Technology is always changing. Our guidance and standards must keep pace to stay relevant and useful for departments. The Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) plays an important part in helping government organisations buy and build technology, and is the benchmark for Spend Controls for departmental spending on digital and IT services.
Recently, we’ve done lots of user research to understand how people are using the Technology Code of Practice, and we’re planning to iterate it based on this feedback.
Change and continuity
The Technology Code of Practice was last iterated back in 2016. A wide group of industry and government stakeholders helped give us the document we have today. The Technology Leaders Network approved the TCoP, and HM Treasury has mandated it as part of Spend Controls. It is also an important part of the Government Transformation Strategy.
But, the current version of the TCoP was never meant to be the final version. Our aim is to keep iterating, based on feedback and insight from our users.
Listening to you
At the end of last year, we started work on making the TCoP better. We did some initial user research, and are continuing to do more detailed research with as many departments as possible.
So far, we’ve learned that teams across government would like clearer information on what is classed as a ‘standard’, and what we mean by best practice advice. They’d also like more specific examples about implementing the principles.
One important lesson is to consider legacy systems. We often have to buy and build technology in the context of these legacy systems, so while solving each unique issue isn’t practical the guidance will aim to support the main challenges teams face.
We don’t have a monopoly on good practice, so we’ll be working with departments and organisations to look for good implementations of technology that follow our principles.
We’ll be writing about our user research in more depth soon.
The basis of the principles aren’t changing, and we’re still committed to standards that help government buy and build great technology. What we expect will change is the structure of the document as we work on providing greater clarity and more guidance and support for departments. We’ll also be working with Spend Controls to make the principles’ support their work as clearly as possible.
We’re taking our proposals to the next Technology Leader’s Network meeting. As government’s senior technology decision-making body, they’ll play an important role in helping us realise our vision. We aim to have the next iteration out later this summer.
We need you! We can’t improve the Technology Code of Practice without help from departments, so please join us. If you’d like to help, please contact us.