Digital Team of the Year

This year’s demonstration category is "Digital Team of the Year”. The criteria are “A team delivering a Digital Transformation who have demonstrated an exceptional digital culture and impact.

Sponsored by

myNI Social Web Team

Team Leader: Emma Penney
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myNI Social Web Team

The Social Web team, made up of five staff, has been drawn from different business areas; Emma Penney is a digital transformation consultant, Eileen Curry is the campaigns project manager, and Tracey Wilson, Caroline Moore and Chris Taylor make up the rest of the core team.

Responding to the changing media landscape and corresponding consumer behaviour change, the Social Web project aims to show how Government can use digital marketing tools and techniques to bring content to audiences, who may not be easily reached through traditional channels, whilst at the same time complementing tried and tested communication approaches, and using nudge theory to positively promote behavioural change. The concept is driven by the NICS Work Plan and a number of strategies and reports, which have identified both the gap that digital technology can fill, and the opportunities that it can bring. Furthermore measureable results can be achieved at relatively little cost and impact can be evaluated. The project demonstrates how a collaborative, citizen-centric approach to communication is critical to continue to deliver meaningful and relevant Government information and services at a time and a place they choose. This allows departments and stakeholders to work together to achieve and benefit from shared outcomes with a customer focus. An example: Removing Barriers to Food Waste Recycling – Food Waste Caddy Competition. WRAP research identified two key barriers to food waste recycling - people think the caddies are ugly, smelly and messy or they simply don’t have one. So we ran a competition for designer food waste caddies with carbon filters. We spent £90 on the caddies and a total of £450 on advertising on Twitter and Facebook over 4 weeks. We had over 100,000 impressions across both channels, and over 4,000 positive engagements, helping overcome these barriers.

Links to supporting information:


  1. Making Lives Better – A Strategy for Digital Transformation of Public Services 2017-2021
  2. Northern Ireland Civil Service ICT Strategy 2017-2021
  3. The Future of Public Service Communications 2015
  4.  OECD Governance Report for Northern Ireland
  5. Fresh Start Agreement


Team Leader: Helen Oldham
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NorthInvest was formed by Prof Adam Beaumont to fill a significant gap in the funding environment for tech start ups. We have a small and agile team who are dedicated to helping the North reach it's potential in the tech sector.

We're a not-for-profit early stage investor business, backed by The Northern Powerhouse and the UKBAA, which connects tech entrepreneurs from fintech, med-tech, media-tech, tech-for-good and cyber start ups with funds. We play a vital role in creating a focussed strategy for growth in the North for these five sectors by helping to shape the narrative and scale the ambition in the region. NorthInvest became fully active in September 2017 when our small team was formed. Since then we have hosted significant events around each of the following sectors; Med-tech, Fin-tech and Media- tech, with a Tech for Good event planned for June 2018; the aim of which is to showcase and celebrate the expertise which is fast developing in the North and grow the ecosystem in Yorkshire and Manchester.

We've increased the number of Angels in our Network by 250% since September 2017 and have an ambitious target to get to 80 Angels by the end of 2018. Currently 10% of our Angels are women and we are determined to build this to 20% by the year end through a well structured education and out-reach programme.

In October we will partner with the UKBAA to hold a Northern Women’s Investment Summit. We launched an Angel Hub at Platform in Leeds in March 2018 which provides a meeting space for our investors to meet entrepreneurs and other Angels. The only space of it's kind in the North. Whilst the details are still embargoed we've finalised one deal so far in 2018, in the Med-tech area, with others in the pipeline.

Links to further supporting information:

NHS DPSIMS Project Team

Team Leader: Lucie Mussett
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NHS Improvement and Informed Solutions: The Development of the Patient Safety Incident Management System (DPSIMS) project

We are a blended team of NHS Improvement Policy & Operational staff and delivery partner Informed Solutions, working to deliver a new digital service to support better learning from things that go wrong in healthcare, and make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.

As the NHS reaches its 70th anniversary, it is facing unprecedented challenges. To meet increasing pressures, it must make better use of technology. The development of the new Patient Safety Incident Management System represents an ambitious step change in this direction. The new system will replace the current National Reporting and Learning System and Strategic Executive Information System with one transformational service that delivers real time reporting capability, unlocks the potential of big data and expands reporting to multiple healthcare settings. The current systems generate over two million patient safety incident reports a year, yet only a small percentage of these can be properly analysed manually. Using AI, the new system will track every report to create valuable insights that can save lives. It will harness machine learning and data-driven insights to foster an open learning culture and drive up safety standards.

