Digital and technology skills

Service management

Managing the development and delivery of an effective user-focused digital service.

Service management is working to develop and deliver an effective user-focused digital service. It requires strong leadership, relationship management and commercial skills.

Some relevant roles: service manager, product manager, delivery manager

Relationship management

This involves:

  • building good working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as other departments, suppliers, and senior leaders
  • representing the service positively to gain the support of stakeholders
  • providing strong digital leadership (see Digital leadership skills group for more details)

User needs

This involves:

  • familiarity with the full range of resources for establishing user needs
  • knowledge of how and when to use these resources so that services and information are genuinely user centred

Service design

This involves:

  • overseeing the design of digital services
  • kicking off the design process (eg through ‘inception’ meetings and a Discovery phase to identify user needs)
  • ensuring that service design is considered with every iteration of a digital service

Meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard

This involves:

Digital and technology literacy

Having the digital and technical literacy needed to work with technical staff and suppliers to define the best system and platform configurations for achieving business and user objectives.


Understanding how traditional and agile governance methods can be used to inform decision-making and help the team deliver.

Multidisciplinary team

This involves:

  • ensuring the team are supported to carry out their work effectively
  • building multidisciplinary teams and developing talent

Media management and communication

This involves:

  • working with communications professionals to market the service appropriately through the right channels and to encourage maximum take-up
  • understanding the media landscape
  • understanding how to target messages to suit the audience

Assisted digital and digital inclusion

Overcoming barriers to service adoption

This involves identifying:

Providing assisted digital support

This involves:

  • ensuring the service includes good assisted digital support
  • understanding what assisted digital looks like and how to achieve it

Continuous improvement based on data

Analysing and acting upon user data to design and continually improve services to effectively meet user needs.


Routes to market

This involves:

  • being familiar with different procurement and commissioning frameworks
  • encouraging new ideas and innovative commercial routes to ensure that government gets the best deal possible

Securing funding

This involves:

  • understanding and following relevant investment and spend approval processes, both for your department and across government
  • producing a business case to secure funding for your service, following appropriate government guidelines

Using virtual communities

This involves:

  • understanding the service as part of the wider context of the digital transformation agenda
  • using the service manager community to build networks, share knowledge and encourage support across government for digital services

Learning resources:

The 4-day internal government service manager induction programme aims to equip newly appointed service managers with the basic knowledge, network and confidence to take the lead in transforming digital services.

The Service Manager Open Programme is a 3-day seminar that uses specialist learning modules designed to help service managers improve in specific areas of the Digital by Default Service Standard.

The Service Design Manual also includes a list of links to essential resources for service managers.

Civil Service Learning offers online learning resources on management essentials to help boost your management skills and plan your future development.

HM Treasury offers guidance to help with efficient planning and approval of spending proposals for agile digital and IT projects.