Why principles matter
This piece was co-authored with Myra Hunt, CDO at Defra.
More than a year ago, mine and Myra Hunt’s predecessor Sally Meecham wrote about Defra’s digital principles, saying how they acted as a useful way of setting out our approach to simplifying services and cutting out complexity.
A lot’s happened since then. In the last few months, we have been working hard to re-think how Defra’s digital function is structured and how it works. As we said in a blog post back in November of last year:
Digital transformation means changing those working methods. It means: being more agile; putting users first; starting small and iterating from there, based on user research.
The new digital function is designed to bring those changes about, and make them stick.
Consequently, we think it’s time to re-evaluate the digital principles. We want them to better reflect where we are now.
So at the moment, they look something like this:
And there’s a final, meta principle that goes alongside all of these:
We will empower teams and individuals to call us out when they see these principles being ignored, sidelined or mis-used.
That’s important because laying out a set of principles is one thing, but giving them clout is another. We want these principles to have some clout, to be something that guides us and our colleagues across the digital function for the years ahead.
There’s a great deal of work to do. We hope that having a set of clear, simple principles will help give delivery teams across Defra confidence that we’ve got their backs, and we’re here to support them. Keep going.
This article was originally published here.
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