Can govt departments go digital by April 2014?

Richard Stobart, CEO of Unboxed Consulting, which has worked with a number of government departments, has written an article for about the likelihood of government departments meeting their deadline of ensuring that all transactional services meet the digital by default service standard by  April 1st, 2014, and are ready to go live by March 2015.

According to him, the Government Digital Service and the IT teams in each department cannot alone achieve this but will need the cooperation of the entire department. What is needed is a new methodology, which “means changes in working practices that goes as far as the physical layout of teams and getting the right people sitting together with access to shared resources such as story boards and sprint schedules. 

The second requirement he Stobar believes is agile sprint, “which is fixed length of development within a project focused on delivering features for the next iteration of the software, and a central tenet of the methodology.”

“These are short, usually 1-2 weeks, but for those in departments stuck in the slow mindset of previous approaches, it is difficult to understand the impact they have by not adapting this new normal, especially when they deprioritise ‘digital by default’ over their other responsibilities.”

He concludes that “if departments fully embrace the cultural changes needed to deliver agile projects then digital by default stands a much greater chance of meeting its deadline.”

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