The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) has produced guidance for 11 key stages of government digital projects in a new Digital, Data and Technology Playbook.
It said the 98-page publication is aimed at improving efficiency and cutting costs, drawing on expertise from across government and industry to highlight the key points of different stages in the process. These go from pipelines and market management to resolution planning to preserve the continuity of projects.
It also includes guidance on planning for the end of a contract’s life and preventing the emergence of new legacy IT.
Writing in the document’s foreword, chief operating officer of the Civil Service Alex Chisholm says there is a need for better commercial relationships and further development of in-house digital, data and technology capabilities by ensuring that knowledge transfer is built in at all levels.
This should be accompanied by an approach to risk that focuses on whole-life best value and a consistent application of commercial best practice.
Interoperability and re-usability
In announcing the publication, CDDO highlighted the point of ensuring all new digital products work with existing systems to enable effective data sharing between departments and suppliers in interoperable, re-usable and open formats.
It also pointed to a recommendation for teams to focus on areas in which small businesses play a role in delivering public services, which should give the latter a better chance of winning relevant business.
The 11 stages highlighted by the playbook cover:
- having transparent commercial pipelines and a good understanding of the market;
- considering how to work with suppliers through the lifecycle of projects and programmes;
- getting the governance and approvals processes right;
- engaging early with the market to support the development of solutions to meet user needs;
- finding the right delivery model with the optimal split of roles and responsibilities between public sector bodies and suppliers;
- taking an agile approach to development with testing and learning;
- making the right preparations in going to market;
- designing effective contracts with common data standards;
- developing effective evaluation criteria;
- applying due diligence in the choice of suppliers;
- and planning for the risk to major projects from events including cyber attacks, natural disasters and supplier insolvency.
The section on exit planning emphasises the need for early planning for the end of a contract, taking into account factors such as knowledge, ongoing needs for support, decommissioning data and the plans for e-waste.
Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “This playbook will draw on the wealth of digital expertise at our disposal to produce better services at lower cost.
“This will go hand-in-hand with a new procurement regime that takes advantage of our position outside the European Union, offering more opportunities for small businesses to bid for government contracts, encouraging greater innovation in public services and ultimately delivering better value for taxpayers.”