CDPS year in review 2021-22: activities


5. Our delivery activities

CDPS’s delivery activities throughout 2021-22 show concretely how we have met our objectives. Against each activity, we also display icons from the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

These icons show where the CDPS activity aligns with the act’s 7 well-being goals and 5 ways of working.

Icon key: Future Generations Act – 7 well-being goals

Icon key: Future Generations Act – 5 ways of working

5.1 Activity: Advance digital transformation

We said we’d undertake a range of actions and discoveries, working with public service partners, to push transformation forward across Wales. This would include work such as baselining services, direct delivery and identifying priority areas for investment

A prosperous Wales
A more equal Wales

To advance digital transformation, we’ve:

  1. launched a comprehensive Digital Landscape Review to create a baseline of service delivery across the Welsh public sector and to prioritise areas for CDPS to support digital transformation

2. built 7 multidisciplinary teams to work with public sector partners in Wales on development of digital services

5.1.1 The Digital Landscape Review

Henry Holms, a CDPS senior product manager, describes surveying the state of public services in Wales as part of the Digital Landscape Review team

The goal

The goal of the Digital Landscape Review (DLR) has been to develop a better understanding of existing digital public services in Wales to:

The user needs

There has been, so far, no comprehensive picture of the state of digital public services in Wales. The DLR team have talked to service teams throughout the country about how well their services:

The data the team gathered throughout 2021-22 will help CDPS and others, such as the chief digital officers, to prioritise our work in 2022-23. We will focus our support on where it will have the biggest impact for service users.

Who was involved?

A diverse range of organisations from local authorities to Welsh Government sponsored bodies (such as the National Library of Wales and Sport Wales) and health and care organisations.

What we’ve achieved

Through the project’s discovery and alpha stages, the DLR team have:

From the resulting evidence, the team concluded that organisations need more help to adopt the Digital Service Standards for Wales and to embed them in their day-to-day work. Other broad challenges include:

What’s next?

The DLR is now well into its beta phase. From a list of 16 potential action areas identified by the DLR, the CDPS board consulted others about which areas to prioritise. The board prioritised 7 areas:

CDPS, with the chief digital officers, is now looking at how to act on these priorities.

Read more

Removing blockers in beta: next steps for Digital Landscape Review
Digital Landscape Review – an insight into recent discussions

5.1.2 Multidisciplinary teams working with partners

Working with others is fundamental to CDPS’s approach to service development. We form partnerships with teams from other public sector organisations to identify user needs and build services around them. We do not use our expertise to try to tell other organisations what to do.

Working to Agile principles, our multidisciplinary teams of digital experts include roles such as delivery manager, service designer, user researcher, content designer, business analyst and developer.

Many of our multidisciplinary teams have been working on ‘discoveries’ (the first, research phase of Agile service design) in 2021-22. We’ve had 7 multidisciplinary teams on a:

  1. primary care services discovery
  2. access to adult social care beta
  3. Natural Resources Wales hazardous waste discovery
  4. remote-working ‘hubs’ discovery
  5. Sport Wales grants discovery and alpha
  6. Welsh Revenue Authority land and property data proof of concept
  7. Public Sector Broadband Aggregation scheme intervention

1) Multidisciplinary team: primary care services discovery

Anne-Marie Cunningham, associate medical director at Digital Health and Care Wales, on how CDPS is supporting DHCW to let patients access services in a more digital way
A healthier Wales

The goal

Through wide-ranging interviews, to understand users’ (patients) and providers’ (GPs and practice staff) experience of primary health care in Wales and, particularly, of digital interactions.

The user needs

The COVID-19 pandemic made many of us interact with our GPs remotely, making the need for good digital healthcare services more pressing.

This discovery has helped health and care organisations to understand the needs of patients and healthcare providers in Wales better. That will help those organisations to make sound decisions when developing digital services for the public.

Who else was involved?

Digital Services for Patients and Public (DSPP) was the project sponsor.

Users and providers of patient-facing digital systems, including My Health Online, as well as GPs and GP practice nurses, managers and administration staff all took part in the research.

What we achieved

The discovery team carried out:

The team screened for diverse characteristics for all respondents, covering mental health needs, mobility issues and wide-ranging health conditions. The result was a very full view of patients’ and practitioners’ experiences of primary care services in Wales.

How did we share skills?

The team did 1-to-1 training with a DSPP delivery manager to turn their traditional, ‘waterfall’ project into an Agile one. They also demonstrated Agile ways of working within healthcare with light touch coaching in show and tells.

