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Collaborate Bristol 2018: Innovate UK's GDS Journey to Digital Transformation - Sarah Vodden, Director of Operations at Innovate UK


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GDS guidelines and the associated GOV.UK platform are both well respected across digital communities today.

Until just over 12 months ago Innovate UK ran its grant funding using paper based manual processes and disparate systems.

Sarah led a project to develop a GDS compliant digital service which sits on GOV.UK to deliver grant funding opportunities to its customers.

This has not only delivered process improvement, efficiencies and cost savings, but an understanding of how digital services should be designed around the needs of its end users.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. They drive growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation.

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Collaborate Bristol 2018: Innovate UK's GDS Journey to Digital Transformation - Sarah Vodden, Director of Operations at Innovate UK

  1. 1. Innovate UK’s GDS journey to digital transformation Sarah Vodden Director of Operations
  2. 2. We can’t stop thinking about the future The UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK drives productivity and growth by supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success. To stay competitive as an advanced economy, we need to do things that others cannot do, or to do things in different and better ways.
  3. 3. 3 Achievements since 2007
  4. 4. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.
  5. 5. Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund § Industry-led and powered by multi-disciplinary research and business academic collaboration § Develop UK industries that are fit for the future, driving progress in technologies where the UK can become a world-leader in research and commercialisation Investing in science, research and innovation We must become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world leading science base to drive growth across the UK
  6. 6. Industry Challenge Fund Find out more: Industrial Strategy
  7. 7. The problem..
  8. 8. 8 Our journey to
  9. 9. Before transformation Finance systemGrants system built by IT supplier Applications: Manual paper based process Reports IT Department
  10. 10. 10 Government Digital Strategy Government as a Platform Gov Transformation Strategy Business transformation Better use of data Internal tools & process Skills & culture Reusable components GOV.UK Verify GOV.UK Pay GOV.UK Notify Digital by Default 25 exemplar projects Fix transactions Go wholesale Publish centrally Create GDS + 2017 + 2015 + 2012 Baroness Lane-Fox Review2010 Innovation Funding Service InnovateUKDigital Transformation Government Digital Services
  11. 11. 11 The old process
  12. 12. 12 Typical competition: number of users GOV.UK, competition search Applications submitted Project Setup Successful applicants Application Assessment Start project 2,000 Users 500 Applications 20 Awarded 20 Funded Projects
  13. 13. 13 Customer Support
  14. 14. Innovate UK’s digital transformation journey and why collaboration was key…
  15. 15. 15 Operations process Competition Preparation Pre-application eligibility & suitability Application Assessment Funding Decision And Award Due Diligence Monitoring Payment Continuous ReportingOriginal Scope of IFS Current additional project (post award)
  16. 16. The Government Digital Service Standard 1. Understand user needs 2. Do ongoing user research 3. Have a multidisciplinary team 4. Use agile methods 5. Iterate and improve frequently 6. Evaluate tools and systems 7. Understand security and privacy issues 8. Make all new source code open 9. Use open standards and common platforms 10.Test the end-to-end service 11.Make a plan for being offline 12.Make sure users succeed first time 13.Make the user experience consistent with GOV.UK 14.Encourage everyone to use the digital service 15.Collect performance data 16.Identify performance indicators 17.Report performance data on the Performance Platform 18.Test with the minister
  17. 17. 17 Collaboration Software development partners User experience partner
  18. 18. Innovate UK’s digital transformation journey allowing us to transform to different ways of working….
  19. 19. 19 User design: user research
  20. 20. User design : user pain points External users Collaborative nature not reflected in application submitting an application does not currently reflect how users need to share, save, edit and review their collaborative application Applicants do not make use of relevant guidance guidance exists but is not presented to the applicants at the point it is required, with useful information overlooked. Manual data entry and file uploading - not intuitive and requires repetition of data entry Applicant feedback - applicants can struggle to understand reasons for being unsuccessful and what their next steps should be Internal users Manual data entry - many processes within Innovate UK still require manual input of data and manual movement of files Duplication of effort - between internal teams Transparency and visibility of processes - poor transparency and visibility both internally and externally about processes involved, timescales and ownership. Reporting and use of data - current systems are difficult to interrogate for data and information is collected in a variety of formats, making comparison and analysis difficult.
  21. 21. 21 User design: user journeys Initial interest start at GOV.UK Application Submission Allocate assessors Produce panel sheet Notification of outcome & feedback Successful Competition set-up Feedback Project set-up Live Project (integrate with existing system) Invite assessors & assessor account creation Assessment Applicant Assessor Innovate UK Manage competition Decision Process External Users Internal Users
  22. 22. User design: Personas - tell us about our users
  23. 23. User design: prototypes
  24. 24. User design: Iterating April 2015 June 2015 February 2016
  25. 25. User design: iterating
  26. 26. 27 Agile: Analytics & feedback loop
  27. 27. Show & tell to business Observing user testing Agile
  28. 28. Agile ceremonies • Daily virtual stand ups • Daily scrum of scrums (SoS) • Backlog refinement • Show & tell • Sprint retrospective • Sprint review • Sprint planning
  29. 29. 30 Collaborating across different locations
  30. 30. User feedback influencing design “just wondering about the colours of the icons on the right, the blue flags and the green ones wondering what they are” Feb 1 2017 Participant #2
  31. 31. “On the whole I would feel quite confident [completing at home]” End2end participant#3 12/03/17 “Overall it was quite clear” End2end participant#4 12/03/17 “Definitely a 10” [How likely would you be able to complete at home?] End2end participant#2 11/03/2017
  32. 32. 33 Assessors (463 responses) Applicants (2510 responses) Numberofrespondents Task specific Considering the needs of all users
  33. 33. I’m not confident with computers Phone call Scribe Assisted digital Video call
  34. 34. What did we learn ? • Never assume you know your Users Needs • Ensure your business users are part of the project • Keep evidence of everything you learn (for assessments) • Plan ahead but keep it agile • Keep your team happy! • The standards can help you build a fantastic service
  35. 35. 36 Transformation: Digital embedded into Operations Head of Innovation Funding & Customer Service Competitions Team Plan, manage and run the competition for our stakeholders IFS Team Support, maintain and enhance the digital service Customer Support Services Multi-channel support desk for applicants, assessors and other stakeholders
  36. 36. We are now transforming our organisation to proactively use technology to help us do more… Duplicate applications Fraud Assessor allocation Forecasting Know your client Digital passport? Digital cabinet office Grants Efficiency Programme