When you are in the midst of a big project like this it’s difficult to take stock and analyse the project itself. After completing the transition project we felt it was important we review the project as a whole and identify the reasons why the project was successful. It was also important to identify any areas we could improve in the future.
We did this review by holding a workshop where the whole team wrote down the things they felt helped us succeed or hindered success. We then each tried to identify the top 5 items we felt were most important in our success.
Once we had each scored it was then possible to identify the themes we all thought were important. So here is our summary of why we think the GOV.UK transition project was delivered successfully….
Focus on user needs
Each transition focused on the needs of the user. This focus allowed us to clearly define the scope of each transition and prioritise content delivery in line with the needs of the users. Clearly defined user needs also meant we knew what a successful transition looked like for each organisation.
Collaboration and building capability
Working in collaboration with each organisation allowed us to build successful relationships and a team ethos to deliver each transition. We were then able to build capability within the organisations and instill Government Digital Service (GDS) content and project principles.
This knowledge allowed organisations to continue to deliver for their users after transition. We worked with some amazing departmental and agency leads, without their hard work and commitment this project would have been impossible.
Multi-disciplined teams within GDS improved delivery and continuity for each organisation.
In order to transition 312 organisation websites to GOV.UK it was important that we focused on delivery and iteration. We identified a minimum viable product for each organisation and aimed to deliver that MVP quickly and then iterate as required. Being able to show organisations a working site quickly was a catalyst for completing the work and launching their sites on gov.uk.
Throughout the project we prioritised to ensure we focussed on the next most important thing. This meant we had a clear plan and timescales for each transition that we could work towards delivering.
Mandate and governance
Our clear mandate and deadline meant organisations were committed to deliver their transition. A clear exemption process and escalation path also meant concerns were dealt with quickly.
The transition team itself benefited from a flat autonomous structure. Transition managers were empowered to deliver and work in their own way without the overhead of too many reporting responsibilities.
We’ll take these learnings and use them to help us deliver successful projects in the future and avoid repeating things that didn’t work so well.