O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a navegar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nosso Contrato do Usuário e nossa Política de Privacidade.
O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a utilizar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nossa Política de Privacidade e nosso Contrato do Usuário para obter mais detalhes.
A presentation to "Agile Australia" conference on the UK Government journey and my take on it. It includes my private views on what will make transformation successfully stick in a public sector environment. UK Government as a whole is generally doing a good job in transforming the way it delivers services, but there are always sticking points, and aspects that could be better.
Best seen in PowerPoint. Feel free to download and use under a CC Attribution-ShareAlike Licence.
Good afternoon. I’m Richard Edwards, and I’m here to talk about the continuing digital transformation journey undertaken by the UK Government over the past 5 years, which is likely to take at least 2 more 5-year government terms. The Australian and US governments, among others, are on similar journeys, and I’m happy to share my war stories if it will do a small part to make those journeys smoother. Agile approaches to managing change are at the heart of this transformation – I probably wouldn’t be standing here talking about it otherwise - but there are many other aspects to steering public services to more successful outcomes for our citizens and industry than just using agile working practices.
I want to keep the presentation short, and make this more interactive with Q&A. Feel free to note questions down and then ask at the end. [Click]
First, let me ask – how many of you are from government jobs – do you call that public sector over here?
And how many from banks – do you consider yourselves similar to government organisations? In the UK, there is some similarity.
3rd sector & not for profit?
And the rest of you are customers of all of these other good folk?
Very good – I now know who my audience are.
For my sins, in the late 80’s, I was part of the methods team at the Central Computing & Telecommunications Agency in the UK government. The team was responsible for creating the “PRojects IN a Controlled Environment” method, better known as PRINCE; the IT Infrastructure Library, ITIL; and the less well known Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology, SSADM – the ultimate serial or waterfall development methodology. Each of these methods reflect the IT change environment of the day: big projects, needing extensive control, with cookbooks of instructions for how public servants should deliver them. The intention was that these methods should not be cookbooks, but instead be used as guides to which teams should apply intelligence. However, they were a licence in many cases for unscrupulous suppliers of the 80’s and 90’s to print money, following all the key elements precisely (as government had told them to). [Click] ITIL, PRINCE (and now, PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile) and other methods recognise the need to engage with the business user as part of the change process. SSADM did as well, but in classic waterfall fashion, only as the initial input to a long development process. We all recognise the usual result: long duration, expensive IT change projects, resulting in solutions that may have met some, or even most of the needs of the public servants, but which the public and industry thought were complex and difficult to interact with – especially if they were only seeing them through the paper forms they filled in, or engaging over the phone with public servants sitting in front of computer screens. Over the years, the CCTA, and its successor the Office for Government Commerce (OGC), issued updates and changes in an attempt to do better, with some success. But the scale of the culture change was enormous: people at all levels of government wanted clear instructions as to how to deliver IT change, and wanted to hand the problem off to outside “experts” from major suppliers. [Click]
In the mid-90’s, I left government IT, and started a career in the private sector as Head of IT for First Choice Holidays in the UK. In these early days of the world wide web, First Choice was dipping its toe in the water with on-line sales of package holidays, mostly providing information like an on-line brochure, and driving sales to call centres. It was also the early days of agile methods, and as a person interested in all types of methods, agile approaches interested me, at this stage intellectually – where they a good solution? At that stage who knew? Using a supplier who was innovating using DSDM, I introduced First Choice to agile ways of delivering change in 1996. Productivity and customer satisfaction (both in the business and real customers) increased: not spectacularly, but well enough. DSDM was a hit. As a result, First Choice launched sales web sites which generated considerable sales leads and provided more choice more quickly than its competitors. Career moves to take roles as IT Director at the UK retailer Moss Bros, and then to the UK Board of Hanson, the quarrying and concrete company, took me away from the coal face for a while, but on taking the CIO role at Insurance BPO Helphire in the mid-2000’s, I again had the opportunity to introduce agile approaches to an entrepreneurial team, this time adopting Lean Software Development principles and Scrum. 14 years in the private sector, from 1995 to 2009, gave me a different perspective on what could be achieved for customers. [Click] In 2009 I returned to government as CIO of one of 7 UK government shared service centres, providing finance, HR, procurement, grants, facilities and IT management. The major, waterfall project to create the shared service centre systems was under way and, typical of many UK government projects, was outsourced to a big systems integrator with a contract that blocked and hampered change rather than encouraging and supporting it. This taught me that, in my 14 years away, the public sector was still the same and had not changed (or at least the bits I saw of it).
