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Matti Schneider - How public action gets digital

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Software eats the world, data is the oil of the XXIst century… yet, assessing my retirement pension online is still a pain. And I'm pretty sure I already filled in that form six months ago!
Why aren't public services as easy to use as AirBnB? What would happen if civil society could use their APIs? Or if one made pull requests on them?
In this session, I will talk you through remarkable examples of government services digital transformation, and highlight what they have in common. Spoiler: it is always about being more open, more collaborative, and more trustful. Did you say more “agile”?
I will illustrate these points with the French beta.gouv.fr initiative, in which we use digital, agile and lean culture to deliver high-quality digital public services that change the relationship between citizens and the administration.

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Matti Schneider - How public action gets digital

  1. 1. Matti Schneider Équipe permanente @matti_sg_fr Incubateur Numériques de Services Incubator Digital CALIBRATION SLIDE
  2. 2. Matti Schneider Équipe permanente @matti_sg_fr Incubateur Numériques de Services Incubator Digital Don’t worry, this presentation will be in English.
  3. 3. Matti Schneider @matti_sg_fr Digital Services Incubator Numériques Incubateur Core team member Though, to compensate, I will have to start with a huge French flag.
  4. 4. Matti Schneider @matti_sg_fr Digital Services Incubator Numériques Incubateur Core team member We work in the heart of the French State, at the Inter-ministerial Direction of Digital. Our aim is to spread the culture of digital innovation throughout the administration. We do this through State Startups.
  5. 5. Matti Schneider @matti_sg_fr Digital Services Incubator Numériques Incubateur Core team member We work in the heart of the French State, at the Inter-ministerial Direction of Digital. Our aim is to spread the culture of digital innovation throughout the administration. We do this through State Startups.
  6. 6. What’s a “State Startup”, beyond “an oxymoron”? No capital investment, no separate juridical entity: a match between a team and a mission. The very first State Startup was the new French OpenData portal data.gouv.fr, June 2013. Now 22.
  7. 7. StartupsState What’s a “State Startup”, beyond “an oxymoron”? No capital investment, no separate juridical entity: a match between a team and a mission. The very first State Startup was the new French OpenData portal data.gouv.fr, June 2013. Now 22.
  8. 8. StartupsState A team A mission What’s a “State Startup”, beyond “an oxymoron”? No capital investment, no separate juridical entity: a match between a team and a mission. The very first State Startup was the new French OpenData portal data.gouv.fr, June 2013. Now 22.
  9. 9. StartupsState A team interdisciplinary autonomous 2–4 people A mission What’s a “State Startup”, beyond “an oxymoron”? No capital investment, no separate juridical entity: a match between a team and a mission. The very first State Startup was the new French OpenData portal data.gouv.fr, June 2013. Now 22.
  10. 10. StartupsState A team interdisciplinary autonomous 2–4 people A mission one friction 6 months < 200k€ What’s a “State Startup”, beyond “an oxymoron”? No capital investment, no separate juridical entity: a match between a team and a mission. The very first State Startup was the new French OpenData portal data.gouv.fr, June 2013. Now 22.
  11. 11. M E S - A I D E S . G O U V. F R O N L I N E C O M P U TAT I O N O F F R E N C H S O C I A L B E N E F I T S Here is a first example: a web application that helps citizens know which benefits they are eligible to. The base friction is that of “non-recours” to social benefits. That is, not claiming benefits people have a right to! In 2008, 80% of people eligible to financial help for health insurance (“ACS”) did not ask for it. 68% of low-income workers who were eligible to a complement of revenue did not ask for it. After several months of research, the answer was to consolidate all forms in a single claim file. However, many administrations are involved in giving the benefits. And each of them has different rules for giving them! So the final paper form ended up with a dozen sheets and thus a terrible user experience. That’s when we started incubating a State Startup.
  12. 12. This application is available at mes-aides.gouv.fr since September 2014.
