and it’s been such an exciting journey – never in our wildest imagination did we think that we’d be offering our services nationally and across government. It was such a proud moment when we hit 100 students, so 1,000 is incredible.

It’s a real testament to the team who work tirelessly behind the scenes keeping the Academy going, and it’s in no small part thanks to them, that we’ve had the privilege of seeing so many fantastic people pass through our doors. Roll on 2,000!”

Are you one of the 1,000 graduates of the course? Share your memory and tag your classmates as part of the celebrations on Twitter @GDSacademy using the hashtag #GDSacademy.

Visit GDS Academy for a list of courses.

Original source – Government Digital Service