In 2008, the sub-prime crash in the US led to repercussions across the globe, especially in the banking sector in the UK, causing the UK government to bail out our banks, and straining UK government budgets. In 2010, the new coalition administration that was voted in that year arguably brought a more commercial mind-set, and asked key industry thought leaders to say what they thought government could do better in various, different aspects. Martha Lane-Fox, founder of lastminute.com, was invited to comment on government IT, and produced the report “Directgov 2010 and beyond: Revolution not evolution”. Her report advocated for radical change across government services, focused on the real customers of the public and industry, using agile approaches to change, and enforced from the centre. I’ve included a link to this report in my presentation, for your convenience. [Click]
As a result of Baroness Lane-Fox’s report, the Cabinet Office at the centre of the UK Government established the Government Digital Service. Their first job was to understand the scale of the challenge. In 2011, they undertook a survey of transactional services and systems provided by central government (local government was out of scope at this stage). They discovered an enormously complex environment, with a mind-boggling mix of services, and needless to say different solutions to each of those services. The government approach to date had been to support multi-channel provision of services, to give the citizen access to government services in whatever way they wanted: this was very expensive, and was a driver of the complexity. The new approach was instead to drive everyone to the digital channel, assisting only those who genuinely could or would not access the web. This approach became known as “Digital by Default”. [Click] Of the more than 790 transactional services discovered through the survey – this does not include information-only or search services – 25 services with more than 100,000 transactions per annum were chosen as “Exemplars” to act as trial digital transformation projects. It was envisaged that this would allow government to learn the right way to approach digital transformation, while having a controlled impact on the citizen, industry, and the public service. The big question remained: how to enact this transformation? [Click]
The UK Government Digital Service worked with several companies, such as ThoughtWorks and others, to describe the rules of the game for transforming government services. They jointly created a “Digital by Default” Service Standard which describes the outcomes that must be achieved from the transformation of a service. Originally, there were 26 standard elements to be considered when building digital services, of which number 6 was use of agile approaches to change – these 26 have now been restated as 18 checkable, measurable points, and the requirement to use agile approaches has been promoted to number 4. Delivery against the standard is mandatory, and checked by independent, trained assessors at key stages of the project. This standard is open and freely available to all to examine and feed back upon. [Click] As well as requiring an agile approach, the standard requires new concepts, new roles, and new ways of working. Research has to be undertaken with real customers, such as private citizens, industry representatives, charities, and other end-users, and for these customers to be involved right the way through the process, through the show & tells, usability testing, the likes of ethnographic and guerrilla testing, and private & public beta testing. Further, projects no longer stop when the initial goal is achieved: funding, resource, and governance structures must be in place to respond to citizen & industry feedback. This is a major shift in the public sector approach: previously, systems were specified by the public servants, or by experts from the systems integrators. Projects ended, funding stopped, and investment may not be made again for many years. This is not an easy shift – it requires public servants and their suppliers to think differently. Again, I have included links to relevant resources on the slide. [Click]
So how do you get public servants to want to change in this way? I joined Environment Agency in 2014 to enact agile working as part of implementing Digital by Default. The English Environment Agency is responsible for policy, permitting and regulation of all aspects of the environment throughout England, including flood defences, nuclear and chemical regulation, waterways & navigation management, on-shore fisheries, waste movement and disposal, and many other aspects of environmental regulation. This makes it a complex service provider. The Environment Agency delivered one of the transactional services chosen as one of the 25 UK government Exemplars, and had done well to deliver a new Waste Movement licensing system using agile approaches and complying with the Digital by Default Service Standard. However, this had been treated as an isolated example. All but one other project continued in the old, serial development approach. I explored the reasons why with those involved and I found that they believed Digital by Default was a fad, and that agile approaches would soon go away to be replaced by a return to the “tried and tested” methods – this was even true of some IT professionals just as much as others in the organisation leadership. Just teaching new methods, or