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Breaking the cylinders of excellence (for YOW! Nights)

Breaking the cylinders of excellence (for YOW! Nights)

Nobody interacts with government because they want to - they interact with government because they have to, and most people come away from online interactions feeling more confused than when they started.

That's why the Digital Transformation Office (now the Digital Transformation Agency) was created in 2015 – to change the way government delivers services, by relentlessly focusing all delivery activities on user needs, and modernising technical delivery methods.

In this talk we'll learn about the problems with the traditional approach to digital service delivery in government, the cultural and structural barriers to changing service delivery in government, and how Open Source platforms, APIs, and Continuous Delivery enable the DTA to help government deliver simpler, clearer, faster public services.

Lindsay Holmwood

November 15, 2016

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  1. Breaking the cylinders of excellence To deliver clearer, simpler, faster

    public services Lindsay Holmwood Head of Technology @auxesis @DTO dta.gov.au
  2. dta.gov.au The problem

  3. dta.gov.au 1509* * public federal government websites we know about

  4. dta.gov.au People have no “mental model” of what government wants

    them to do.
  5. dta.gov.au “I just wing it to be honest. As I

    need it, I research it. Which is probably not ideal. I need the big picture. I need to talk the big picture and then how to help kids navigate particular areas.” – School counsellor
  6. dta.gov.au People design their businesses to minimise government bureaucracy.

  7. dta.gov.au “I was talking to the guys in Japan in

    September saying I’d be able to start (selling their label) by December [laughs]. This whole thing has been a case of scaling back my expectations.” – Clothes store owner
  8. dta.gov.au People pay others to deal with government for them.

  9. dta.gov.au “If you can afford it, pay an expert to

    deal with the government. It’ll bury you and distract you from your own business” – Retired businessman
  10. dta.gov.au People with experience still have trouble.

  11. dta.gov.au “My biggest frustration is being on hold with the

    immigration department. I need to speak to them at least once a week. Last Friday I was on hold for 1 hr 20 minutes. My longest wait has been 2 hrs 30 minutes.” – Internal immigration agent
  12. None
  13. dta.gov.au The challenge

  14. dta.gov.au Do the hard work to make it simple for

  15. dta.gov.au Understand the who, what when, where of user interactions

    with government
  16. dta.gov.au Design & Technology

  17. dta.gov.au Clearer, simpler, faster services

  18. dta.gov.au Digital Transformation Agency

  19. dta.gov.au We're here to make government services simpler, clearer and

    faster for everyone
  20. dta.gov.au 1/ We collaborate with agencies to transform services so

    that they meet user needs
  21. dta.gov.au 2/ We create whole-of-government platforms to support service transformation

  22. dta.gov.au 3/ We develop policies and standards to help government

    transform services consistently
  23. dta.gov.au What have we done well?

  24. Delivery hubs in Sydney and Canberra

  25. dta.gov.au

  26. dta.gov.au

  27. dta.gov.au A prototype of how government services and information could

    be joined up gov.au/alpha
  28. dta.gov.au

  29. dta.gov.au

  30. dta.gov.au We publish and own our performance stats

  31. dta.gov.au

  32. dta.gov.au

  33. dta.gov.au Digital Service Standard Setting the standard for delivering services

    that are better for users, and efficient for government
  34. None
  35. cloud.gov.au Creating a new platform to make delivering and operating

    government services easier
  36. July cloud.gov.au 14 apps in production 50 apps in development

    across transformation programme & service delivery programme
  37. October cloud.gov.au 47 apps in production 225 apps in development

    across transformation programme & service delivery programme
  38. What does delivery look like?

  39. 30 60 90 120 2015-10-29 2015-11-08 2015-11-16 2015-11-25 GOV.AU deploys

    over time
  40. None
  41. None
  42. AusDTO/gov-au-alpha

  43. dta.gov.au Releases are a non-event

  44. dta.gov.au Process scaled as we added contributors

  45. dta.gov.au Contributions are democratised

  46. 15 contributors Dev & Ops & Design & Research &

    Content & Management
  47. dta.gov.au The unit of delivery is the team

  48. None
  49. dta.gov.au What did we learn?

  50. dta.gov.au Government doesn’t move at a single speed

  51. dta.gov.au Government is designed to be stable

  52. Myth: 
 Organisations must choose between speed and reliability.

  53. Fact: 
 High-performing IT organisations 
 deploy 200x more frequently,

 with 2,555x shorter lead times; they have 
 3x fewer failures and recover 24x faster. – 2016 State of DevOps report
  54. dta.gov.au The tension between Deliver like a startup vs Be

    stable like a government
  55. dta.gov.au Capability continuum

  56. dta.gov.au “we’re agile, we do standups”

  57. dta.gov.au “we do CD, we deploy continuously, every 6 weeks”

  58. dta.gov.au Cylinders of excellence

  59. dta.gov.au “The future is already here — it’s just not

    very evenly distributed.” – Gibson
  60. dta.gov.au Help identify and plug capability gaps in teams