Over the last five months, our team has delivered an Alpha phase for a world-leading system. We've just passed a GDS Alpha assessment and have recently kicked off the Beta phase. We’ve laid the foundations for transformational change by winning hearts and minds by engaging with over a thousand NHS staff, national policy-makers, patients and members of the public, developing a network of nearly 1,500 engaged users to build momentum and readiness for national scale change. We’ve also secured the support of some of the most senior people in the NHS.

The team is on target to build a transformational reporting system that will protect patients from avoidable harm and create a pioneering safety culture.

Links to further supporting information:

SCVO Digital Team

Team Leader: David McNeill
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SCVO Digital Team

SCVO's role is championing Scotland's vibrant charities, voluntary organisations & social enterprises. Its Digital Team, established in 2013, helps people and charities to develop their digital potential. The team is at the forefront of championing digital inclusion and charity digital transformation in Scotland.

We’ve secured commitment from 567 organisations to building digital skills in workforces and communities through Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter. We’ve provided funding to 147 local organisations, building the basic digital skills of over 12,000 people. Our “Call to Action to Create a Digitally Confident Third Sector in Scotland” has sparked a movement for charities to adapt and evolve, moving beyond seeing digital simply as a ‘marketing and fundraising thing’. We’ve supported over 700 organisations on their digital evolution journey through workshops, seminars and webinars. We’ve worked intensively with 68 charity leaders to facilitate change through our Action Learning Programme. We’ve developed own digital services with a commitment to making our data and source code open. GoodHQ is one example: created as a “TripAdvisor for Charities” in response to declining trust in the sector and the need for increased transparency.

Here’s what some people have said about the impact of our work:

“I’ve learnt so much since my first lesson. Now I Skype, email my family and I love my Alexa.” Betty, supported by a Charter Fund project for people with visual impairments.

“Brace yourselves @PathsforAll… Coming away from @digiscot senior leaders event full of wonderful ideas about how we can become even more efficient, impactful and awesome! #worksmarternotharder #allaboutdata #techlove” Frances Bain, Manager Paths for All and Senior Leader Accelerator Programme participant.

“One ‘small’ example - moving from a paper sessional register would take a coach 43 hours per annum. Moving to an electronic system has reduced that burden by 30 hours.” Scott Hollinshead, Operations and Governance Manager Street Soccer Scotland and Senior Leader Accellerator Programme participant.

EE Community Team

Team Leader: Maddie Armitage
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EE Community Team

EE’s community team consists of 5 product owners and community managers, running the online forum, freely available for customers and non-customers alike to ask, answer, learn and share anything and everything about their experiences in the mobile and broadband world and seeking advice and support on issues they are experiencing.

The 1-1-many multiplier effect of communities enables us to scale information provided to customers with a team of only 5. Unrestricted by processes symptomatic of larger groups we’re able to provide updates to customers quickly.

The annual iPhone launch is a prime example – customers are updated daily, even hourly, on stock status of their device, thus building a reputation for being the location for updates about nationwide stock issues – transparency is key, and providing answers to customers is our primary goal, reducing the need for customers to call and providing 24/7 support.

A small number of the top users are invited to join our “Stars” programme – provided a private area for early access to product and service launches plus Q&A sessions with teams across the business – who better to ask about the customer experience than well informed customers who spend their time helping others? This feedback has in 2017/18 provided many opportunities to improve the customer experience – including reviewing the billing processes, the information provided to new customers, and more.

2017/18 summary

  • Gamification using Badges to reward and drive member participation
  • Community blog relaunch – regular stream of SEO friendly, value-add content
  • Upgraded to the final version of responsive Community (previously using beta)
  • Functional delivery squad stood up and delivering change
  • Social resolvers – offering callbacks to resolve where P2P can’t
  • CSAT: (+1.6 pts YoY)
  • Unique visitors (+14.6% YoY)
  • Questions answered (+14.2% YoY)

Links to further supporting information:

Lloyds Bank Group Transformation REACH Team

Team Leader: Sarah Chowdhury
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Group Transformation REACH - Lloyds Banking Group

The REACH team has a goal to ensure that the Lloyds Banking Group Transformation Division offers an inclusive environment enabling BAME colleagues to be authentic and thrive. The team is run by passionate advocates and led by Sarah Chowdhury - who all do the work outside of their regular roles.

