We’re very pleased to be working with Defra on the Future of Farming programme. This programme is deciding how farming policy will change over the next 7 years — critical for food, agriculture and the environment.

To learn more about our transformational work in the public sector, talk to us.

Our work continues with Cabinet Office — experimenting with #machinelearning #naturallanguageprocessing and #datascience to make government information more transparent and understandable.

Imagine a stack of paper 20,000 miles high in the centre of Whitehall. The volume of unstructured information held by government departments is vast, there are currently billions of documents held in “digital heaps” across government.

Working with our friends at Atchai, we were engaged to explore how machine learning and natural language processing technology could be applied to understand the contents of these “digital heaps”, so that policymakers can learn from previous work and KIMs (knowledge and information managers) can meet their legislative obligations.

We’re delighted to be working with UK Home Office on their Product Playbook.

The playbook will complement the GDS service manual by defining how new Home Office product teams will work and will act as a reference for already established teams to follow, supporting them to become product-centric.

Get in touch if you want to learn more.

This Sunday at 10.30am, Create | Change is featured on Sky TV Business. Watch @dariuspocha and @markdalgarno talk about working with government to innovate public services and do user-centred digital transformation. It’s more fun than the Andrew Marr Show.


#digitaltransformation #government

This post first appeared on the One Team Gov blog.

There’s a quote often (wrongly) attributed to Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Government, it appears, hasn’t got the memo. We’re repeatedly guilty of attempting ‘decisive action’ based on little evidence and with strong incentives not to change strategy if we get it wrong. And getting it wrong is a likely thing if you’re dealing with huge complexity or profoundly difficult problems that no-one else can fix. Which, let’s face it, is in government’s job description.

We know from experience that…

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking recently about the introduction of agile methods into organisations using non-agile methods such as PRINCE2.

In this context, I, like many other coaches, often see friction between agile delivery teams and the organisation around them. There can be many reasons for this friction, but I want to focus here on one thing:

Agile ways of working are radically different to the non-agile ways of working that preceded them.

If you work in delivery and you’ve worked for any length of time in an agile team and in a non-agile team, you’ll understand this…

This article was originally published by apolitical.

We work with policy teams to design new public services, mostly in wicked problem spaces. Policy officials are often very interested in the “secret sauce” of service design, so here’s my take on the 5 essential things a service designer needs to do when designing or transforming a public service. It’s based on watching and working with some of the best service designers in UK government.

It’s just my view of course, you could also ask people like Emma Gasson, Kate Tarling, Chris Atherton, Lou Downe or Martin Jordan — in fact, seeing…

Alex wrote recently in How to make friends and winfluence people about some common ways to screw-up an organisational transformation.

These include:

  • Treating your service delivery teams as somehow more special than others in your organisation
  • Making transformation a thing that is done to people rather than with them
  • Failing to devote time to transformation — especially hard in organisations that are suffering budgets cuts without corresponding ‘work-to-be-done’ cuts

I’m sure there are lots of other ways to screw things up but that’s a good list to start with.

It’s about a change in ‘demand’

In many organisations the substance…

Occasionally my work makes me look in the mirror. It’s not always comfortable viewing.

Designers of public services are used to using Pareto logic: you seek the 80% of benefit by actively letting the edge cases slide, even if the edge cases are actually pretty big. On many services it’s probably acceptable to treat 20% of users like technical debt — it may be an inconvenience to them but nothing really serious will happen. Sometimes it’s not acceptable, sometimes it should be the other way round.

Let me give you an example. In the UK last year about 27% of…

Go to a show&tell where a team is presenting user research insights.

Read this Government Digital Service (GDS) blog post explaining what Accessibility means.

Read this GDS Service Manual page about Assisted Digital.

Visit delivery teams and see what user research they are putting up on their team walls; talk to them about their user research findings and how the findings are informing their delivery.

Join your organisation’s Slack or equivalent channel for user research.

If your organisation has one, subscribe to its regular email digest of user research insights.

Read some user research transcripts and highlight any new (to…


We help product & policy teams tackle complex problems through user centred design, data and technology.

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