Week notes for 2021 week 4. 

These notes cover Monday 25 January to Sunday 31 January 2021. 

Had a random coffee with someone this week. We last chatted back in March 2020 just after entering lockdown. Got me thinking about the past, and I became fixated with finding the Service Manual's launch date (looks like March 2013). There was a thought train between lockdown and service manual, but it eludes me. 

Service manual home page from April 2013

Service manual

Up until the register to vote service went live, the service manual was my favourite thing on GOV.UK

It continues to be an excellent place to understand how and why government uses agile tools and techniques.

What's funny thou is the way waterfall and agile are merged in the Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live stages. Maybe it was done to appeal to "old school IT guys", as a former Government Digital Service (GDS) leader once said. 

The Digital by Default Service Standard figures heavily in the original service manual. These are the standards new services must meet at each stage, eg when being assessed before a move from beta to live.

Today it's called the Service Standard and has changed in nature. The original had 26 things that teams had to demonstrate they'd done to achieve the standard. Nowadays it's just 14. 

Vicky Teinaki has an excellent diagram that shows how the service standard has changed over time. It was published the same day I started typing this blog post.

Vicky's diagram of how the service standard has changed over time