Transforming Government via the Exemplar Programme

Change the culture and drive the capabilities of government to digital by default services via a programme of 25 exemplar projects.

In 2013 the GDS Transformation team began working with departments to demonstrate how to transform 25 high volume citizen-facing transactions into examples of high-quality services. The goal was to use these as a means of driving change within departments towards digital by default services and ways of working.

Our people in senior GDS transformation lead roles worked on five of the 25 exemplar projects. We quickly championed small teams across multiple departments to establish rapid momentum, demonstrate a can do attitude with measurable results, and continually challenge entrenched blockers demonstrating how and where change was necessary.

With a relentless focus over 2-3 years on improved user experiences and evolution of technical solutions we gathered an increasingly passionate following from civil servants in departments who were keen to make a difference. During this period we actively contributed to refine user-centred, agile and lean ways of working, to organisation structures that better supported digital services, to the GOV.UK Service Manual, the Government Service Standard, and to the overall strategy taken to government digital transformation.

Many individual civil servants in departments that we encouraged and mentored eventually created their own momentum and with support went on to make outstanding achievements improving the experiences and often lives of people using government services.

These exemplars were highly successful achieving their coveted ‘Live’ Service Standard assessments within 2 years, and saved significant amounts of public funds, one resulting in a net present value of £33M.

We're very pleased to have played instrumental roles in the first new digital services that led the UK government transformation to 'faster, better and cheaper' public services and on its path to saving billions of pounds.