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  3. 8. Iterate and improve frequently

Service Standard

8. Iterate and improve frequently

Make sure you have the capacity, resources and technical flexibility to iterate and improve the service frequently.

Work with your organisation to make sure that you’re able to focus on improvements that have the most value.

Why it’s important

Services are never ‘finished’. Using agile methods means getting real people using your service as early as possible. Then making improvements throughout the lifetime of the service.

Making improvements means more than doing basic maintenance like fixing bugs in code, deploying security patches and keeping call centre scripts up to date. If that’s all you do, you’ll be fixing symptoms rather than underlying problems. And over time, the service will stop meeting user needs.

Continuous improvement means you can respond to changes in user needs, technology or government policy throughout the lifetime of the service. So rather than having to be replaced, the service stays relevant until it’s ready to be retired.

What it means

Iteration isn’t just for the early stages of a service’s development.

Running a live service doesn’t have to mean a full team working on the service 100% of the time during the live phase. But it does mean being able to make substantial improvements throughout the lifetime of the service.

Last update:

Guidance first published