Digital transformation seems like lots of things to lots of people.

Central & local government organisations use the term to describe anything from replacing legacy systems to adopting an entirely new governance structure. The needs of our clients are often complex and challenging, and when we work with these organisations we need to be flexible enough to recognise that everyone is different, everyone has different needs and every client has different expectations about what they are going to get.  Our job is to facilitate answers, to bring our experience and knowledge so that we can design solutions, build services the right way and to help the organisations we work with to run those services themselves.

In recent years the pace of technological change has increased beyond belief, which has been great for society but has also left more traditional organisations behind as they struggle to keep up to date.  Government is a victim of this – government organisations are often siloed, running on old technology and locked into highly expensive long-term contracts.  But citizens, used to online banking and shopping, don’t distinguish between government services and those of any other industry.  Government is lagging behind – it knows it needs to change but doesn’t always know how.


We believe that the best way to provide services to citizens is to understand what users want. As these user needs can change over time, we believe it’s important to carry on understanding what users want.  And the best way to understand what users want is to ask them directly and understand more about them.  Only by doing that can we design services that truly allow users to seamlessly do the thing they want to do.

That doesn’t always mean digital services either.  Digital technologies are an enabler, but we need to look at how they are used in the context of what the customer wants and how the service provider needs to operate.  Applying for a driving licence might mean the customer has to undergo a medical assessment.  Home visits might be necessary for customers seeking guidance on claiming benefits.  We look at the whole service, making sure we consider all these things.  We consider the needs of users who have disabilities, or those who need extra help.  We look at the constraints on the service, sometimes legislative and sometimes not – there’s no point introducing a digital-only service for users in rural areas with no broadband – instead we might need to look at provision of the service at local libraries, or ensure non-digital solutions remain at hand.

We try to understand the broad context around the problem we’re trying to solve so that the solutions we give are informed by real life and real user needs.

At Methods, we work across both central and local government to build services.  We’re doing fantastic work at ESFA across a multitude of projects – from the National Careers Service to how schools get funded.  In the Cabinet Office we have delivered, and continue to build, the Ethnicity Facts and Figures service – offering true government transparency into the level of race disparity across public services in the UK.  In Wales we’ve got teams across ONS looking at the collection, processing and dissemination of data, and at DVLA building new services around first registrations. The list goes on.

These are large scale pieces of work, some of which are nationally important, and some of which will change how people interact with and perceive government.  In all cases it’s thanks to our associates that we get the chance to run this work and show government how it should be done.

For more information on the services we provide, visit our services page or email gordon.coe@methods.co.uk.