Build the service incrementally, releasing early and often, using the iterative and user-centred methods set out in the Government Digital Service Manual.

How point 9 improves the service

Using agile methods helps them to build services that:

  • meet the needs of their users
  • are easy and convenient for people to use
  • they can change easily, eg if government policy or technology policy changes
  • they can keep improving, eg based on user feedback
  • cost less and are more accountable

How they’ll be assessed

Their assessment and the questions the assessors ask them will vary depending on their service and what it does.

In the discovery assessment

To pass, the service team usually need to:

  • show that they have identified an approach and tools for alpha
  • show that they are working in an incremental and iterative manner
  • show that they have clear goals by which to measure performance
  • show that they have a clear statement and plan on how the team will communicate
  • show that they have identified any technical and design problems that will need to be fixed in alpha

In the alpha and beta assessments

To pass, the service team usually need to:

  • explain how they’re working in an agile way, using agile tools and techniques, and how they’ll continue to do so when the service is live
  • explain how they and their team have reviewed and iterated the ways they work to fix problems
  • explain how their team is using agile tools and techniques to communicate with each other
  • give an example of how the team has responded to user research and usability testing
  • show that their governance is agile, based on clear and measurable goals, and has a clear focus on managing change and risk in real time

They also need to discuss:

  • the design options they explored for their prototype and the reasons they discarded some options
  • how the design of the service has changed over time because of what they found in user research
  • the design options they’re considering for their assisted digital support
  • any problems that they found in research which they’ll have to solve to design the service, and how they plan to solve them