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  1. Service manual
  2. The team
  3. What each role does in a service team

Your service team must include people doing a variety of different roles (this type of team is called a multidisciplinary team). You may need to include other roles depending on the size of your service.

Meeting the Digital Service Standard

To pass point 3 (have a multidisciplinary team) your team must have the skills to:

  • design and build a service
  • operate a service

You’ll have to explain how you did this at your service assessments.

Roles your team must have

A team building a government service needs to have people with the following roles or skills either in the team or available to it:

  • product manager
  • service manager
  • delivery manager or scrum master
  • user researcher
  • content designer
  • designer
  • developer

The skills you need will change throughout the lifecycle of your service. Read more about the roles you’ll need at each service phase.

Your whole team, and in particular your designers, user researchers, content designers and developers, must work together to design, build and iterate a service based on the user needs of the people your service is aimed at.

Product manager

Your product manager works with the delivery team to:

  • makes sure your service fits in with your organisation’s priorities
  • define what the future goal of the service is (often called the ‘product vision’ in agile project management)
  • make sure your service will meet user needs
  • prioritise user stories for each work sprint
  • comment on technical, content and design solutions
  • accept user stories when complete

Read more about a product manager’s skills and responsibilities in the product manager job description.

Service manager

Your service manager must have the decision-making authority to deliver on all aspects of a project. They also:

  • have overall responsibility for developing, operating and continually improving your service
  • represent the service during service assessments
  • make sure the necessary project and approval processes are followed
  • identify and mitigate risks to your project
  • encourage the maximum possible take-up of your digital service
  • have responsibility for your service’s assisted digital support and need to appoint an accessibility lead in your team

Read more about what a service manager does or download a job description for this role.

A delivery manager or scrum master

Your delivery manager or scrum master is responsible for:

  • setting up the agile environment your team needs to build and iterate a user-centred service
  • removing obstacles or ‘blockers’ to progress
  • helping your service team become better at autonomously organising their own work

Read more about what a delivery manager does or download a job description for this role.

You can also find more resources and link up with digital professionals on the agile delivery community page.

User researcher

Your user researcher helps your team understand its users so it can design the right kind of service in the right way. When working on your service, they will:

  • plan a programme of research for your service
  • develop a clear understanding and empathy for your users
  • design, conduct and analyse user research using a range of techniques
  • provide guidance on design based on their understanding of your users’ needs and behaviour

Read more about what a user researcher does or download a job description for this role.

Content designer

A content designer is responsible for the content in your service. They contribute to service design by:

  • developing content plans and strategies based on user needs
  • writing clear, usable content in plain English
  • reviewing content to make sure it’s accurate, relevant and written in line with GOV.UK style
  • communicating the principles of good content design to your service team and others across your organisation
  • advocating for users of your service by challenging requests that don’t support their needs

Read more about what a content designer does or download a job description for this role.


Designers help your team create user-focused services and a consistent user experience.

Depending on the type of service you’re building, you may need a team of designers with a range of different skills, eg interaction, graphic, user experience (UX). However, in discovery it’s often best to hire an interaction designer as the first member of your team.

Read more about what a designer does or download a job description for this role.


You need developers on your team to:

  • build software with a focus on what users need from your service and how they’ll use it
  • write, adapt, maintain and support code
  • continually improve the service with new tools and techniques
  • solve technical problems

Read more about what a developer does or download a job description for this role.

Other roles you may need

Depending on a service’s size and complexity, the delivery team may also need the input of some of the following roles:

  • digital performance analyst
  • technical architect
  • web operations engineer
  • business analyst
  • quality assurance and testers

Digital performance analyst

Digital performance analysts help your team understand and improve your service’s performance by:

  • collecting and presenting key performance data and analysis for your service
  • working with your service manager to make sure their service meets the performance requirements set out in the Digital Service Standard
  • helping your service team understand user needs by providing quantitative and qualitative evidence from web analytics, financial data and user feedback

Read more about a data performance analyst’s skills and responsibilities in the data analyst job description.

Technical architect

Technical architects need to:

  • work with delivery teams and third parties to decide on technical requirements and improvements for software development and web operation
  • make sure that new and updated platforms, products, transactions and system architectures are robust, scalable, open and secure

Read more about a data performance analyst’s skills and responsibilities in the technical architect job description.

Web operations engineer

Web operations engineers are sometimes called systems administrators, operations engineers or site reliability engineers. You need their input from discovery or alpha stages to be able to move from prototypes to production systems.

Web operations engineers help your service team by:

  • running your production systems
  • helping the development team build software that’s easy to use
  • working with developers to optimise existing applications and design new ones
  • encouraging everyone (developers, delivery managers, product managers) to think about how new applications will be run and maintained

Read more about what a web operation engineer does or download a job description for this role.

Business analyst

Business analysts work with the service or product manager to:

  • define what skills a service will need and map where these can be found (eg from an external contractor)
  • check there’s the budget to cover the proposed approach
  • analyse how much money your project needs for its ongoing running costs
  • analyse and map risks and propose solutions

Read more about this role’s skills and responsibilities in the business analyst job description.

Quality assurers and testers

The quality of any digital service is the responsibility of the entire team, and the final responsibility lies with the service manager.

Employing specialist skills from outside of the service is a good way to make sure this is tested thoroughly. This is typically done for penetration testing and quality assurance.

A quality assurer can work on a short-term basis with your team to build quality into everything they do. They should leave your team capable of managing quality as part of their standard development and iteration of the service.

You may also find the following guides useful:

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Agile delivery community