This post ain’t for everybody, only the sexy people who like standards, service designs and government based assessments. I will write something about food and family tomorrow

Yesterday was a big day.

It was the first time our team got to see the new live service we, Difrent, are building with our partner the NHS Business Services Authority. A service that we are confident will improve the way everyone can get a job with the NHS.

To see our first posting on the new NHS Jobs Beta website, was the culmination of seventeen months of research, learnings, hypotheses and development – rolled up in to a simple, clickable link. A recruiter was now live. An applicant was able to apply for that role.

But what if we looked at the number of big days we have had, or are likely to have across the lifecycle of the service? How big a day was it?

And how do you measure “bigness” when considering the progress we have made?

To do that, let’s look at the steps and phases we have taken to get here.

First up was a workshop to kick things off. A new team brought together, to become embedded within the client’s own team. To develop a plan and a way of working that we iteratively improve on, even today.

What about our first piece of user research gathered during our Government Digital Services (GDS) Discovery Phase? Or our first user story to support our Alpha Phase?

There were even assessments passed as part of those two key phases. A conversation (grilling?) from the GDS Service Design team to ensure that we are on track, meeting our user needs and addressing their pain points. The success of those assessment meetings ranks very high in the bigness stakes.

Then there is our first bit of code built in our Beta Phase. And the onboarding of our first Private Beta partner. They both mean a lot, but surely they were just stepping stones or markers towards yesterday becoming real.

For yesterday really was the biggest of the big days to date. As I watched the team stood around the TV in our breakout space – reviewing and discussing how the advert looked. To then see them working with our performance analyst to understand the realtime analytics of people accessing the site. It all confirmed to me just how far we have come.

But, and there is always a but – if you compare it with the profile of a mountainous Tour de France Stage (as is my want) – yesterday was the first of many climbs. With bigger challenges still to come.

The profile of a Tour de France Stage. I am not sure our service is even at the top of that first climb, yet

So let’s enjoy yesterday for what it was. A big, positive, brilliant day for the team – which shows just how far we have come. And how much confidence we have as a team, as we push on.

Chris Written by:

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