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Draft Digital Principles

On 9 June I published a draft set of digital principles and asked for comments. Ben CheethamJames Gore, and Rob Miller responded and I'm really grateful for their input.

The principles as they stand now are:

Traditional Practice
Digital Principle
In Practice
Consider face-to-face, email and telephone as the default channel for delivering services and information.
Consider digital as the default channel for delivering services and information.
Ensure digital and assisted digital are prioritised over traditional delivery methods and are included in service and communication plans.
Deliver digital services on a service by service basis to a varying standard.
Adopt a corporate, joined-up approach to delivering digital services to a national standard, focusing on user need.
Create a joined-up programme of change with strong support from leadership, and a cross-service team to break down internal silos.

Deliver services to the Local Government Digital Service Standard.
Conduct periodic mystery shopper exercises.
Capture, measure and act on user satisfaction and usage data for each digital service.
Extend existing methods to capture feedback for every end-to-end digital transaction, to all re-designed digital services.
Procure IT systems and develop online forms to support existing processes.
Redesign existing processes to take advantage of the efficiencies and improved user experience digital can provide.
New projects that involve public facing services should be led using service design principles.
Clearly define the desired outcome and the solution for each project from the start.
Clearly define the desired outcome for each project from the start. Discover the solution through user research, prototyping and user testing.
Where possible, projects that involve public facing services should follow the Government Service Design Manual.
Deliver all projects using Waterfall methodology.
Deliver projects using an Agile methodology, where appropriate.
Where possible projects that involve public facing services should follow the Government Service Design Manual
Duplicate existing functionality as part of a solution.
Re-use existing functionality and design as part of a solution and make sure capabilities and data can be re-used where possible.

Check if any of the capabilities, data and capacity to deliver the service already exist, and if they do, incorporate them into the new service.

Publish details of capabilities and data that are available for re-use.
Work alone to procure or develop and deliver services.
Work with other councils and partners to procure or develop shared digital services.
Seek to establish or use an existing working group through a peer network before developing or procuring new services.
Delivery to a defined project schedule, with a distinct end point.
Continue to develop and improve digital services in response to user needs.
Periodic service assessments, redesigns, audits and “healthchecks”, collating data from UX testing, analytics and usage statistics.
Focus mainly on the technology being developed or procured to deliver the service.
Focus on the team skills of the developing or procuring the technology to deliver the service..
Make sure the teams creating and delivering the service have the technical skills to understand how to build or procure it, and continue to improve it.


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