Enabling conditions, not just heroics

Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/iDzKdNI7Qgc
A summary of principles published by GDS (2014) and the UK National Audit Office (201
This screenshot from my presentation is a summary of principles published by GDS (2014) and the UK National Audit Office (2016).

Awkward question moment: how much do we really want to change about governance?

In a post-crisis world, no digital team would ever say that “finally, we can go back to government as usual”
  • Leadership / “air cover” — What type of stable and coherent leadership structure and accountability needs to be put into place across government so that new ways of working thrive?
  • Funding — What type of funding model is necessary for sustainable and continuously improved services?
  • Direction / expectation — How specific or prescriptive do we need to be in the design of policy instruments to set new bars? Are we asking enough of others?
  • Capacity-building — What proactive institutional supports beyond the digital team need to be created and given more momentum?
  • Talent — How many doers vs watchers do we have in our structure? As Katherine Benjamin would say, “How many individuals do you have in your organization who, working on their own, could both conduct a user research interview, and turn those insights into a rough prototype in the next 24 hours?”
  • Intervention — What reactive institutional supports need to be stood up to help departments deliver on minimum direction/expectation?
  • Measurement and evaluation — How do we ensure that teams are measuring things that matter? Who is involved in the measurement and evaluation work?
  • Reporting — How will we keep ourselves honest? What level of exposure are we providing to the things we are measuring and evaluating?
  • Community engagement — How do we ensure teams are also taking time to reflect and share what they are learning so other government teams and partners outside of government can learn from them and vice versa? Good ideas and reflections are worth forking

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