Comment

04.01.17

Standardising digital transformation across the capital

Source: PSE Dec/Jan 17

Previously part of the Government Digital Service (GDS) transformation programme, Natalie Taylor now works at London’s City Hall as senior manager for Digital Transformation. She gives PSE an update on the changes taking place at the Greater London Authority (GLA) and how it is implementing the Local Government Digital Service Standard.

There is a real role for City Hall to play in helping to promote and implement a Local Government Digital Service Standard (LGDSS) across London Councils, PSE has been told.

 Speaking to us, Natalie Taylor, senior manager for digital transformation at City Hall, noted that local authorities across the capital are at varying levels of digital maturity. 

But Taylor added that the LGDSS, developed by LocalGov Digital, is an exciting opportunity to spread learning and promote a proven way of working across councils in London. 

In an attempt to bolster these efforts, City Hall and Camden Council came together earlier this year to co-host the London Peer Group for LocalGov Digital. Taylor said that City Hall’s role is to “be the expert, bringing everyone together, and getting momentum behind the LGDSS”. 

Through the new peer group, Taylor hopes that City Hall will be able to get buy-in for the LGDSS from council CEOs as well as leadership teams. 

“It will help users, it will save you money and make life easier for your staff, and we can help you because we have done it,” she said. “That is why it is so compelling, and it should be compelling to the CEOs. If we work in a similar way that GDS worked with departments and show them by demonstrating how you get good value for money and can share code, there are huge opportunities. 

“For example, it would be silly for 25 councils to go out and build their own parking app, when they could all be sharing one. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. 

“I think having the standard, which talks about opening up code and sharing and working to the same standards and design patterns, is written in a nice plain way that we should be able to communicate to senior leaders across councils.” 

Changes at GLA 

As well as promoting the LGDSS, Taylor discussed the major changes that have taken place at the GLA since she started, including the launch of a new London.gov.uk website. 

After initially identifying some disjoints in the working processes at GLA, with teams not working in agile ways or doing continuous testing, Taylor implemented a change process to promote GDS ways of working. 

“It was really successful,” she said. “We launched a private beta of the site in spring 2015, and we went to public beta in the summer. 

“We used the feedback to constantly improve on what users wanted. We brought stakeholders along to come in to the labs at GDS, and see how people interact with the information and products.

“We’ve been on a journey to get GLA to think about users. We have also run ‘digital master classes’ where we would invite people to learn about SEO, analytics, accessibility and writing for the web. 

“Now the business is starting to understand that their digital presence is their mouthpiece to opening up the work of the mayor of London and the London Assembly.” 

While identifying that digital transformation has been a long journey for City Hall, Taylor added that there are tremendous opportunities to share learning. 

She also noted that there is a programme of work underway to reduce the number of separate microsites, to ensure a consistent brand and user experience, bringing everything under the London.gov.uk umbrella. 

“We did a review that found approximately 50 microsites, not part of London.gov.uk, branded differently and it was an inconsistent user experience, which dilutes the brand and means missed opportunities for cross-promotion,” said Taylor. “This big piece of microsite consolidation work started earlier this year and will continue for the next 12 months.”

for more information

W: www.london.gov.uk

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Charity develops £4.5m fund to tackle homelessness

25/05/2017Charity develops £4.5m fund to tackle homelessness

A social investment fund worth £4.5m has this week been launched by charity Homeless Link to tackle the issue in local areas. The fund... more >
Leese vows ‘fear and division’ won’t win following terror attack

25/05/2017Leese vows ‘fear and division’ won’t win following terror attack

The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, has sent a powerful message of defiance in the face of the most terrible terrorist atta... more >
Liverpool CEO temporarily ‘steps aside’ following arrest

25/05/2017Liverpool CEO temporarily ‘steps aside’ following arrest

The chief executive of Liverpool City Council has been forced to temporarily step down from his role after he was arrested due to financial probl... more >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

A watershed moment in British democracy

02/05/2017A watershed moment in British democracy

The upcoming mayoral elections represent a watershed moment in the history of British democracy, reports PSE’s Luana Salles.  On 4 May, voters across six regions will take to the polls to decide who should captain their public services until 2020.  As part of the elections, the DCLG has kick-started the ‘Our May... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

interviews

Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >
Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO), tells PSE’s David Stevenson why there are lots of oppo... more >
McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolution, talks to PSE’s David Stevenson about the need to radically... more >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working. The past 12 months have seen seismic change... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

11/04/2017A watershed moment in British politics

The government has now officially triggered Article 50, formally starting the process of Britain’s exit from the EU. How this will affect local government, the wider public sector and the Civil Service remains to be seen, but the likelihood of it being plain sailing with the enormity of the task ahead seems rather unlikely.  It... read more >

public sector focus

G-Cloud 9: Choosing the right supplier for your cloud communications

24/05/2017G-Cloud 9: Choosing the right supplier for your cloud communications

James Passingham, chief technical officer at ... more >
Improving engagement and trust

28/04/2017Improving engagement and trust

Tracie Evans, chief operating officer at Hari... more >