Transforming digital services in local government

07 March 2017

Natalie Taylor, Senior Manager Digital Transformation:

When it comes to the day to day delivery of high quality digital work, a centralised framework which everyone understands and is signed up to is essential in making sure we are all on board and on track.

As some of you will know, Local Gov Digital is working with champions of the Local Government Digital Service Standard to create Peer Groups across the country to support councils with its implementation. I thought it would be helpful to provide a brief update on our progress and plans for the London Peer Group.

The London Peer Group

In November, at our second London Peer Group meeting, we ran through the standard, point by point, with colleagues from across London’s Councils. We asked the attendees how much they understood about the proposed ways of working and where they felt they required the most support. We soon discovered, that the level of digital capability and the need for support is incredibly varied across the landscape.

What's planned for 2017

So our plan for 2017 is about building capability, by sharing knowledge, best practice case studies and connecting people to those who can best support them. In order to do this we will be running a regular meet-up, similar to the popular ‘tea-camp’ (run by Sarah Baskerville and James Arthur Cattell), every six weeks.

This will be an informal meeting, at a sociable venue, such as a pub or cafe and will be open to all those working in the public sector in London. Each meet-up will focus on a different point from the standard, such as user research, assisted digital, agile or testing. Experts from the industry will speak on the chosen subject, providing tangible examples of putting the specific standard point into practise and the associated techniques used to put it into practise.

There will be opportunities aplenty for discussion and exploration of ideas, as well as networking time.  

I’m pleased to say that, thanks to the help of some excellent colleagues from Camden, Redbridge, LoGov and Agilesphere, we have pulled together a small group of experienced professionals who have volunteered to run these meet-ups. We already have a plan for the first half of the year and the invitation to the first meet-up went out to our peer group last week.

At the November meeting we also briefly touched on the idea of running peer-led service assessments, in a similar way to the Government Digital Service. This seems like quite a big jump for many councils. We will have to consider how to resource the assessment teams, as well as the consequences of services which don’t pass. That aside it is definitely something we will start to think about later this year.

Natalie Taylor, Senior Manager Digital Transformation
Get involved

So that’s where we are so far. As always, we are very open to suggestions about how we can make the standard work for London; and how best the peer group can support that.

Want to know more about the peer group,get involved or share your thoughts? Email [email protected].

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