  13. 13. We simply ask for a few basic information, such as your age and nationality.
  14. 14. Same questions for your children and spouse, if you have any.
  15. 15. First version was in construction under six months, introduced by the President of Republic. Then, “consolidation”. We scale the service iteratively by increasing audience, scope, partners…
  16. 16. We started with 7 benefits, with some specific situations unhandled (~70 tests). We now have 22, always more precise (560+ tests). How do we scale? Strategy is delivery! Make public early, collect feedback, iterate, be open. I can detail this more later if you’re interested. Ok, so I see you coming with “French obsessed by their benefits bla bla”. We use the same approach for very different topics. The very same open computation engine powers a service targeting companies.
  17. 17. Here, we created an embeddable widget that computes the cost of hiring an employee, with all taxes and refunds included. You can see that this widget is very simple.
  18. 18. embauche.beta.gouv.fr Here, we created an embeddable widget that computes the cost of hiring an employee, with all taxes and refunds included. You can see that this widget is very simple.
  19. 19. It is so it can be embedded in any layout and made available to employers in their ecosystem. We want to solve a friction, not to create new official portals with partial information.
  20. 20. Here is the widget embedded in the website of a private startup that helps SMEs make their business plan. We produced the first public version of this tool under 6 months and one full-time person. Now in more than 8 different partner websites.
  21. 21. Free & Open-Source softwareOpen Source What’s important to understand is that this tool can be used for free by any entity (administration, association, commercial…). We create a digital common that makes law computable. However, distributing for free doesn’t mean “without any counterpart”. We replace the monetary counterpart by a contribution counterpart: every improvement that is made by a user must be offered back to the community. We then merge those we find useful for all. This is how we intend to scale the development of the more exotic rules.
  22. 22. Free & Open-Source software github.com/sgmap/cout-embauche Open Source What’s important to understand is that this tool can be used for free by any entity (administration, association, commercial…). We create a digital common that makes law computable. However, distributing for free doesn’t mean “without any counterpart”. We replace the monetary counterpart by a contribution counterpart: every improvement that is made by a user must be offered back to the community. We then merge those we find useful for all. This is how we intend to scale the development of the more exotic rules.
  23. 23. Free & Open-Source software github.com/sgmap/cout-embauche Open Source What’s important to understand is that this tool can be used for free by any entity (administration, association, commercial…). We create a digital common that makes law computable. However, distributing for free doesn’t mean “without any counterpart”. We replace the monetary counterpart by a contribution counterpart: every improvement that is made by a user must be offered back to the community. We then merge those we find useful for all. This is how we intend to scale the development of the more exotic rules.
  24. 24. Free & Open-Source software github.com/sgmap/cout-embauche Open Source What’s important to understand is that this tool can be used for free by any entity (administration, association, commercial…). We create a digital common that makes law computable. However, distributing for free doesn’t mean “without any counterpart”. We replace the monetary counterpart by a contribution counterpart: every improvement that is made by a user must be offered back to the community. We then merge those we find useful for all. This is how we intend to scale the development of the more exotic rules.
  25. 25. Open Source Open Data Source APIOpen s So, the creation of shiny services drives administrations to understand the value of opening up. We are the first reusers, the first consumers of some internal data, that we get access to in order to solve a known problem, and we use this opportunity to apply best engineering practices, which mean… opening APIs. API stands for…
  26. 26. Open Source Open Data Source A P I Open pplication rogramming nterface Lets machines access information automatically. Allows for interconnection of systems that were not designed to interconnect in the first place.
  27. 27. Open Source Open Data Source A P I Open pplication rogramming nterface D E M O Let me show you api.gouv.fr, introduced two weeks ago. By making public services reply to queries and take actions through APIs, we are making the State a platform.
  28. 28. api.gouv.fr By making public services reply to queries and take actions through APIs, we are making the State a platform.
