'No mission longer than 11 weeks' - GOV.UK adopts new way of working

Written by Sam Trendall on 16 August 2017 in News
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Projects can vary in scope, but must always wrap up inside a quarter

The GOV.UK roadmap of initiatives is reviewed and updated at least every three months  Credit: GDS

The team behind the GOV.UK web infrastructure has implemented a new way of working, after deciding that its previous models created projects that were “protracted and [where] delivery was hard to show”.

GOV.UK has a publicly available roadmap of “missions”. Although this roster is updated every quarter, the organisation concluded that its projects felt like they were taking too long and the results were difficult to demonstrate.


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Product managers at GOV.UK must now undertake projects of no longer than 11 weeks. The aims of that project may be expanded or reduced but, whatever happens, it has to conclude within the space of one quarter.

“The scope of the mission is flexible but the length of the mission is fixed,” GOV.UK said. “It might be the case that a theme extends over the course of the year, but we want iterative and complete delivery every 11 weeks, in case we need to change direction or stop.”

The organisation claimed that this length of time is optimal for delivering the most value.

“We feel this structure allows us to build and develop products to a stable state, in a responsible way,” it added.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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