Saturday, February 27, 2021

g-f(2)147 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE, Computer Weekly, Fixing government digital transformation – lessons from the early days of GDS.




Extra-condensed knowledge


  • This container of golden knowledge describes key lessons learned of UK government digital transformation.
  • As a new organisation is formed to lead UK digital government, three former government digital leaders share the lessons they learned from the early days of the Government Digital Service.
    • The UK government’s new strategic centre for digital, data and technology, The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), has a big challenge on its hands. How does it break the repeating cycle of digital government initiatives and deliver the long-promised transformation of our public services?
    • It would provide the opportunity to learn from what’s happened in the past, baselining the good, the bad and the outright ugly of the past 20-plus years.
  • Lessons learned – breaking the cycle
    • This wasn’t the first attempt at radical change driven by a central team. 
    • Improving government, Whitehall and our public services are all political problems, not ones of technology alone. Public policy and technology need to be developed hand in hand, not by one trying to unilaterally lead and impose on the other.


Genioux knowledge fact condensed as an image


Condensed knowledge  


  • Lessons learned – breaking the cycle
    • This wasn’t the first attempt at radical change driven by a central team. The wellsprings of digital transformation reach back at least to the mid-1990s. The work of GDS mirrors many of the experiences of 1997 onwards, when open standards, shared platforms, improved in-house capabilities, agile processes etc. also became the norm under an earlier Cabinet Office team.
  • If we want to succeed where previous efforts have failed, our focus as technologists might be better rewarded by engaging more successfully and openly not just with politicians and policymakers, but with everyone who uses and cares about public services. If the phrase “meeting user needs” means anything, then perhaps it’s time we started there, and not with top-down models of technical change.


Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age

[genioux fact produced, deduced or extracted from Computer Weekly]

Type of essential knowledge of this “genioux fact”: Essential Analyzed Knowledge (EAK).

Type of validity of the "genioux fact". 

  • Inherited from sources + Supported by the knowledge of one or more experts.


Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


References


Fixing government digital transformation – lessons from the early days of GDS, Jerry Fishenden, James Duncan and James Findlay, February 19, 2021, Computer Weekly.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Jerry Fishenden was a senior technical advisor to GDS’s chief technology officer and later interim deputy CTO at GDS; James Duncan used data from spend controls to formulate the Crown Hosting strategy; James Findlay was technology leader for the Department for Transport.


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