coaching early adopters was not going to work. [Click] Instead, it was a case of making the whole organisation want to change. I recruited volunteers from across the organisation, but mostly from IT, to be Agile Champions, ambassadors for the approach who would be involved in fully understanding the Digital by Default approach, and interpret it for their own projects, teams and situations, translating the approach and the reasons behind it into terms their colleagues could buy in to. We jointly created a transformation programme charter, with measurable goals, an understanding of the achievable scope of change, the constraints that the transformation had to work within, and an iterative, incremental roadmap. A number of work streams were formed, to address methods, communications, skills & learning, governance, and harvesting the benefits. The Champions led these and involved others as required.` But there was also a stick: communications made it clear that the Digital by Default policy was here to stay, that projects would not get funding unless they demonstrated a change in approach, and that checks would be done along the way and especially before the citizen was asked to use the service that the citizen had been fully involved in designing, improving and testing the service. [Click]
But this was not enough – the transformation was not about the mechanics of the technology, or the method of working: it was about changing hearts and minds. Having champions, a roadmap, work streams, and good ideas still requires people to want to change. People tend to follow the course of least resistance: often this is to do what they know. [Click] To make the change stick, the new approach had to be made easier than doing things the old way. Thus governance hoops were introduced to make doing serial delivery more difficult, and agile approaches with incremental funding easier. People want to know what is in it for them: if there are no personal benefits, there is little incentive to change. Thus emphasising the CV-enhancing aspects of more modern approaches to change, the recognition of early successes, and the more inclusive team spirit of devolved decision making were important to overcome the pain caused by learning curves, initially higher costs, and greater resource demands on non-IT organisational resources. And people want to be involved in successful activities. A key goal of the Digital by Default policy is for government to make on-line, digital services so good citizens prefer to use them. The mirror goal in the transformation programme was to make transformational change so successful, public servants want to be involved. So there is lots of celebration of success across government, and news letters, press reports, etc. The idea to counter the traditional bad press. You can find government blogs about this success via the link on the slide. [Click]
A major blocker is UK rules on funding. These are skewed to annual funding cycles, and UK government organisations cannot carry money across financial years. Further, IT departments have been encouraged to work on a cost recovery basis, charging the rest of the business for time spent on projects and ensuring high utilisation of chargeable resource. Transformational activity that is about improving internal ways of working fights for focus with chargeable work, which gives an excuse for change resistance. [Click] Enlightened organisations are moving to continuous service investment budgets, using new Treasury rules on outcome-based, multi-year programme funding, put in place specifically to support agile change. HM Treasury, working with Cabinet Office, realised that the traditional requirements-based business cases don’t work when the need is discovered throughout the project, so they changed the “Green Book”, the rules that govern bidding for project funds. However, the adoption of these rules is taking time: HM Treasury has not publicised the change widely, and Senior Management have not always sought out the new rules.
Government organisations need to be able to call on continuously available investment funds to improve their services as and when the customers need them to. And public servants need to be paid for from those funds: not based on their input using timesheet hours, but on the outcomes achieved in value delivered. Investment should follow value delivered, not work identified. [Click]
Monolithic IT has been rife in UK government organisations, and change is needed to increase agility of the delivery teams. Large long-term outsourcing deals then cement this monolithic structure in place. Outsourcing deals are often for many years, up to 10 to 15 years. Outsourcers are clearly defensive of these agreements. But they can be encouraged to become more agile, and to contribute to the transformation in return for continued engagement. Successfully calling on their resources, who are engaged in agility and digital strategy delivery in private industry to add to the expertise available, can support the transformation of a government organisation. Just make sure there is a clear exit strategy to ensure hand-off to a more agile arrangement of supply as part of the transformation. [Click] Splitting a monolithic team up into service-aligned teams reduces task switching waste and team sizes, and increases rich communications and service knowledge. But aggregation has been seen as efficient, removing management layers, and increasing utilisation levels.
