GDS begins creation of cross-departmental service communities

GDS begins creation of cross-departmental service communities

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is creating networks of people with various skills from across the government to work on online services.

Those selected across the government will hold all different skills from different areas of the government to work as a team to devise cross-departmental online services. In a blog post, the GDS said that a lot of people across different parts of government are involved in delivering services and they might not have a picture of the full service or know how to work with others involved in it.

To tackle this issue, the GDS is working with organisations across government to form networks of people with different skills and from different departments, who will work together to improve end-to-end services that cross departmental boundaries.

The groups, called ‘Service Communities’, come from a wider pool than the existing communities of practice, which involve people working in specific areas such as accessibility and agile delivery.

The GDS has started testing this concept with the ‘Starting a Business’ community to help users start a business.

This community brings together people from HM Revenue & Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Education, Companies House, the Department for International Trade, the Pensions Regulator and the British Business Bank.

‘Starting a Business’ service was chosen as a first step because it is regarded as relatively straightforward and not owned by a specific department and it already has communities of practice across government and the Service Communities will bring together people from across these professional boundaries.

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The move is a result of research in 2017 that showed there is a variation from department to department in how they create services, and silos between different areas and professions, for instance, between policy and delivery.

It said: “It’s clear that we need to address this issue, particularly as the Government Transformation Strategy sets out a commitment to build services that run seamlessly across government.”

GDS is currently running several projects that support the development of end-to-end services and the ‘Service Communities’ work will build on and support this by bringing together everyone involved in delivering a particular service to act as one team.