It was great to host a visit from The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General last week.
Francis was keen to find out more about what we are doing to support the government’s digital agenda. There has been a lot of focus and attention on our exemplars, but here at DVLA we are taking things further and using this focus as an opportunity to transform the whole business.
We were keen to show that we are not just changing our services, although improving the customer experience is important, but also the culture of our business. From the widespread use of the agile methodology and user focused delivery to the way in which we engage with our own staff, we are spreading the digital mindset - virally.
This is where the role of the DVLA Communications Team has come into play. We know that to be a digital organisation we need to get the organisation thinking digitally. This meant thinking about how we engage with our own staff digitally. Last year we opened up access to social media to all staff on DVLA work PCs. This may seem obvious, but how can you pronounce yourself a digital organisation and then stop your staff from accessing YouTube or Twitter which we use to engage with our customers daily? This has allowed us to branch out in our internal digital communications activities as well as our external ones. The use of internal web chats has been particularly successful. They give all staff real time access to a subject matter expert, whether that is the CEO or an HR expert, to get answers the questions they want answers to – not just the ones we think they might want the answers to. We have also kicked off a trial of Yammer to see how social networking can support effective internal communications. What has that meant? At the most basic level it means senior managers have direct access to people they may not otherwise come into contact with. On top of this people are sharing information, seeking advice and staying in touch digitally.
To become a digital organisation there also needs to be uplift in the capability of our workforce to support and deliver the new services. Francis was interested in our plans to not only raise the capabilities of our own people, but to also look to form links with local universities and innovation centres like Techhub, to provide a pathway for the right people with the right skills.
Digital transformation goes beyond digital services and the work continues in our aim to be a digital centre of excellence.