It’s slightly strange to be reporting on another week without a major launch but it’s something we should get used to. One of the main advantages of iterative working is that the big bangs of launching new products and platforms are replaced by the quiet work of releases, updates and improvements. It’s not as dramatic but it’s more effective, safer and serves our users better.
Archive for November, 2012
The department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been working with GDS since before GDS existed to help get department websites ready for the move to GOV.UK. John Turnbull from BIS explains what it’s been like to see the project evolve.
I’ve worked on quite a few web projects in the classic project management style. In these the focus was very much on the process and the specification, rather than the product; you’d have to specify so much, and in such detail, that it often took a very long time for anything to get built. But in the last year, BIS has been working with GDS in a very different way. Read more
We’ve been monitoring the volume of traffic to GOV.UK since launch. We want to ensure that the people who used to rely on Directgov and Business Link can still find the reliable and authoritative information and services they need.
After speaking at AgileTeaCamp, I thought I would share how people management has evolved in the GDS Delivery Team.
What you get for free with agile
Agile product teams are self-managing. With the users’ needs in mind, the product manager defines what needs to be done and the team itself decides how to achieve it. This is instantly a more motivating approach. You’re trusting people to design the best solution to meet the need, rather than handing down a ‘solved problem’ to be implemented. You’re also making the most of the smart, talented people you’ve worked so hard to find. Read more
Janet wrote recently about how we’re presenting policy differently on Inside Government, but what does that mean for individual departments? Paola Wright, Online Policy Desk Officer for the Ministry of Defence (MOD), explains the impact it has had on their work.
After nearly two months of work, all of our policies at MOD are just about ready to be published on GOV.UK. It’s taken a lot of hard graft, in a very short space of time, and it’s meant big changes to how we approach policy. Although there have been a few hiccups along the way, it’s been a success story. Read more
A few weeks ago I wrote a post detailing the technical side of the Government Digital Strategy. One of the things I spoke about was how we were keen to keep improving the site and fixing bugs. We were also hoping to move some of the code into its own repository. The code could then be used as a completely independent plugin which would have other uses beyond the strategy. Today I’d like to update you. Read more
Imagine that you are a violin maker, and you have only a chisel and a hacksaw. With such inappropriate tools, you’re going to either a) make a really shoddy violin, b) spend an age trying to get the tools to work, or c) develop some tools that are better suited to violin making.
I work on the infrastructure of GOV.UK, and in the infrastructure team we are making the tools that make better violins, so our violin makers (the developers) can get on with worrying about how the instruments sound. Read more
The search engine optimisation landscape is changing. As I have blogged previously, we are doing our best to make sure we use the same search terms as our users to make content easier to find. Now that Directgov and Business Link are no more, and GOV.UK has shaken off its beta-warning shackles, it’s time to see if we’ve achieved this.