Cabinet Office group to map government transformation projects

Written by Rebecca Hill on 15 March 2017 in News
News

The government is developing a dynamic mapping tool to help civil servants access information on transformation programmes, in a bid to cut out wasted effort and make sure projects are properly resourced. 

Whitehall aerial view

Whitehall is seeking a supplier to create a digital tool to map transformation projects - Photo credit: PA

The work is being led by the government’s Transformation Peer Group, which brings together the directors general responsible for big transformation projects to share ideas, experiences and advice.

As part of this, the group is seeking a supplier to develop a dynamic mapping tool to track transformation efforts across Whitehall.

A supplier opportunity published on the Digital Marketplace this week said that the aim was to make sure civil servants know what is being done elsewhere in government so they don’t duplicate efforts, and so departments can properly budget for the projects.


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“Departments cannot currently see how their programme relates to other programmes across government,” the opportunity said.

“This in turn leads to activities being duplicated across government. Departments cannot see how other programmes depend upon them, leading to poor decisions for the whole of government being taken.

“Ministers cannot see how their department has to work with other departments to achieve their priorities. This leads to resourcing being improperly allocated across the department. Treasury cannot plan cross government programmes as they cannot not see how these programmes fit into wider government transformation.”

The Cabinet Office said that the map should take the form of a digital tool that civil servants can use to assess interdependencies of work within the programmes and access data about other programmes. It should be in public beta by June 2017.

The work is currently in discovery phase and there is a proof of concept available for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

This sets out seven types of interdependencies between programmes, such as on policies, resource sharing, shared locations, data access and the need for technical integration, and covers three nodes: organisation, programme and service.

The opportunity notice said that the supplier will work with a non-technical policy team for three civil servants based in London.

They must have experience “delivering agile projects in sometimes non-agile environments”, of developing open source products, using data and analytics to design services and be used to working to a tight, fixed deadline.

In addition, the notice said that experience of delivering services designed for internal government use and of building a dependency mapping project would be desirable.

Suppliers are asked to pitch a technical solution, approach and methodology, say how this will meet the government’s goal, and give an estimated timeframe for the work, as well as detailing how they offer value for money.

The Transformation Peer Group’s work comes as the government is under greater pressure to keep better records of – and learn lessons from – its past policy interventions.

The Institute for Government yesterday published a report that urged Whitehall to address the high rate of policy and organisational churn, saying that it had poor institutional memory and information management.

The think tank recommended that departments used digital tools to better capture what is already know, and to ensure they don’t have to start from scratch on every new policy idea.

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