Where possible, build on what’s already been done across government. Share your work publicly so others can benefit.

Why it’s important:

You don’t have to solve problems that have already been solved. And using industry standards means systems and services can integrate more easily.

If you use existing assets, products and services, you can save money and redirect this into improving services and meeting user needs.

By using a component or pattern that’s already been extensively tested, you can provide users with a good experience in a cost effective way.

Following industry data standards means you can improve the quality of information about your service to create new opportunities for innovation and reduce duplication of effort.

Sharing knowledge, ways of working, tools and research insights, means saving government time and money.

How you do it:

  • Reuse national assets
    Including government services and platforms, for example mygov.scot for service information and statistics.gov.scot for publishing open data
  • Use and contribute to open standards
    Identify the industry-approved standards you will adopt
  • Use data standards
    Use terms from shared, standardised vocabularies to encode data and metadata and use persistent URIs as identifiers
  • Make a plan to improve the quality of your data
    Recognise what data you have and how it can be used to improve your service
  • Make your data available for re-use
    Create data sets that are potentially useful to others inside or outside government and publish them in an open, machine readable format
  • Share your outputs for the benefit of others
    Consider where you can share code, services, components, service patterns, research insights or knowledge
  • Share what you’re doing
    If you’re spending public money, it’s important to make sure others get value from your work