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Collaborating across government – and the private sector – at Transforming Together

Together with other departments from across government DWP recently attended the Transforming Together event in London.

Hosted jointly by the Home Office and British Airways, it examined ways in which government departments and the private sector can work together better to provide better services for users.

In this blog, Zoe Gould and Arunan Thaya-Paran from DWP give their reflections on the day and the wider theme of why cross government collaboration is so important.

Joining up across government makes things better for users

Zoe Gould, Head of Product, DWP Digital:

It’s really important that we collaborate across government, now more than ever.

We know from user research that users don’t see government as individual departments, they see government as one thing. They don’t understand why they have to provide the same piece of information to different departments if they’re claiming a benefit or applying for a passport.

By joining up and working together, we can make things much better for users by sharing and improving the things we deliver together.

Transforming Together at the Barbican, London, January 31st
Transforming Together at the Barbican, London, January 31st 2018

Learning from what’s happening in the private sector

Arunan Thaya-Paran, Head of Service Architecture at DWP:

At Transforming Together I enjoyed meeting up with a lot of different colleagues working on transformation and digital programmes across government. It’s a really good opportunity to share knowledge, experience and see what people are working on.

We need to learn from what each of us are doing in our respective government departments, but I believe we also need to look across the boundaries. Big traditional companies are also going through transformation so at Transforming Together it was great to hear from British Airways about their experiences of transformation. Their story really resonated because it shows organisations in the private sector have the same complexities as us – and ultimately we’re all trying to deliver contemporary services in a better way, whether in government or outside of it.

Making connections is key

Zoe: One of my highlights of Transforming Together was the data and analytics session ran by Home Office. It really showed the value of these events because I picked up some contacts from that session who are doing some work on data exchange, which will be really helpful to my team with some work we’re doing at the moment. It wasn’t something I knew a lot about before the event so learning more about it was really valuable.

Zoe Gould at Transforming Together
Zoe Gould at Transforming Together

We’re doing a lot of interesting work across government and having that mind-set of wanting to share and work together is really important when we’re collaborating. Everyone wins if we can share each other’s learning.

Transformation is a journey

Arunan: We need to be part of a wider community that comes together because we must remember that citizens interact with lots of different departments like ourselves in DWP, HMRC or the Department for Education, so we have to have a consistent way we’re presenting ourselves to them.

Kevin Cunnington from GDS addresses delegates during Transforming Together
GDS' Kevin Cunnington addresses delegates during Transforming Together

Users want us to give them a consistent experience across the services they use so we need to understand the areas of complexity and provide them with a better customer experience.

Transformation is a journey and getting together at Transforming Together gives us the opportunity to learn from each other to make our own journeys smoother so that collectively we get to a better place.

Watch a short video of Zoe and Arunan, together with other colleagues from across government talking about Transforming Together.

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