https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2013/05/17/this-week-at-gds-30/

This week at GDS

Highlights: The 1000th code release on GOV.UK - that's about seven every working day. We also created a team within HMRC to extend the way we've been working out into departments. At our big monthly team meeting on Wednesday we heard from the Student Loans Company about the great work they've been doing to transform their transactions. We also saw the launch of the Digital Skills Alliance, led by Martha Lane Fox at the Go ON UK Trust. Next week we've got our regular digital leaders' meeting on Wednesday and a major release of new guidance for CTOs which will form part of our digital by default service standard. We've also got more new starters in the team, and continue with our progress on the 25 exemplar service projects. As part of this I'm going up to the north-east to meet DWP and HMRC, and while up there I'm speaking at the Thinking Digital conference.

(Full transcript below)

Matt:
Okay. Hello Mike, what have you been up to at GDS this week?

Mike:
Hi Matt. We’ve released our thousandth code release to GOV.UK this week. That’s an amazing statistic. That means really about seven releases every working day. I want to talk about that for a moment, because when we came to government the MO for getting stuff done was like "IT programmed a code release every three months". Now we’re doing one every hour and a quarter, and it shows you just how reactive we are to user need. I’m delighted, it’s a real testament to the strength of the team’s architecture, and the way it’s been built and also our receptiveness to user need and user feedback. James Thornett and the team have done a great job.

The other thing we did this week, the major achievement is actually we moved a team from here. This is a year when we’re trying to get out and spin up our examples in lots of parts of government. We moved a team to HMRC [Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs], Etienne and Chris, and the gang, and having a digital centre in the heart of our tax system is a really big step.

Matt:
That’s excellent, we’ve also had a couple of big events this week.

Mike:
We have. On Wednesday we had a team meeting, me and everyone went in a room and did the show and tell and it’s great. One of the best bits of it, we had our colleagues from Student Loans company come down, Martin Campbell, Lindsay Brown, Hilary Brownlie. They came down and gave us a presentation of the work they’ve done. So much of this year is about successes that don’t happen here in GDS with GOV.UK, it’s successes happen where transactions are. That was terrific.
On Monday Martha Lane Fox, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho as it is now, she launched the Digital Skills Alliance with the Go ON Trust that she chairs. Lots of companies involved, Danny Alexander the Chief Secretary of the Treasury made a great speech about digital skills. So it’s great to see government and Go On working to generate more skills out there for everyone to increase their digital uptake.

Matt:
Brilliant. We’ve also got another big meeting next week as well.

Mike:
We have digital leaders next week, next Wednesday, and a crucial thing on the agenda there is applying the digital by default standard and working out how some of our new services meet that standard and what we do with some of our existing services.

Matt:
We’ve also got some releases coming up next week.

Mike:
We have, our biggest single release is the CTO guidance, which is going into the manual. Liam Maxwell who runs the Office of the CTO here in GDS, his team have actually been creating a load of advice and guidance and direction for the many, many CTOs and CIOs in government. Actually the fact that that isn’t a meeting or a paper, the fact that it’s on a browser, it’s a manual, is part of our new governance for technology. I’m really excited by that.

Matt:
We have also got some stuff taking place outside of the office next week as well.

Mike:
Yes, plenty of things going on outside this office. There’s 25 exemplars in 15 locations. I’m going to Newcastle next week, seeing the team up in Longbenton which is just north of Newcastle, it’s where the DWP and HMRC offices are, seeing what we could do digitally there. I’m also speaking whilst there at the Thinking Digital conference, and I’m really going to be talking about how we get many of those companies and individuals with great digital skills up in the North East into our supply chain.

Herb Kim, who runs that conference has been a pioneer in this space for many years. There’s loads of companies up there and we've got to get them into the government supply chain.

Matt:
Finally we’ve got some new starters as well at GDS.

Mike:
We have plenty of new starters, and one worth mentioning is Julie Hendry. She’s an Agile coach, and it’s great that we now have people who are going out and coaching other parts of government around Agile principles, and how we do stuff here. She’ll be working first and foremost with DVLA.

Matt:
Excellent. Until next week.

Mike:
Onwards.

1 comment

  1. Editor

    Readers may be interested in the Citizen 2013 event on June 13 - free for government delegates - where many of the issues mentioned here will be discussed. We have a small number of places left. More information at http://www.citizen2013.com

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