Tom Loosemore, Deputy Director at the UK’s Government Digital Service, spoke at ProductTank recently about how to do product development properly, at scale, in government. It’s an eye-opening case study of how even the most entrenched and sluggish organisations can revitalise their digital presence with the thoughtful application of simple principles of user-centered design and iterative, agile development.
He and the team at GDS have developed these guiding principles for what they do:
- Start with needs (of the user)
- Do less
- Design with data
- Do the hard work to make it simple
- Iterate. Then iterate again.
- Build for inclusion
- Understand context
- Build digital services, not websites
- Be consistent, not uniform
- Make things open: it makes things better
Given the recent debacle around the launch of healthcare.gov in the US, American government services could definitely take note, but this is a great lesson in how to scale agile and iterative processes that’s valid for any big organisation.