Socitm highlights value of GDS Service Design Manual for local government

Socitm has recommended the Government Digital Service (GDS) Service Design Manual as a valuable resource for managers in local government working to make services digital by default.

The latest Socitm briefing titled ‘The GDS Service Design Manual: useful for local public services?’ explains that while the GDS approach to service transformation has been designed for central government, and is not suitable for wholesale adoption in local government, the Service Design Manual, published in April contains much that is relevant and useful for local government.

The GDS manual has been written to help service managers and digital delivery teams meet the commitment in the Government Digital Strategy to develop sustainable services that are ‘so good that people prefer to use them.’

From April 2014, government digital services must meet a new Digital by Default Service Standard’, published alongside the Service Design Manual. This covers issues from understanding user needs, through building and evaluating a prototype, achieving a series of success criteria, to testing the service.

The Socitm briefing says that despite differences between local and central government organisations and delivery methods, much of the digital development process, including conceiving, researching, designing, delivering and managing a service should be the same – which is why much of the GDS manual is both useful and relevant to people running local public services.

The Socitm briefing discusses the GDS advice on five key topics:

  • Style guide and writing conventions for government services
  • Job roles and descriptions for members of digital teams
  • Agile methodologies
  • Measurement of service performance
  • Assisted digital

The GDS Service Design Manual: useful for local public services? is available free of charge to Socitm Insight subscribers.

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