https://servicedesign.blog.essex.gov.uk/2018/03/13/introducing-the-service-standards/

Introducing the Service Standards

The Service Standards shown below were approved as part of our Organisation Strategy in 2017.  They will help us create and run services which meet the needs of our users.  Many of these standards are common sense; the ‘why?’, ‘what?’, and ‘how do you know?’ of good service delivery.

The standards were originally created by the Government Digital Service (GDS), and have been used by dozens of departments and teams across government over the past five years. They are a tried and tested set of criteria which can be used to review and improve real-world as well as online services.

a wall of posters showing the service standards

The Service Standards

Start with the user

  • Understand user needs
  • Make sure users succeed first time
  • Encourage everyone to use digital
  • Ensure a consistent online user experience
  • Test the end to end service

Deliver agile projects

  • Use agile methods
  • Have a multi-disciplinary team
  • Iterate and improve frequently
  • Do ongoing research

Manage performance

  • Identify performance indicators
  • Collect performance data
  • Report performance data
  • Test with the Cabinet lead

Run excellent systems

  • Use open standards and common platforms
  • Make all new source code open
  • Understand security and privacy issues
  • Evaluate tools and systems
  • Make a plan for being offline

How will the standards help me?

We’ve started to explore how these services can be used to drive improvement across the council.  We’ll begin by testing them with the teams that run services and the users who use them, learning what works well and what doesn’t in real situations.  We want to understand how the standards can improve our services and teams, and also how they might can help us to work more effectively across functional areas and when working with suppliers and partners.

This is the start of our service standards journey

We’ll share the work we do to apply the service standards and the things that we learn here, and invite you to join in the discussion and start to consider how the standards might be useful in your area?

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