Drive to create ‘great’ government services will measure usability and efficiency

Head of CDDO reveals metrics used to assess critical services
Photo: Adobe Stock

By Sam Trendall

26 May 2023

Government’s plan to ensure 50 of its foremost services have achieved a defined ‘great’ standard by 2025 will assess the services in question based on their usability and efficiency.

A new government-wide three-year strategy published last year – dubbed Transforming for a digital future – included a list of 75 of departments’ most widely used and critical services. The first of the six missions set out in the strategy pledged that two thirds of these will have met a ‘great’ standard by 2025 – up from a current tally of about 15%.

Implementation of the strategy is being led by the Central Digital and Data Office. In an interview with CSW's sister publication PublicTechnology, the organisation’s chief executive Megan Lee Devlin said the definition of ‘great’ will be met if a service is rated highly enough against a range of measurements, which will be based on “industry-standard metrics” in two key areas: usability and efficiency.

“In terms of usability, we look at measures like digital completion rates, and customer satisfaction. In terms of efficiency, we look at cost-to-serve and other indicators around automation of operational processes,” she added. “We are taking best practices from the private sector – and indeed great practices from across government – and scaling those to measure service performance over time. It also provides a very valuable way of making that link between the activities of digital teams day to day and the business outcomes that they're delivering – and how that's improving outcomes for the  public while ensuring that we're achieving value for money on taxpayer funds.”

The top 75 list includes services such as moving to Universal Credit, applying for a UK passport and applying for a civil service job.

The other missions in the strategy include: supporting departments’ adoption of the new government-wide One Login system; improving the quality of data and its use in decision-making; boosting the security of technology infrastructure and tackling legacy IT; building digital skills across government; and addressing procedural and structural barriers to transformation – such as funding and business-case processes.

These missions were embarked on 11 months ago. As CDDO prepares to provide a one-year update on progress so far, its chief executive says that work to date has focused on “putting the conditions and foundations in place to enable teams in all corners of government to deliver”. 

“An example of that – one that I'm particularly proud of – is in the legacy space, where we've made a commitment that all of our red-rated legacy systems will have plans for remediation by 2025. And in the first couple of months, we identified our highest-risk legacy systems across government and are working to ensure that funding that was awarded through the 2021 Spending Review is being prioritised accordingly.”

The full interview with Lee Devlin – including lots more insight into the rollout of government’s digital strategy, the importance of senior-management support, and the impact of artificial intelligence – can be read here. The interview is a the first in the Digital Leaders’ Download Series, to be published on PublicTechnology in the coming weeks and months, and including discussions with permanent secretaries, heads of profession, and other government figureheads.

Read the most recent articles written by Sam Trendall - MPs press DWP to reveal impact of AI on benefit claims

Share this page