GDS plans overhaul of content operating model
The Government Digital Service is updating its content operating model and plans to rollout the new version as early as April 2017.
GDS is developing a new content operating model in collaboration with departments and stakeholders - Photo credit: Flickr, Jennifer Morrow
The existing model was established in 2011, and the GDS needs to review and update it before work can be done to streamline and reduce content across GOV.UK.
The head of GOV.UK, Neil Williams, said that the GDS was “thoroughly re-examining” how it worked with different departments to design, maintain and improve content on GOV.UK with users in mind.
He said that around 2,500 new pages are added to GOV.UK each month, with existing pages “seldom if ever updated”.
Although the GDS has made sure content is co-located on the system, Williams said that content was “not yet coherent and the stock remains too large”.
This makes it hard for users to find what they need, he said, and the GDS wants to reduce the volume of content, group it around users’ needs and change it so it was easier to understand and use.
In order to do this, the GDS first has to refresh the operating model, and Williams has set out the four project phases in a blogpost.
The first two phases – discovery and definition – should be complete by this autumn, Williams said.
They involved gathering and summarising qualitative and quantitative information about the current model, its problems and how the affect end users, and then presenting it to stakeholders for discussion.
Following this, the GDS team will design a new publishing model that address those problems, as well as looking at the publishing models of other sites and organisations. It will also look at the governance, workflow and capability needed for content creation and ongoing maintenance.
This will involve working with departments and agencies to design and trial aspects of the new model.
After this, the GDS team will create a document proposing the new publishing model, along with recommendations for departments to implement the model.
Williams said that the last two phases would begin in late 2016 or early 2017, with early adopters developing the roadmap for rollout from April 2017. The GDS hopes to have the final documentation for all departments ready for the 2017-18 financial year.
He added that the GDS was in discussions with some departments and agencies already, but that others could get in touch with the team if they wanted to be involved in shaping the work.
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