GDS has identified large outsourcing as a major blocker to agility, as well as a major drain on the public purse. Engagement with Small & Medium-sized Enterprises is now encouraged, as is increasing the in-house capabilities and skills both to deliver agile change, and to work in partnership with SMEs intelligently from a position of knowledge. This is enforced through the DbD principles and criteria, as well as though procurement control frameworks: the G-Cloud and Digital Services frameworks. Some see adopting an agile approach as hampered by European Procurement Laws, which enforce level playing fields for all suppliers, and sometimes let in the large SIs due to their ability to finance attractive bids for work. However, GDS has sensibly built effective procurement frameworks to support the engagement of firms of all sizes who are committed to agile service delivery. Of course, Brexit may also free us from these restrictive procurement approaches. [Click]
So what are the top 10 enablers for the transformation? This is my list, and I’m not going to read through it. Others may have a different list. They are all important. If I were to pick 3 for the public sector (private sector might be different, but not much), they would be: Establish the principles and criteria for change, and make these policy. This gives public servants something certain to aim for, and reduces the fear of feeling exposed to criticism for what they have chosen to do; Pinch best practice from wherever you can. Don’t suffer from the “not invented here” syndrome: it is OK to use what has been found to be best practice elsewhere and plagiarise it; and This change is not all about technology or methodologies, its mostly about people – what makes them act in the way you need them to, and what makes them want to carry on that way. Have them change themselves through finding champions of change who will act as transformational agents, translating the drivers for change into the personal language of the organisation.
I can talk for much longer on these, but you probably have specific questions you want to ask, about these 10 enablers, about the other points I have talked about, and about use of agile methods in the UK government sector. [Click]
So now is your chance. I look forward to answering as best I can, or pointing you to where you can find answers from better people than me.
Making Government Digital
Steering an Agile Oil Tanker
Making Government Digital
17 June 2015
Views expressed are those of Richard Edwards, and not of UK Government,
Barra Kay Limited, or any other individual or organisation
People working outside
You might be out of
• Government finds IT change difficult
• Government services complex & unfriendly
• Govt IT massively expensive
• Lots of attempts to do better – some success
Why change now?
• Digital revolution in society
• 2008 crash: effect on UK economy
• Recession demands digital revolution in Govt
• Commercial mindset of Con/Lib coalition
• Martha Lane-Fox report
The unique problem
• The scale of change
• More than 790 transactional services
• 1.74 billion transactions per annum
• In excess of 6 million UK public servants
Transactions per annum
• Product Owners
• Remove barriers
The How 2
• Public servants are resourceful: give them
reason to change and they will help
• The stick: make it policy,
create Standard Operating Procedures
• The carrot: learn about benefits by doing,
The How 3
• Make it easy to do:
make it the simplest path to the desired outcome
• Make it exciting:
the “endorphins of benefit” mask any pain
• Make it viral:
so good it spreads by itself
• Funding governance: must be outcome based
• Power bases: senior executive ownership
• Skill base: grow your own, buy in when necessary
• Big suppliers: bring into the picture or eliminate
• Proprietary product: use open source & invent own
• IT problem: a multi-functional transformation team
• Monolithic IT difficult to change:
Change to service-aligned teams
• Big outsourcing takes time to alter:
Engage with SMEs through frameworks
• European procurement law difficult for agility:
Use frameworks, clear principles, education
• Government-wide enabling organisation: GDS
• 6 Principles & 18 Criteria mandated and assured – make it policy
• Service Design Manual
• GOV.UK move: single gateway, single style
• Best practice from industry: don’t be afraid to pinch good ideas
• Use the open source movement, and give back open code
• Exemplar projects
• Quickly create beacons of light: HMRC, DVLA, organisations that have transformed from the
top down & bottom up
• Have evangelical coaches, transformation agents, leaders, advocates, “champions”
• Communities of Practice
Views expressed are those of Richard Edwards, and not of UK Government, Barra Kay Limited, or any other individual or organisation
Steering an Agile Oil Tanker
Making Government Digital
Questions & Answers
17 June 2015
Views expressed are those of Richard Edwards, and not of UK Government,
Barra Kay Limited, or any other individual or organisation