Stakeholders observed user research sessions and drawing up of service design maps, where they saw first-hand the value of user-centred design. They’ve since made videos and helped write blog posts to promote Agile principles.

What’s next?

Insights from the primary care discovery have helped DSPP to build a picture of the wider Welsh primary care landscape. The discovery team have presented their research to DHCW’s board, to help shape the future of primary care services in Wales. 

Read more

What can digital do? Exploring the primary healthcare landscape
Phone, video, visit? Themes emerge in GP access discovery

2) Multidisciplinary team: access to adult social care beta

Nita Sparkes, service delivery lead at Neath Port Talbot Council, on getting to grips with Agile working – and unfamiliar language – on a multidisciplinary team with CDPS
A Wales of cohesive communities

The goal

Use text messages to improve communication with users of Neath Port Talbot (NPT) Council’s adult social care services.

The user needs

Research revealed that potential users of adult social care from NPT needed, among other things, to:

2 personas of adult social care users
The discovery team created personas – such as Carys and Hashim – to help discover adult social care users’ needs

Who else was involved?

NPT Council was CDPS’s main partner in this project. The team also worked earlier with Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent Councils.

What we achieved

CDPS worked with NPT to identify user needs, through research, and to test prototype text message services.


‘I would have appreciated a text like this after my referral’

User research response to a CDPS service prototype

How did we share skills?

Staff from NPT, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent local authorities have worked in partnership with the team from CDPS.

Our technical lead held sessions with NPT developers and business analysts to develop the text service’s programming interface.

A CDPS squad member also did one-to-one coaching with an NPT council staff member to help them move into their first delivery manager role.

What’s next?

NPT has taken the lead on the ‘Track my request’ service. Having worked with the CDPS tech lead, the NPT tech team were able to rewrite the service’s code base to integrate with their existing text message service.

CDPS also gave NPT guidance on how to write text messages to meet developing user needs.

Read more

Words with purpose: a text message service to meet user needs

3) Multidisciplinary team: Natural Resources Wales hazardous waste discovery

Catrin Hornung, head of communications at Natural Resources Wales, explains how working with CDPS has changed the way she thinks about public services (in Welsh, with subtitles)
A resilient Wales

The goal

Use hazardous waste treatment as an opportunity to build a user-centred digital service, on Agile principles, in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The user needs

NRW is currently an ‘IT-led’ organisation using traditional, waterfall project management but it wants to become a user-focused one providing better services.

NRW’s hazardous waste treatment ticked several boxes for working with CDPS:

A user-centred hazardous waste service would not only serve NRW’s customers better. It could also provide the organisation with more income and help it demonstrate the benefits of Agile working.

Who else was involved?

CDPS has been working with NRW’s policy and operational teams to research the hazardous waste service.

What we did

As part of discovery, the combined multidisciplinary team have:

The team have then been able to narrow the problem down to:

How did we share skills?

NRW colleagues were part of the discovery team throughout the project. CDPS team members coached them in Agile principles and user research practices. The team also held lunch and learn sessions on topics such as working in the open for NRW staff not directly involved in the project.

What’s next?

At the end of discovery, the team had a broad set of user needs. Around those needs, they could start building service prototypes in the next, alpha phase of Agile development.

Read more

Waste not… content needs on a hazardous disposals service
Digging deep: the role of design in discovery

4) Multidisciplinary team: remote-working hubs discovery

A prosperous Wales

The goal

Find out more about the needs of public – and some private – sector staff who want to book spaces at remote working offices, ‘hubs’, in Wales simply and easily.

The user needs

In CDPS research, hub users told us about:

Who else was involved?

The Welsh Government’s Remote Working team was CDPS’s partner in this discovery.

What we did

The discovery team interviewed 14 potential hub users in rural, urban and suburban areas across Wales. They were male and female, and some spoke Welsh as a first language. Some were disabled, and some had mental health needs.

The team also spoke to 10 hub providers in the public and private sectors.

From this base of users and providers, the team gathered a broad set of user needs. CDPS has used those needs to make recommendations to the Welsh Government about choosing an online hub booking provider.

How did we share skills?

CDPS team members demonstrated Agile principles and a user-centred approach – including user interviews, personas and user needs – to the wider project team.

CDPS also brought procurement expertise (buying goods and services) to the project, helping to demonstrate routes to market.