  29. 29. Open Source Open Data Source APIOpen s By making public services reply to queries and take actions through APIs, we are making the State a platform.
  30. 30. A State Startup… 1. Starts with a friction. 2. Learns, makes, repeats. 3. Is built together. 4. Takes advantage of uncertainty. Startups Friction / Iteration / Collaboration / Agility. Nothing magical, only a different approach to risk management. The administration is usually focused on reducing uncertainty. We accept uncertainty and use it to, somehow paradoxically, reduce risk. There’s an increased risk of execution, but you will know it much earlier, and thus decrease the risk of delivering something no one really cares about, or delivering something that made sense two years ago but is already obsolete. So, we accept the risk of failure. At small scales, iterations may fail. But startups themselves may “fail”. However, we mitigate failure through openness. And here is the second half of the strategy. We hope to create a network of incubators throughout French administrations, and would be very happy to discuss similar initiatives in all other countries.
  31. 31. 20 Ačiū! Thanks! Merci ! Matti Schneider @matti_sg / @matti_sg_fr @BetaGouv github.com/sgmap Au plaisir de vous retrouver sur une pull request ou dans un hackathon ;)
  32. 32. P E R S O N A L , D E F E N C E … R E F E R E N C E , S TAT I S T I C S … ? Open DataOpen APIs Controlled APIs
  33. 33. I N V E S T I G AT I O N Un agent public identifie une friction entre les usagers et son administration. Attente, gaspillage, complexité, non-recours… Aidé par l'incubateur, l'agent public vérifie que cette friction concerne un public suffisamment large, qu’un outil numérique pourrait la faire disparaitre, et que les obstacles techniques sont surmontables. Son administration valide le recrutement d'un ou deux développeurs et du responsable produit. Cette équipe de 2 à 4 personnes constitue dès lors une Startup d'État autonome.
  34. 34. C O N S T R U C T I O N L’équipe cerne le besoin avec les usagers pilotes et fournit un premier produit qui les satisfait. Cette promesse est élaborée de manière itérative et incrémentale. À l’aide de discussions, de prototypes papier et de code, l'équipe confirme ou infirme de nombreuses hypothèses à moindre coût. Une proposition de valeur qui résout un problème bien identifié est retenue. Toutes les deux semaines, la communauté des utilisateurs voit le service s'améliorer. La Startup d'État ouvre au public un service en mode bêta qui répond à cette proposition de valeur.
  35. 35. C O N S O L I D AT I O N Les usagers d'administrations pilotes utilisent et répandent le service. Au niveau technique, la Startup d’État s’assure que la solution est fiable et répond à un nombre croissant de demandes. Sur le plan fonctionnel, les retours d'utilisateurs réels permettent d'améliorer le service en continu et de prendre en compte des cas spécifiques. La Startup d'État améliore et clarifie continuellement le service rendu à l'usager.
  36. 36. H A N D O V E R A B A N D L'équipe et l'administration porteuse considèrent que le service est viable. L'administration porteuse prend progressivement en charge l'exploitation et l'amélioration continue du service, soit en intégrant l'équipe dans sa structure de manière pérenne, soit en formant son personnel historique à la gestion du service. La Startup d'État a terminé sa mission, et le service est opéré et amélioré en continu par l'administration porteuse.
  37. 37. T R A N S M I T T E D C L O S E D A B A N D O N E D PA S S AT I O N Reprise : Le service est opéré de manière pérenne par son repreneur institutionnel. Fermée : Les évolutions de la technologie, de la réglementation ou des usages ont rendu le service obsolète. Il a été fermé en lien avec les partenaires, les usagers et l'administration qui le portait. Abandonnée : Le service a été abandonné en cours de construction. L'abandon est expliqué pour capitaliser sur l'expérience accumulée.
  38. 38. Incubateur Numériques de Services Incubator Digital M E R C I ! T R A N S M I T T E D C L O S E D A B A N D O N E D

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