Universal priciples

The UK Cabinet Office is using GDS to run a technology transformation programme, according to their blog. They’ve published the guiding principles that they’re using – and they’re sufficiently flexible to apply pretty much anywhere. Replace specific mentions of government with the sector of your concern, and they’re equally applicable:

Our guiding principles over the next 12-18 months include the following:

  • we will start with user needs: until we understand what users across the Cabinet Office want and need, we won’t start buying things
  • we will design with choice and flexibility in mind: there will be many and different needs across the department so we will offer technology solutions that fit individuals and teams
  • we will be transparent throughout: we will be open about decisions and actions so our users and stakeholders understand why we’re taking a certain approach
  • we will architect loosely coupled services: we are not building a “system”; we are delivering a set of devices and services that can be independently replaced. A key success measure for the programme is that we should never have to do it again
  • we will favour short contracts: technology changes rapidly and we believe the age of the long-term contract is over. We need to be able to swap services in and out as the need arises
  • we will bring the best of consumer technology to the enterprise: modern devices and cloud applications are built to be intuitive and flexible with minimal need for training. We believe business technology should be the same
  • we will make security as invisible as possible: we are working with CESG and GSS to ensure all services are secure to new Official level. However, appropriate levels of security shouldn’t get in the way of the user experience of the services
  • we will build a long-term capability: technology delivery doesn’t end with the programme. We will not be handing the services over to a single outsource vendor in 2015, but instead will be bringing digital skills back into the department>