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

November too late for pay cap decision, GMB says

25/09/2017November too late for pay cap decision, GMB says

The GMB has criticised the government’s choice to defer the decision of ending the public sector pay cap until the Autumn Budget on 22 Nove... more >
LGA: TfL Uber decision shows need for ‘urgent reform’ of outdated taxi laws

25/09/2017LGA: TfL Uber decision shows need for ‘urgent reform’ of outdated taxi laws

Councils have this week declared that outdated taxi laws need to be urgently reformed following Transport for London’s (TfL’s) decisi... more >
Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

22/09/2017Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

Councils are failing to meet their obligations to prevent, reduce or delay the need for care as set out in the Care Act 2014. New research p... more >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

How would local government look under a Labour government?

25/09/2017How would local government look under a Labour government?

Few will disagree with the statement that the current landscape of local government is one that has been shaped by seven years of Tory influence. Harsh austerity measures have seen pressures on council-run services, as well as the NHS, mount sharply as demand increases. The resurgence of the Labour Party in June’s snap election... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

interviews

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
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 >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides ... read more >

public sector focus

Make the census meaningful again

11/09/2017Make the census meaningful again

Christopher Gallagher, Public Sector – ... more >
Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

30/08/2017Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

The Grenfell Tower disaster revealed a number... more >