Agile testing at the Home Office

More and more teams across government are getting involved in the transformation programme. We asked Mat Costick to write about his experiences working on an Agile project.

I’m the portfolio test manager for several projects at the Home Office. We’ve recently started to do our testing using Agile techniques; a big change for the team, but one that’s gone very well so far. (more…)

Testing with users around the world

A couple of weeks ago, the team who worked on the visit visa alpha for the Home Office came in to GDS to talk about how it went. We asked Katy Arnold and Chris Atherton to explain a bit more about how they’ve found testing the service with users around the world.

Why did we go to the effort of testing our prototype with dozens of people all over the world? Basically, we did it because they are our users. Around 1.5 million visitor visas are issued every year and we want to make the best possible customer journey for people coming for a lovely holiday in the UK. (more…)

This week at GDS

This week news of an office move at GDS, as well as new developments on open standards and the launch of Go ON North East. Rewired State are holding a Parliament Hack Day on 16 and 17 November, Ben Terrett and Josh Marshall are speaking at ‘Making public services accessible‘, Dublin, and we say goodbye to Rebecca Kemp.


This week at GDS

Mike Beaven gives the latest news on the Transformation programme work going on at the Home Office, Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and DWP (Department for Work & Pensions). Lots of GDS people are speaking at events this week, including Structure Europe, EPIC2013, Monitorama and Webexpo, and on Thursday Richard Perez, Director of the 2014 World Design Capital Cape Town, will be visiting us at Aviation House. (more…)

Three cities, one alpha, one day

A few weeks ago, GDS and Land Registry teamed up to build an alpha of their property register service – one of the 25 services we’re transforming.

To demonstrate the pace of change in agile teams, we gave ourselves one day to rapidly prototype the service, working here and at offices in Plymouth and Leicester. 8 features were built and deployed on the day, iterated in response to testing with real users.

You can see a short film of the team working on it, already showcased on the Land Registry blog. A huge thanks to everyone involved, especially Coca Rivas and Richard Stobart for organising and facilitating the day.

Read a transcript of the video

Lasting Power of Attorney Beta

Today the Beta version of the Lasting Power of Attorney application has been released. It’s one of the first of the Digital Exemplar services to reach Beta stage, which has made it one of the most interesting and, at times, challenging projects I’ve ever worked on.

I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned on this journey, in case it’s of some help to the other people working on exemplar services across government.