  61. dta.gov.au Policy as a weapon vs Policy as a tool

  62. dta.gov.au Read the policy yourself

  63. dta.gov.au Find subject matter experts

  64. dta.gov.au Document what works and what doesn’t

  65. dta.gov.au

  66. dta.gov.au Don’t transform delivery & technology at the same time

  67. dta.gov.au Make the right thing • Select high volume services

    • User centred design • Define and deploy the minimum viable product • Integrate with back-end process • Design for straight-through processing
  68. dta.gov.au Ensure that it’s
 done right • Organise work in

    small teams (2 pizza size) • Develop in-house capability across key roles • Incremental and continuous deployment • Time box delivery • Continuous usability testing
  69. dta.gov.au Stick with technologies government knows (Java & .NET)

  70. dta.gov.au Change tech methodologies

  71. dta.gov.au CD & TDD & BDD & PaaS & Microservices

  72. dta.gov.au Transform how they use those technologies

  73. dta.gov.au Spring & 12-Factor Apps

  74. dta.gov.au

  75. dta.gov.au Security matters

  76. None
  77. dta.gov.au Prevention is a battle you will always lose

  78. dta.gov.au Detection is your best defence

  79. None
  80. None
  81. dta.gov.au Embed security people on big services

  82. http://pivotal.io/security/cve-2016-0927 http://pivotal.io/security/cve-2016-0928 http://pivotal.io/security/cve-2016-4468

  83. dta.gov.au Focus on basics

  84. dta.gov.au Have a threat model

  85. dta.gov.au Excel macros > APT

  86. dta.gov.au MFA all the things

  87. dta.gov.au Required reading: https://speakerdeck.com/garethr/security- monitoring-with-open-source-penetration-testing- tools

  88. dta.gov.au

  89. dta.gov.au Tech often doesn’t last more than 6 months

  90. dta.gov.au Go and see Understand team’s problems Hypothesise what they

    need Test hypotheses
  91. dta.gov.au CI/CD

  92. dta.gov.au Cheap SaaS ↩ Specific SaaS ↩ On-prem ↩

  93. dta.gov.au Define clear interfaces: bin/cibuild.sh bin/cideploy.sh

  94. dta.gov.au

  95. dta.gov.au What should we do differently?

  96. dta.gov.au Front-load technical activities

  97. None
  98. None
  99. dta.gov.au Strict interpretation of the design and delivery guides

  100. dta.gov.au Create a longer runway by pulling tech forward

  101. dta.gov.au Don’t turn down volume of design, Turn up volume

    of tech
  102. dta.gov.au Constantly iterate the service standard assessment process

  103. None
  104. assessment points

  105. dta.gov.au Just waterfall with a different name?

  106. dta.gov.au Agile practices throughout

  107. dta.gov.au Tighten focus in each stage

  108. dta.gov.au If it hurts, do it more often

  109. assessment points

  110. dta.gov.au Minimum viable documentation of practices, then over-communicate

  111. dta.gov.au We set a high bar. But we need to

    bring people up to speed
  112. dta.gov.au Alien technology & alien language to many

  113. dta.gov.au Build primers

  114. None
  115. dta.gov.au

  116. dta.gov.au What still puzzles us?

  117. dta.gov.au Business cases with fixed-cost deliverables

  118. dta.gov.au Fixed cost delivery with agile is a thing

  119. dta.gov.au “best effort” doesn’t satisfy regulatory requirements

  120. dta.gov.au Government has expectations of certainty when you spend taxpayer

  121. dta.gov.au

  122. dta.gov.au Procurement

  123. dta.gov.au Complex, interrelated legislation

  124. dta.gov.au Significant domain knowledge required

  125. dta.gov.au 5 platforms GOV.AU Identity Digital Marketplace Performance Dashboard cloud.gov.au

  126. dta.gov.au

  127. dta.gov.au

  128. dta.gov.au Some teams pull back from Continuous Deployment

  129. dta.gov.au Continuous Delivery is though

  130. dta.gov.au Extra set of hands for sign off

  131. dta.gov.au Inside the DTA? Escalate the commitment.

  132. dta.gov.au Don’t put manual testing on the critical path for

  133. dta.gov.au Push manual tests into automated ones

  134. dta.gov.au Have specialty skills on-hand Accessibility & Performance & Security

  135. dta.gov.au

  136. dta.gov.au Difficulty seeing outside the cylinder

  137. dta.gov.au Discovery can get limited to what can be directly

  138. dta.gov.au People expect to deal with government as a whole,

    not with separate agencies or departments
  139. dta.gov.au Services should be available end-to-end online

  140. dta.gov.au Users’ interactions with government should be as good as

    those with modern businesses
  141. dta.gov.au There’s huge failure demand when users can’t get things

    done easily
  142. dta.gov.au Government is just catching up to everyone else

  143. dta.gov.au The opportunity is immense

  144. dta.gov.au Australia can become the best in the world at

    delivering clearer, simpler, faster public services.
  145. dta.gov.au Thank you! ❤ the talk? Let @auxesis & @DTO