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Digital Transformation Service


The Digital Transformation Service supports business change across central government organisations


The Central Government Digital Transformation Service (DTS) was introduced in response to the findings of the 2012 Audit Scotland report which identified a lack of skills as a key reason for digital and ICT project failures across the public sector.

We have been set up as a shared service to support organisations across central government transform digitally. Our vision is to work collaboratively with organisations to deliver business transformation which puts users at the heart of services.

At a time when citizens and businesses are demanding more digital ways of interacting with government, and when public sector budgets are tight, the services that we provide are enabling organisations to deliver better experiences for end users in a much more efficient and effective way.

Feedback for the service has been extremely positive – we are already working with central government organisations across Scottish Government, with many requesting help with follow up work. Click here to view our Partner testimonials.


DTS continues to iterate its services. Currently it provides the following support to its partner organisations.

“work collaboratively with Organisations to deliver business transformation which puts users at the heart of the services”

Strategy Development & Review Business Case Development
Digital Maturity Assessment Concepts to full project design
Vision & Strategy Options appraisal & Technical Specification
Transformation business case Implementation planning
Roadmap for Delivery Requirements engineering
User Research  
Service design  
Value Chain Mapping  
Agile Coaching Technical Architecture
Introduction to Agile Lightweight Technical Survey
Product Ownership Target Technical Architecture
Coaching Agile Teams  

Other services currently being considered are Project Management, Digital First Service Standard Mock Assessments, Data & Analytics, Governance Modelling, Content Design and Website Analysis.

Ways of working

In order to meet our objective of sharing and developing digital skills across Scottish Government, our staff work collaboratively with people from partner organisations to deliver the services outlined above. Where appropriate an agile approach to project delivery is adopted.
The service operates using professional consultancy disciplines. As part of government, we don’t agree contracts with our partner organisations, instead we use a memorandum of understanding. We also agree a statement of work at the start of a project to be clear on what support DTS are providing.

Because of our remit and capacity, we currently work with organisations during the initial stages of digital transformation and help to find resources, partners and suppliers to deliver transformation projects. Following completion of an engagement, DTS are also able to offer support to project boards, technical design authorities and other governance processes.


Here are some examples of the work we have done with organisations.

As part of their digital transformation journey, Disclosure Scotland initially tried traditional “waterfall” delivery methods. They then realised that they needed to adopt an agile approach to have a successful outcome. When Disclosure Scotland realised that they did not have the in-house skills or experience to progress with this new approach, DTS began working with them.

DTS were able to provide strategic support to help make key decisions, as well as provide operational support when engaging with suppliers.

DTS and NRS have been working together to develop the Digital Strategy for the 2021 Census. They used DTS’ recruitment service to recruit an Enterprise Architect.

DTS helped to write the initial job description and helped NRS with their procurement channels, interviewing and providing feedback to individuals.

Angus, Perth & Kinross and Dundee Councils needed to deliver digital transformation across all of their services. Instead of working independently, the councils wanted to pool their knowledge and expertise to address common issues.

DTS ran Digital Maturity Model workshops with the local councils to help identify strengths and areas for development. This helped them determine how they could move forward together.

After separating from the UK Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) needed to review their position as a new organisation. They also wanted to benchmark where they wanted to be in terms of Scotland’s Digital Strategy.

DTS began working with FSS by carrying out a Digital Maturity Model to help FSS determine a baseline as an organisation. DTS also conducted an Architecture Survey to provide an overview of the FSS technological landscape and provided Process Mapping to help staff do their jobs more efficiently.

After initially carrying out a Digital Maturity Model assessment, DTS worked with ILF to provide a review of their policies and processes. This work enabled DTS to identify areas where efficiencies could be made within their business processes and systems.

DTS have worked with SCRA and CHS on a variety of digital initiatives. The focus has been helping SCRA and CHS to meet the vision set out in the Children’s Hearings System Digital Strategy.