In an increasingly multicultural society, we can only truly become Best Bank for Customers if our workforce accurately reflects the ethnic diversity of the UK population. If the diversity of our colleagues reflects the diversity of our customers we can better understand their needs and build deeper relationships. Our aim is to increase the ethnic diversity of our workforce and unlock the potential of our ethnic minority colleagues. In February 2018, we announced an extension to our Helping Britain Prosper Plan to include goals to increase the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E) colleagues. Our goals are to increase overall B.A.M.E. representation to 10% and to 8% at senior management levels by 2020.

The REACH team in Group Transformation works to ensure that:

  • Colleagues feel comfortable talking about culture and race issues with their leaders and colleagues
  • Group Transformation is a place where colleagues of all backgrounds aspire to work, thrive and develop their careers
  • The REACH team is made up of passionate colleagues who do this work off the side of their desk and in their own time.

    The team have started a Group wide movement called Tell Me Anything. TMA brings together ethnic minorities colleagues with a Managing Director under Chatham House Rules to share stories and experiences of what it is like to be an ethnic minority. These sessions have been eye opening and are offer the opportunity to break the taboo around discussing race and the ethnicity in the workplace.

    The team has had a measurable impact in a number of areas. They have ambitions to achieve the following things:

  • Increasing Line Managers taking Cultural Awareness Training
  • Increase of % of BAME colleagues in senior management positions
  • 100% of the Divisions most senior leaders aware of the BAME agenda
  • Senior managers participating in BAME reverse mentoring schemes
  • Numbers of colleagues participating in the Reach Network
  • More supporting information

    NHS Dumfries & Galloway IM&T Team

    Team Leader: Graham Gault
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    NHS Dumfries & Galloway

    SCC and NHS Dumfries & Galloway IM&T Dept teamed up to deliver an innovative solution which would allow delivery of HEPMA at the bedside in the new single patient room hospital in a secure and efficient manner. The team came together in May 2016 and grew to around 20 people.

    SCC and NHS D&G IM&T have worked together for ten years and most recently worked together to create a virtual desktop environment. The PoC was demonstrated to the CIO, Medical and Clinical Directors who were excited about the possibilities but cost was prohibitive with a major new acute hospital build to manage.

    NHS D&G IM&T later recognised that this was a potential solution for their HEPMA (Hospital EPrescribing and Medicine Administration) challenge in the new hospital. It was due to open in less than a year with entirely single occupancy patient rooms. The security HEPMA needed meant that an end point was required in each patient’s room. Each clinical user would then have to log in and out of the end point each time they accessed HEPMA. With login times of up to ~15 minutes this risked causing significant delay to patient treatment.

    It was a significant challenge in order to ensure the data security and patient safety this would provide was delivered, but also that the digital solution that enabled it would not interfere with the hospital efficiency. SCC therefore assessed and then created an innovative ‘Follow Me Desktop’ VDI design, in close consultation with NHS D&G IM&T, which made best use of existing investment in products, resources and skills wherever possible. The solution would allow Clinicians and other staff to log in and out within seconds, rather than all with the tap of a card, saving potentially thousands of hours of staff time.

    The SCC and NHS D&G IM&T team worked together to carry out this implementation over the following 6 months. Both SCC and NHS D&G team members continued to work as a tight knit team meaning implementation went exceptionally smoothly.

    The solution was intended for just 350 HEPMA users. Two weeks before the new hospital was due to open, a printing challenge was identified around the non-VDI endpoints at the ward bases. Such was the confidence in the VDI solution as an alternative to this, that NHS D&G decided to roll-out VDI everywhere within the new hospital to all clinical areas. This meant instead of 350 users, VDI was available to over 1,700 users from day one!

    It was a total success with little to no issues reported. Users found the new solution intuitive to use and soon realised that it was their last session that appeared, as they left it, at the next end point. This was such a hit with the clinicians that it became the huge success story for the new hospital as a whole, and is now serving as a reference for other NHS Scotland Boards who are looking to bring HEPMA to their Acute Hospitals.

    Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit

    Team Leader: Marcus Bell
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    Cabinet Office Race Disparity Unit

    The objective of the Race Disparity Audit, the first of its kind in the world, was to collect and publish on a web-based platform, all Government held data about “race disparities” - differences of treatment or outcome affecting people of different ethnicities in a range of public services. The aim was to expose significant differences where they existed in a transparent and accessible way and to make it much harder for public services, central and local, to shy away from addressing “uncomfortable truths”.

    The Race Disparity Unit was built from scratch as a multi-disciplinary team in the Cabinet Office bringing together people from eight different Government Departments with very different specialisms in digital development, statistics and policy.

    The team's approach made an impact as follows:

    • it opened up on a new web platform a huge volume of data about ethnicity held by Government, covering more than 130 different topics
    • the approach was driven by user research with members of the public, public service workers and academics, making sure they could access the data they wanted in the way they wanted
    • it took a genuine test, adapt, learn approach to the development and delivery of the service
    • it made the best of the very different skills of a diverse team to build a new product
    • it challenged the established orthodoxy around addressing policy issues in Government, by prioritising the integrity of the data and exposing the problems to public scrutiny and debate without succumbing to the temptation to jump to easy solutions.

    Links to further supporting information:

    GDS Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession Team

    Team Leader: Holly Ellis
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    GDS Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Profession Team

    In August 2017, there was no central view of Digital, Data and Technology capability across government. As a result it was impossible to design strategic capability interventions that could have a positive impact across government and ensure greater focus on the highest priority areas.

    Government often suffers from ‘data gathering fatigue’. Data is collected, its use can be opaque and the value returned to departments even more so.

    Our team designed a pilot to capture data about the DDaT workforce across the 18 largest Whitehall departments.

    The data was captured by a tool that would help visualise it in a way that enabled us to identify hotspots and react accordingly, directly benefiting departments. We captured the data against a common taxonomy of DDaT job roles (this was a first) and clearly articulated the benefits for both us and departmental contributors.

    Benefits of this approach:

    • Enables cross government DDaT workforce planning: signposting capability gaps in departments and geographies, as well as diversity gaps
    • Delivers financial benefits: identifying areas of high reliance on external capability
    • Informs strategic cross government solutions: recruitment, learning and development and location decisions based on a clear picture of our resource profile
    • Identify risks and opportunities: highlight profession gaps and enable cross government sharing of resources
    • Enables departmental comparisons
    • Enables impact assessment: measuring the effect of changes and progress against targets

    Already our combined team have developed strategic initiatives in response to the data we have collected and analysed:

    • we launched our first upskilling programme for a high demand role using our GDS Academy. We identified the need for more Delivery Managers across departments and have put in place a training programme for civil servants to learn new skills to fill this gap.
    • our recruitment team have built an approach to running cross-government recruitment campaigns for roles in demand by multiple departments. Over time, a joined up approach to recruiting once for most in demand roles across government will deliver savings.

    This is just the start and we’re very excited about maximising the potential of the workforce data.

    Links to further supporting information:

    One Team Government

    Team Leader: Kit Collingwood-Richardson
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    One Team Government

    One Team Government (OneTeamGov) is a community of people who are passionate about public sector reform. It aims to improve public services and change the way we work through practical action. The community works across professions, departments, sectors and borders, where people bring diverse perspectives and seek opportunities for common ground.

    OneTeamGov started in June 2017, bringing together policymakers, service designers, digital professionals and cross-sector experts to talk creatively about making government in the UK more effective by working together. The community set out its principles which have been adopted in several large government departments.

    Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the UK Civil Service, recognised that the principles represent the ways of working needed to achieve A Brilliant Civil Service, and the ambition of being the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020. Building on this support, in October 2017 OneTeamGov brought together 100 Permanent Secretaries and Directors General for an event called Reimagining Public Service. This demonstrated senior support for unconferences to encourage debate on diverse ideas.

    OneTeamGov events have brought together public sector reformers across local and central government and the private sector in Wales, Scotland and the north of England. There are regular meet-ups and local groups to share ideas for reforming public service. The team has established strong partnerships around the world, with OneTeamGov communities forming in Canada, Sweden and Norway. This has created a global sharing of challenges, ideas and ways of working to improve public services worldwide.

    OneTeamGov is holding a global event in London on 16 July, bringing together over 700 people from more than 40 countries. This will provide a unique opportunity for civil and public servants from around the world to share ideas, learning and best practice, contribute expertise and feedback, and encourage cross-government collaboration on a global scale.

    Links to further supporting information: