I’m Nic Harrison, the Director of Enabling Digital Delivery, part of DWP’s Business Transformation Group. I’ve been with the department for a year, working with Kevin Cunnington to put in place the organisation and plans needed to deliver a once in a lifetime transformation for our citizens, third party partners and staff.
I used to live in Dallas, Texas where there is a good ‘ole boy saying: “fixin’ to get ready”. This means doing all the necessary preparation before a big task can start. I really feel 2014 was about “fixin’ to get ready” for the huge year we have in front of us in 2015. Last year we put in place Digital Academies to train our staff, we recruited a number of specialists to provide leadership and guidance in new technology and techniques (take a bow Ben Holliday, my colleague and Head of User Experience) and we worked with the change programmes to ensure consistency and promote re-use across the department. In short, we put in place the foundations on which to build the new DWP.
The enabling part of Enabling Digital Delivery is about making sure we have robust designs that deliver great, user centred services. This is often more about the parts of a service that cannot be delivered with technology than the parts that can be. Really good design puts human intervention where it is needed and valuable and it automates whenever we can do that safely and securely. That’s why we look at user journeys and test and learn around real user experiences.
However when we can automate, we need first class 21C technology to support us. That’s why I am delighted we have our new Director General for Technology, Mayank Prakash, in the department. We are already drawing on expertise from the Chief Technology Office domain architecture function in order to understand the “art of the possible” from our current and future IT estate. I am sure that Mayank’s vision for the department’s technology will bring new and exciting opportunities to leverage technology and deliver innovative services. After “fixin to get ready” last year, we are now really getting going with the momentous task of transforming DWP together.