Peter Herlihy, delivery manager at the Government Digital Service (GDS) reflects on the delivery of the government’s e-petitions website with an eight-week deadline, which has received over 12,000 hits a minute, mostly through social media and has a cost of 0.6 p per transaction.
GDS chose to go down the route of agile rather than use a system integrator and went to a number of small suppliers to put together a flexible tea.
According to Herlihy, “We were realistic that everything we wanted was not achievable in eight weeks. We were happy to deliver feature like the complex back-end reporting at a later date… We made sure we never delivered anything we didn’t have a need for.” He added that a key factor was “constant demonstrations as to how the site was developing to ensure that things were going in the right direction.”
Users can replicate its open source code base via Github and Herlihy is helping the US create something similar.
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