Create and improve the service using iterative, user-centred methods.

Why it’s important

Because you’re not specifying everything up front before you’ve developed an understanding of what users need, agile methods reduce the risk of delivering the wrong thing.

Services are never ‘finished’ and making improvements to the service is more than basic maintenance.

Continuous improvement means you can respond to changes in user needs, technology or government policy throughout the lifetime of the service. So rather than having to be replaced, the service stays relevant until it’s ready to be retired.

Running a live service doesn’t have to mean a full team working on the service 100% of the time during the live phase. But it does mean being able to make substantial improvements throughout the lifetime of the service.

How you do it

  • Get your service in front of real users as soon as possible
    Observe and collect data on how they use it, iterating the service based on what you’ve learned
  • Plan for continuous improvement
    Make sure you have the capacity, resources and technical flexibility to iterate and improve the service, both in delivery and when you go live
  • Prioritise improvements
    Work with your organisation to focus on improvements that have the most value
  • Build using continuous delivery techniques
    Use technologies and tools like a delivery pipeline and automated testing that allow you to change and release your service frequently.