There is nothing that interesting about the April 13th (Wikipedia fails me), apart from it was my first day as a front-end developer working inside DWP.
I am fortunate to work inside Government and to be able to deliver services in the way we do and at the scale, we need to.
I've had the opportunity to work with and learn from some amazing people, long may this continue.
Services and users
Over the past two years, I've had a great opportunity to work across a range of services. Which has meant I've been able to spend time with many different groups of people with very different needs.
I've worked on the following;
- Apply for Personal Independence Payment
- Report benefit fraud
- Get your State Pension
- Support for Check your State Pension
A couple of things I've noticed from moving services is the needs of both the team and end user can be very different. There is no one size fits all approach to service delivery.
I found with all these services the most value thing was attending/observing user research. Empathy around the issues provide a great context for designing and delivering a service.
I'm an analytics nerd so I can say I've helped over 900 people claim their State Pension online, over 75,000 State Pension statements be generated by operations and over 200,000 cases of fraud to be reported (that is a very odd stat).
Teams, teams, and teams
Joining a new team is never easy, working out how best to the support them and deliver a good service can be draining, but it is also very rewarding a couple of things have been repeating on them though;
- keep focusing on the users - no matter what is being challenged
- always have clear intent when delivering user value
- always have a content designer
- clear backlogs and product goals will help focus the team and improve delivery
- you need to push all parts of the team to collaborate
- two weeks sprints are often limiting to deliver consistent value, don't be afraid to change this
- technology should never drive or limit a service
- always this Daniel Pink - Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose
- making an accessible front-end doesn't mean your service is accessible, think about the end to end journey
- making people draw pirates to express how a sprint has gone, is clearly the best retrospective ever