34 min

Government Digital Service Podcast #21: The DDaT Fast Stream at GDS Government Digital Service Podcast

    • Government

Vanessa Schneider: 
Hello and welcome to the Government Digital Service Podcast.
 
My name is Vanessa Schneider and I am Senior Channels and Community Manager at GDS. Like last month's episode, this one will also be recorded via Hangouts as we're all remote working right now. We're going to be talking about the Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream experience at GDS. The Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream, also known as the DDaT Fast Stream for short, is one of 15 different schemes on the Civil Service Fast Stream. Applicants can choose up to 4 scheme preferences when they apply. As a DDaT Fast Streamer you're participating in a four year scheme with both six month long and year-long placements.
 
GDS is one of the organisations in which Fast Streamers are placed. So we will be hearing from colleagues across GDS with experience of being on the DDaT scheme.
 
Clare Robinson: 
I'm Clare Robinson. I'm a Fast Stream Performance Analyst working on GOV.UK. So that means that I look at the performance data that we have available and try to understand what it is that users are trying to do on GOV.UK, where they're going and what it is we need to do to make their journeys better.
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
Do you think that the Fast Stream has lived up to what your expectation was before you applied? 
 
Clare Robinson: 
What I've really loved about working for government is the fact that people don't have another option, like there is no, there's nobody else that can give you a passport. We have to do it. And that confers on us a really different expectation because we can't ever decide that something is too hard. We have to do the best we can for everybody. And that was probably the thing that really defied my expectations. I came in thinking that it would be all about implementing government policy. And actually some of that is true. But most of it is about providing citizens with things that they need from government. And that's really a different mindset, perhaps, than I really expected to have. 
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
Do you mind going a little bit into detail about the different placements that you've had before arriving at GDS?
 
Clare Robinson: 
So I started as a delivery manager in Bristol working on licencing and permitting services. My role was to make sure that we were delivering those projects on time when we needed to. So I learnt a lot from that, I learnt a lot about agile, so how to manage people in a really productive and sort of continuously improving way. And I learnt a lot about myself, like what I how I work, what I like, what I find more challenging. That led me to my next placement where I went to the Department of Transport to be a User Researcher. And that was really great 'cause I was working on a whole just a massive range of projects.
 
And then I got to go on a secondment. So this is sort of an interesting feature of the Fast Stream is that you can go out to, often to charities or other partners. But I actually chose to go out to industry 'cause that was like I really wanted to take that opportunity just to see how digital services work from kind of a more commercial side. And so I got to go and be a Co-creationion Consultant at Fujitsu. And the kind of work I was doing that was really interesting because I was running what are called design-thinking workshops, which are very much, very much in some ways follow some of the user-centred principles that we have in government, and in GDS - it's all about starting like what do users need?
 
It was really interesting to see how a sort of commercial enterprise used user-centred thinking and design-thinking to sort of challenge both themselves, and the customers that they working with to kind of co-create like solutions to complicated business problems. So that was that was really interesting.
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
We often hear that GDS has

Vanessa Schneider: 
Hello and welcome to the Government Digital Service Podcast.
 
My name is Vanessa Schneider and I am Senior Channels and Community Manager at GDS. Like last month's episode, this one will also be recorded via Hangouts as we're all remote working right now. We're going to be talking about the Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream experience at GDS. The Digital, Data and Technology Fast Stream, also known as the DDaT Fast Stream for short, is one of 15 different schemes on the Civil Service Fast Stream. Applicants can choose up to 4 scheme preferences when they apply. As a DDaT Fast Streamer you're participating in a four year scheme with both six month long and year-long placements.
 
GDS is one of the organisations in which Fast Streamers are placed. So we will be hearing from colleagues across GDS with experience of being on the DDaT scheme.
 
Clare Robinson: 
I'm Clare Robinson. I'm a Fast Stream Performance Analyst working on GOV.UK. So that means that I look at the performance data that we have available and try to understand what it is that users are trying to do on GOV.UK, where they're going and what it is we need to do to make their journeys better.
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
Do you think that the Fast Stream has lived up to what your expectation was before you applied? 
 
Clare Robinson: 
What I've really loved about working for government is the fact that people don't have another option, like there is no, there's nobody else that can give you a passport. We have to do it. And that confers on us a really different expectation because we can't ever decide that something is too hard. We have to do the best we can for everybody. And that was probably the thing that really defied my expectations. I came in thinking that it would be all about implementing government policy. And actually some of that is true. But most of it is about providing citizens with things that they need from government. And that's really a different mindset, perhaps, than I really expected to have. 
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
Do you mind going a little bit into detail about the different placements that you've had before arriving at GDS?
 
Clare Robinson: 
So I started as a delivery manager in Bristol working on licencing and permitting services. My role was to make sure that we were delivering those projects on time when we needed to. So I learnt a lot from that, I learnt a lot about agile, so how to manage people in a really productive and sort of continuously improving way. And I learnt a lot about myself, like what I how I work, what I like, what I find more challenging. That led me to my next placement where I went to the Department of Transport to be a User Researcher. And that was really great 'cause I was working on a whole just a massive range of projects.
 
And then I got to go on a secondment. So this is sort of an interesting feature of the Fast Stream is that you can go out to, often to charities or other partners. But I actually chose to go out to industry 'cause that was like I really wanted to take that opportunity just to see how digital services work from kind of a more commercial side. And so I got to go and be a Co-creationion Consultant at Fujitsu. And the kind of work I was doing that was really interesting because I was running what are called design-thinking workshops, which are very much, very much in some ways follow some of the user-centred principles that we have in government, and in GDS - it's all about starting like what do users need?
 
It was really interesting to see how a sort of commercial enterprise used user-centred thinking and design-thinking to sort of challenge both themselves, and the customers that they working with to kind of co-create like solutions to complicated business problems. So that was that was really interesting.
 
Vanessa Schneider: 
We often hear that GDS has

34 min

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