Getting senior management buy-in to this way of working is a crucial part of effective digital service delivery. To do this, firstly it’s important that people understand how the principles can help them to achieve their goals – for example reducing costs or getting better outcomes for service users.
We found that four of the principles are most useful in this process.
Start with user needs and keep them involved. Understanding users means that you can build a service that better addresses their needs. If it solves their problems in a way that works for them, it’s likely to get better uptake. That’s more likely to have the impact the organisation is hoping for.
Take small steps and learn as you go. Using agile methods over waterfall very often reduces costs and de-risks tech development as it avoids building things that you know you don’t need.
Collaborate and build partnerships. Building in time to understand how your service relates to what other charities are doing is helpful for senior managers to understand its role in the wider landscape.
Build for sustainability. Every senior manager will be mindful of costs. Understanding the sustainability and costs of your service is an part of supporting senior management in their financial planning.
Start with user needs, and keep them involved
I have researched directly with my user group to understand their needs from their perspective. This means understanding their behaviours, attitudes and needs. For example, I’ve conducted semi-structured interviews with users or undertaken or contextual research
I have a plan to continue to engage with my intended service users over time, such as conducting usability studies
Things you might have:
User needs based on user research
Jobs to be done
A research plan for ongoing usability testing
Tools you can use:
User needs – the Government Digital Service has great guidance on identifying and writing up user needs
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