Digital Landscape Review

Before you set out on a long journey, you plan. You’d usually consult a map of the route you’re going to take. You’d research the place you’re going. 

It’s no different when you’re starting really big, transformational work in digital/technology. You need to understand the landscape you are working in. 

So, we’re starting work to do just that, map the landscape of digital public services across the whole of Wales. 

What is it? 

The Landscape Review aims to understand the state of Welsh digital public services (across services, platforms, contracts, and technology and skills) in order to better set priorities, to identify where we can join up teams and services, and assign investment for improving them. This means finding out what services are being delivered across Wales and identifying opportunities to work together on improving them.

We know joint working is already taking place across Wales, and that there are pockets of data available. However, there is currently no overarching view of the services being delivered, and data of wider coverage and better quality is needed. We want to create that view through this work.

What do we mean by a “service”?

The Digital Strategy for Wales states ‘To really improve public services we must design them around the needs of the people who use them. Joined up, effective public services designed to meet user needs must become the norm.’ 

A service is more than a single interaction, it’s about all the interactions needed for a user to achieve a goal. 

In a blog post in 2016 the UK Government Digital Service defined a service as

A service is a set of one or more user journeys (interactions such as submitting personal information, taking place over any medium) intended to allow a user to achieve a goal by interacting with government.

A whole service is end-to-end (from when the user starts trying to achieve a goal to when they finish), front to back (involves citizen-facing service, internal systems and processes, supporting policy or legislation, and organisational, financial and governance structures of the services) and across every channel (including online, phone, paper and face-to-face).

For example, a user-need supported by a service might be “I want to register my child for a school place”.

Through this review we’ll be looking at the definition of a service and making sure it works for the way services are being designed and delivered across Wales.

The discovery phase

Currently in the discovery phase, we are focusing on finding out what kind of information we would want to know about services, and what kind of information it is feasible to find – for example, we want to find answers to questions like “which team roles are typically involved in developing digital services across Wales?”.

The three main outputs of the Landscape Review are:

  1. A database of current services being delivered across Wales, and opportunities for developing and improving them
  2. A method for prioritising opportunities across the Welsh public sector
  3. A data-informed set of priority services and opportunities for Wales to take forward and collaborate on.

The discovery phase is set to take around approximately 9 weeks.

For the first couple of weeks, we have four initial priorities:

  1. Top down review of the organisations, leaders, and government priorities governing Welsh public services
  2. To begin to understand the information and data that service leaders and decision makers need to know about services in order to guide their work
  3. To begin to understand what data service owners are able to share about their service
  4. Desk research on the information already known about Welsh services.

Who’s in the team 

As well as working in partnership with The PSC we’ll be working closely with digital leaders from across Welsh public services, including Glyn Jones (CDO Welsh Government), Sam Hall (CDO Local Government) and Ifan Evans (Director of Technology, Digital & Transformation, Welsh Government Health and Social Services Group).

We’re working closely with the CDOs to identify existing groups to engage with, and to make introductions to senior leaders and service owners. We’ll also be running some targeted events and sharing sessions and workshops.

We are approaching this as an agile team. This means approaching the work iteratively and setting weekly goals we want to achieve. It also means working openly, sharing regular updates to stakeholders and developing working prototypes as early as possible.

How can you get involved?

We’re looking forward to meeting many of the great people working on public services across Wales and if you are responsible for running a government service in Wales, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch at info@digitalpublicservices.gov.wales.

We would love to discuss what we are trying to do in the landscape review, and to learn more about your service.

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