the Service Standard

[Or, to be more precise, the Government Service Standard.]

I’ve written a few things about the Government Service Standard. Here’s a list of them in one place, in chronological order.

NB: these were all originally standalone posts. If you read them together, there’s a bit of repetition. I’m resisting the temptation to smooth out the edges.

  1. I ♥ the service standard
    • “maybe we could all talk more about what the service standard enables: a transparent way to measure progress, a lodestar for government to work towards, a fair and reasoned way to avoid departments marking their own homework, an important sponsor of working in the open and, most importantly, a catalyst for better services for users.”
  2. 10 things to remember when preparing for a service standard assessment
    • “The single most important thing you can do in an assessment is provide a clear view of what you’re asking the panel to assess. You should be able to sum up your service in a single user story.”
  3. What we can learn from the history of the service standard
    • “creating a service standard in the abstract is easy. What takes effort is making sure that the standard meets user needs, that it gets tested and iterated and improved in ways that don’t devalue or cause consistency issues, that assessors get trained and supported, and most of all that the standard gets used and used and used again because of the value that it delivers, the problems it ensures get caught before they create a major problem, and the links with other services that get suggested.”
  4. A governance parable
    • “Winning at governance ultimately means taking any outcome on board and objectively processing it, avoiding the temptation to reduce complexity to tick-boxes and practicing honesty as a team about what you can change and what you can’t. None of this is easy, but the better you are at handling this, the better you are as a team. Any team can handle expected outcomes, only a good team can handle unexpected outcomes.”
  5. Tips for being a lead assessor for a service standard assessment
    • “the most important thing a lead assessor can do is make sure you finish on time and that everyone gets a chance to go to the toilet at some point. Anything else is a bonus.” 

And – bonus extra – two posts about specific points of the Standard:

  1. Into the great wide open
    • “Working in the open is driving-abroad-for-the-first-time-in-the-dark-with-strange-noises-coming-from-the-brakes-while-telling-someone-that-you-love-them grade scary. You should still do it and you should still do it not just because it’s the right thing to do. You should also do it because it’s genuinely a thrilling, enriching, addictive thing to do. It makes you feel better. It makes you better. And it makes all of us better.”
  2. Why we should stop talking about Assisted Digital
    • “perhaps that confusion was fair, and not something that could be solved by constantly finding better ways to define Assisted Digital. How about we say instead that all users are assisted digital users and we should design for them from the start?”