The Digital Plan has four missions to achieve the next phase of digital transformation in government.
Why we need a plan
Historically, ministries work within their mandates to design and deliver services. These services are arranged to match government’s own organizational structure. The result is products and services that are hard to find. In some cases, people need to understand how government is organized just to interact with us.
During the pandemic, we pivoted away from that approach. We collaborated across organizational boundaries to launch new channels for delivering reliable information and services that people and businesses counted on. These connected services created a seamless experience for people.
Looking ahead, we know the solutions to B.C.’s biggest challenges like climate change, housing affordability, public safety, health care and reconciliation also need to be connected services.
The Digital Plan builds on the work we have accomplished already. Together, we can deliver inclusive, accessible and connected services that are designed with and for people.
The 4 missions
Each mission includes unique calls to action.
Mission 1: Connected services
Prioritizing and delivering accessible, inclusive and connected services that can solve a person’s complex problem as a whole, not in parts.
Calls to action
- Collaborate across government to identify service gaps and opportunities to improve an individual’s service journey
This involves conducting research with people and businesses to better understand their overall journeys and service experiences, including those that span organizational boundaries. We need to:
- Partner with other ministries delivering related services to look for opportunities to connect service experiences
- Bring different service delivery channels together to make sure people who lack access to technology or prefer not to use it aren’t excluded from a service
- Apply service design principles to all service modernization projects
Service design is more than a role, it’s a way of thinking that can impact a whole team and how they approach a project. We need to:
- Ensure all public servants have a basic understanding of the importance of using human-centered approaches to design programs and services
- Embed service designers, content designers and user experience researchers on service delivery teams
- Empower designers and researchers to identify and address service gaps and opportunities
- Deliver at least three priority connected services by 2025
These may be improvements to existing services or net new services where gaps exist. We need to:
- Identify and deliver at least three priority connected services that address service gaps for people or businesses by 2025
Mission 2: Digital trust
Deliver digital services that people trust and can access safely and securely.
Calls to action
- Adopt government identity and trust services
For ministries, this means using the BC Services Card Login to allow people to safely prove who they are when they access digital services. We need to:
- Embed privacy and security by design into services
This means thinking about protecting sensitive and personal information from the very start of any new initiative. We need to:
- Be clear on what information teams need to collect, who has access to it, where and how it is stored and how it is protected
- Design ways to communicate to users why government is collecting information in a service and how that information will be used
- Design websites and digital services to be inclusive, accessible, modern and consistent with other government websites and services
People often think of government as a single entity, so when our websites and services are inconsistent or function in unexpected ways, people lose trust in our services. We need to:
- Use corporate platforms such as gov.bc.ca to publish information
- Use consistent design patterns and components to build digital services
Mission 3: Reliable and sustainable technology
Supporting reliable service delivery by improving the way we build and operate technology and services.
Calls to action
- Fund technology as products and services rather than point-in-time investments
Like other organizations, government often funds technology as one-off projects. For example, we pay once and leave the technology to work. But as everyone knows, technology needs regular updates or it can lead to security issues and service interruptions. We need to:
- Recognize ministry systems as products that need to be maintained and improved
- Form permanent teams who can maintain and continuously improve digital products and services
- Adopt common components to reduce duplication
Common components are re-usable building blocks for applications. They are designed to meet common needs, such as publishing content, proving your identity, filling out a form or sending out a notification. We need to:
- Use common services and components to give teams a faster and more cost-effective way to build or use technology and digital services
- Use common components in combination with design patterns to provide people with a more consistent user experience
- Develop and run reliable, responsive and adaptable applications
When the technology that underpins a government service slows down or goes offline, the public loses access to a service they need and expect to use 24/7. In addition, applications that are difficult to update make it harder for ministries to respond to changing priorities or needs. We need to:
- Form permanent teams who use modern technology to build applications that are resilient (unlikely to fail, even in unusual circumstances) and responsive to user needs
- Update key systems that are at risk of failure
Ministries should prioritize updating key legacy systems that could interrupt service delivery. We need to:
- Develop plans or roadmaps that can guide iterative updates to systems while balancing ongoing service delivery
Mission 4: Digitally equipped BC Public Service
Equipping the BC Public Service with the skills, culture, tools and ways of working needed to deliver programs and services in the Digital Age.
Calls to action
- Support public servants in acquiring modern digital skills
Employees in every role, at every level should have the support, tools and training they need to acquire modern digital skills so they can bring value to people in British Columbia. We need to:
- Focus on skills like human-centred design, writing in plain-language for the web and modern product management
- Help senior leaders gain the digital literacy and other competencies needed to lead in the digital era
Leaders need digital literacy so they can support their teams with confidence as they adopt new tools and ways of working. We need to:
- Understand that culture, practices and technologies have changed all sectors of society, including government
- Build internal capacity to support digital service delivery instead of relying solely on partnerships with the private sector
With recent changes made to government core policy, ministries are no longer required to outsource all technology development to the private sector. We need to:
- Build internal capacity in key roles so program areas can drive decision-making on digital services
- Adopt more collaborative, partnership-based resourcing models with the private sector
- Form blended digital teams that include both public servants and vendor partners
Looking for more information or have questions? Send us an email.