What’s next?

Based on our research, CDPS has given the Welsh Government guidance about what to consider when choosing an online hub booking provider. That guidance includes how accessible the platform is, as well as the layout and facilities the hubs themselves should have.

Read more

‘Hubs’ a halfway house between office and homeworking

5) Multidisciplinary team: Sport Wales grants

Owen Hathway, an assistant director at Sport Wales, on how working with CDPS has introduced user research and other skills to the whole organisation
A more equal Wales
A healthier Wales

The goal

Increase the reach and impact of Sport Wales community investment grants.

The user needs  

The current Sport Wales grant application process throws up significant barriers to people who want to apply for community sport funding.

Through discovery interviews, the project team found that users:

Throughout the alpha (experimental) stage of service development, the combined CDPS-Sport Wales team have been using user-centred design to:

A more inclusive service will reduce the burden on users, while meeting the organisational needs of Sport Wales. It promises to make grants accessible to everyone who is eligible – so sport funding can make the real difference that it should.

Who else was involved?

CDPS’s main partner in this project has been Sport Wales.

The combined team have also depended heavily on the participation of the people whose needs the service must meet – grass-roots sport clubs, associations and communities across Wales, with a special focus on hard-to-reach groups.

What the team achieved

In discovery, the team:

In alpha, the team evaluated 4 online grant application prototypes, in 15 sessions, with previous grant applicants.

How did we share skills?

Sport Wales colleagues were part of the service development team, alongside CDPS. This experience increased their understanding of Agile and multidisciplinary team working.

Specifically, the CDPS team:

CDPS team members also held masterclasses in Agile subjects (discovery, alpha, beta, live stages; what user needs are; how to ‘fail’) and Agile drop-in sessions for Sport Wales colleagues.

What’s next?

The team are now designing and testing an end-to-end user journey for sport grant applications, to launch this year.

Read more

Once upon a time … on an Agile service team
Audio applications? Helping to throw the grants net wider

6) Multidisciplinary team: Welsh Revenue Authority – data proof of concept

Melissa Quignon-Finch, Chief People and Communications Officer at the Welsh Revenue Authority, on how CDPS has helped the organisation sketch a path towards becoming fully digital
A prosperous Wales

The goal

Build a working proof of concept to demonstrate how data can support simpler, fairer and more efficient devolved land and property taxation.

The user needs

The Welsh Revenue Authority’s (WRA) ambition is to become a fully digital tax organisation for Wales. User-centred services, built on Agile principles, have the potential to make taxation simpler, fairer and more efficient.

A combined CDPS-WRA team explored how a data platform for land and property in Wales could support geographically varied taxes. They also considered how such a platform could be useful to other Welsh organisations in local government or the third sector.

Since January 2022, the team:

Who else was involved?

Along with the WRA, CDPS worked with the IT consultancy Kainos.

What has been achieved

The proof of concept team have started by:

The team have been doing user research with WRA service delivery teams to understand how they currently design services. They’ve also done workshops with policy teams to understand potential emergent needs.

How did we share skills?

CDPS transferred skills to WRA colleagues by:

What’s next?

The team will be creating 2 or 3 service prototypes that exemplify a user-centred approach and give ministers options about services they might go ahead and build.

Read more

Helping the Welsh Revenue Authority become fully digital

7) Multidisciplinary team: Public Sector Broadband Aggregation scheme


The goal

Support an incident with a web-filtering service provided to schools through Public Sector Broadband Aggregation (PSBA) and prevent it happening again.

The user needs

The Welsh Government needed to understand the technical issues underlying an important service incident affecting how learners safely accessed the internet in schools. Schools needed to continue teaching through the incident in a way that did not negatively affect children’s learning.

Who else was involved?

As well as the Welsh Government team, local authorities and suppliers.

What we did

CDPS provided:

Working closely with partners and suppliers, these specialists helped to fully restore the service and to rebuild trust with local authorities.

In parallel, CDPS managed a ‘blameless post mortem‘ (detailed examination) of the incident, covering communications, technical architecture, commercial arrangements, contracts and resolution.

How did we share skills?

Our specialists paired with Welsh Government staff to transfer skills and knowledge to better support the service in the future.

The post mortem provided lessons to help prevent future incidents and handle them better when they do occur.

What’s next?

We are running a discovery into how a future web-filtering service could meet future needs of schools, learners and the new Curriculum for Wales.

Next: Activity – working in the open