DTS have assisted CHS and SCRA by:

  • preparing a High Level Business Case
  • analysing and understanding their current state
  • developing Project Initiation Documents, target architecture models and low level business cases to support a phased programme delivery
  • delivering Digital Maturity Model and Impact Mapping sessions involving all levels of the organisations

  • DG Communities Case Study

The Digital Transformation Service were asked to conduct Digital Maturity Model Assessments across the Scottish Government. We conducted 12 assessments over 6 areas [as well as deep dive sessions covering human resources, procurement, information technology, digital communications and digital business transformation], and produced individual directorate and a consolidated Scottish Government report which was presented to the Executive Team.

Strategy development and review

A digital strategy aligns an organisation’s digital vision, objectives & activities. A user-centred Digital Strategy will enable the organisation to deliver services more efficiently and successfully.

The services offered by DTS are critical to provide a view of the current state of the organisation. This, aligned to a horizon scan, will form the basis of the strategy.

The Digital Strategy will generate high-level activities and a roadmap will show the key activities your organisation wants to do and when it wants to do them.

Digital Maturity Model (DMM)

The DMM provides a benchmark of the digital maturity of an organisation. It has been developed in line with Scotland’s Digital Public Services Strategy, and provides an organisation with a means of measuring their digital capability in five key areas:

  • Customer Focus
  • Collaboration & Value For Money
  • Data – Openness & Privacy
  • Skills & Capability
  • Strategy & Leadership

Value Chain Mapping

Value Chain Mapping is a tool used to identify where value can be added and where waste can be reduced in an organisation. The output usually informs the strategy.

User Research

User research focuses on understanding user behaviours, needs, and motivations. These are collected by using observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.

Process Mapping

Business Process Modelling develops visual aids which show how an organisation works. These take two forms:

1) ‘As-is’ models which will help identify how effectively and efficiently an organisation is currently working and where incremental improvements can be obtained

2) ‘To-be’ models design the activities that will determine how new or changed services will be managed within the organisation. ‘To-be’ models will usually be accompanied by significant business, policy or ICT changes.

Service Design

Embedding user focussed service design needs a strategic approach across the organisation. Digital service transformation is business transformation - user focussed service design needs to embrace all of the organisation’s business activities.

Business Case

High-level activities identified in a strategy will often require an outline or full Business Case which DTS can support or develop.

Business cases are developed over time. The three key stages are:

  • 1 - Strategic
  • 2 - Outline business case
  • 3 - Full business case

We support organisations to procure in an agile way. This includes going to market with desired outcomes and working with suppliers to address these. This often dramatically reduces the time taken to procure and enables fast delivery.

Technical Architecture

Architecture Survey

During an Architecture Survey our Technical Architects will work with existing teams to gather and analyse information about an organisation’s digital and ICT architecture

The scope of the survey will typically include applications, information/data and technology architecture. It may also look at some business architecture artefacts linked to other Discovery activities.

The scope of the survey can be tailored to consider parts of the architecture that are of specific interest for a digital transformation programme or project.

The Architecture Survey also looks at the principles used to set the digital/ICT direction/policy for an organisation and considers risks existing in the current architecture.

Future State Architecture

Our team can also help organisation’s with their Future State Architecture. This is a high level view of digital and ICT solutions that will be in place at the end of a digital transformation programme or project. Its purpose is to ensure that the delivered solutions are aligned with an organisation’s strategy and objectives.

The architecture will typically consider application, information/data and technology and will be closely aligned to the transformation Target Operating Model.

We also help with sourcing strategies and options analysis across the spectrum of cloud software, platform and infrastructure services; open source and commercial-off-the-shelf products; re-use of existing government solutions and development of new ones.

It is often useful to create an Architecture Roadmap that shows the clear steps (or Transitional Architectures) to move from the current to future state. This can be an invaluable input into programme planning activities.

Technical Governance Support

We have already worked with some organisations to help define and implement technical governance processes. One of the key goals of our service is to share good ways of working and this is an example of where we can put this into practice.

Agile Coaching

In Agile Coaching, an experienced coach observes the team to understand what attitudes, practices and communication problems are keeping them from being more effective.

Throughout the process, the Agile Coach will work with staff members to identify issues that are disrupting workflow, causing duplication of work or wasted effort. The coach will identify patterns of behaviour that are negatively impacting the team and offer potential solutions.

Contact us & feedback

Contact: Central Government Digital Transformation Service: 0141 242 0109 /