Government Service Design Manual

“Services should start with needs”.

So says the ‘Government Service Design Manual’.

This Service Design Manual is a great tool for any organisation wishing to create services that people really want and need. It’s so good that we are adopting it as our method for developing new services.

We announced Lean Social in September, our project to learn lessons from digital companies and apply them to social problems. Since then we’ve been exploring the Government’s Service Design Manual and decided that it’s a great starting-point for Lean Social.

The Government Service Design Manual (created by the Cabinet Office via their Government Digital Service team) has accelerated Lean Social and helped us to move quickly from theory to practice. It’s especially relevant because future government digital services will need to follow the service design manual.

Want to find out more about the Government Service Design Manual?

See below for an overview taken from the GOV.UK (links connect you to GOV.UK):

Making a service

Learn about the different phases of service design and get guidance for the phase you’re in now.

  • Discovery

    A short phase, in which you start researching the needs of your service’s users, find out what you should be measuring, and explore technological or policy-related constraints.

    Learn about the discovery phase

  • Alpha

    A short phase in which you prototype solutions for your users needs. You’ll be testing with a small group of users or stakeholders, and getting early feedback about the design of the service.

    Learn about the alpha phase

  • Beta

    You’re developing against the demands of a live environment, understanding how to build and scale while meeting user needs. You’ll also be releasing a version to test in public.

    Learn about the beta phase

  • Live

    The work doesn’t stop once your service is live. You’ll be iteratively improving your service, reacting to new needs and demands, and meeting targets set during its development.

    Learn about the live phase

  • Retirement

    Even the best services may eventually reach retirement. That should be treated with the same care as went into the building and maintaining of that service.

    Learn about the retirement phase

What do you think? Could this development process help your organisation to create better services?

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