Thursday 19th of September I was invited to participate in Sprint 19, an annual event by the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS), bringing together people working across government, the wider public sector and industry to share and learn about how digital transformation is improving people’s lives.
Building Capability was a hot topic for the day. It is one that I am exploring exhaustively at RM Studio currently, and there is much GDS are doing that I can take inspiration from.
GDS’ Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework (DDaT) provides a very useful starting point, especially as companies bring in new skills typically not represented well in organisations, such as Service Designers and Researchers, while they continue to develop existing ones (Product Managers, Developers). Skills and professional development are supported across the public sector by the GDS Academy, an inspirational model that should influence the way in which we develop training, career development and communities of practice everywhere.
Education and Innovation were high on the agenda. Education took centre stage during the session for the devolved administrations of the UK. We heard from Caron Alexander, Director of Digital Shared Services, Northern Ireland Civil Service, Colin Cook, Director Digital, Scottish Government and Caren Fullerton, Chief Digital Officer, Welsh Government on how their nations are working to bring technology into education. For example, Wales have launched a 2030 strategy for post-16 Digital learning that is well worth a read.
On Innovation, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP reminded the audience of the innovation competitions. These make funding available for innovators in the private sector for projects helping solve public and societal challenges.
It was a day of intense learning. There was lots to absorb, process and reflect on from the top Digital leaders in the UK public sector generously giving their time in a great example of collaboration: really working together with their teams and actors in the wider Digital economy.
It was a glorious day in London, and fun too: did you know Alison Pritchard, Interim Director General, Government Digital Service does a really good side line in comedy writing?