It’s been a couple of weeks now since the Sprint 14 event hosted by GDS in Central London. This event showcased all the good work that the exemplar projects have been doing across government.
The day started off soggy and misty with what felt like a week’s worth of rain falling as I made my way to County Hall on the banks of the Thames. I entered the impressive building to be greeted with a hot coffee and the buzz of all the invited guests waiting to see what the day had in store.
After catching up with some colleagues from GDS it was into the main hall to see the demos. The event started with speeches from Francis Maude and Martha Lane Fox and the message was clear: good work has been done so far but we now need to start delivering services.
After the speeches it was onto the live demos – yes live demos – in a hall filled with hundreds of people. After the first couple of services had finished showing off the goods it was (in my eyes) time for the main event. DVLA’s answer to the Pet Shop Boys, Oliver on vocals and Rohan on the keyboard, took to the stage to demonstrate all the hard work that has gone into the view driving record service. The demo went without a hitch and was well received by all in the audience.
After a quick coffee it was time for a breakout session. I attended the “digital for all” session where the emphasis was on people who are not online. It was very powerful to hear inexperienced internet users speaking about the issues they face and this gave me a better understanding of how our offline service must compliment the online offering and the need to build first class assisted digital services. We have previously written about how we user tested our assisted digital solution and I see this as key to completing the circle on our overall service.
It was well worth getting soaking wet to attend this event and showed how committed everyone is to delivering first class public services online and not forgetting those who are offline.