https://gdsdata.blog.gov.uk/civil-service-jobshare-internal-service-assessment/

Civil Service Jobshare - Internal Service Assessment

Civil Service Jobshare is an online job-share register designed to capture, manage and match prospective civil servant job sharers. The functionality of the service allows users who have securely registered to create a profile on the service, search for other compatible potential job share partners across Civil Service Departments and make contact to initiate a job share partnerships.

Department / Agency:
CO

Date of Assessment:
27/09/2015

Assessment Stage:
live

Result of Assessment:
Pass

Lead Assessor:
L. Sands

Service Manager:
B. Stanislas

Digital Leader:
C. Bullock


Assessment Report

Outcome of service assessment

After consideration the assessment panel can confirm the Civil Service Jobshare service has shown sufficient evidence of meeting the Digital Service Standard and should go live as a service on GOV.UK. The service can now remove any beta branding.

Reasons

The panel could see the potential of the service to contribute to improving diversity within the Civil Service workforce and to significantly increase both the visibility and uptake of job sharing within the organisation.

The panel found the design of the service to be broadly consistent with the GOV.UK style guidelines. The service was thoroughly reviewed with a content editor following beta assessment, which resulted in several sensible changes, including the renaming of functionality throughout the interface and improvements to key user journeys.

The panel were impressed with the breadth of user research undertaken in reaction to feedback from the beta assessment, with a renewed focus on task based usability testing. The thorough capture of data throughout the sessions, the subsequent analysis, and the changes implemented to the service as a result of the research clearly justify the additional time spent
during beta.

It was equally clear that the service team had made efforts to improve the channels used to recruit participants for research, focusing on attracting contributions beyond the existing network of job sharers, and making full use of the Civil Service diversity groups such as the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network, Home Office Women’s Network and Civil Service Disability Network (CSDN).

The panel were pleased to see specialist expertise had been brought into the team, to support both user research and analytics, and were encouraged by the steps taken by Civil Service Resourcing (CSR) to deliver the service within tight timescales.

Recommendations

The panel have the following recommendations.

Engagement with the service

Whilst the service is still very new, there is concern amongst the panel that usage is fairly low and that the service is not yet delivering value for money. The panel would strongly advise that the team focus their energy on growing usage and improving engagement with the service across the organisation.

The service team should consider using specialist expertise to help develop a stronger engagement plan, and would encourage particular focus on the following areas:

  • Expanding usage outside of London and beyond traditional policy roles.
  • Evaluation of how recruitment practices and job specifications can be utilised to further raise awareness of job sharing and the service itself.
  • Reviewing diversity data collected by the service to determine where usage does not reflect the composition of the Civil Service as whole.
  • Investigating opportunities for the Job Sharing and Job Search services to be integrated now or in the future.
  • Targeting recruiting managers, senior leadership, fast streamers and new entrants with effective communications about job sharing and the service.

Collecting quantitative data

The panel would encourage the service team to increase the scale at which they gather quantitative data, and generally be more ambitious in how they recruit participants. The validity of the methodology improves proportionally to the quantity of responses received, and the panel would expect several thousand survey responses from potential users of the service. The relatively low numbers of respondents suggest that the channels used to publicise the survey were inadequate.

Sharing code

The agency responsible for the delivery of the service has published the entire source code of the service to their GitHub account. This should ideally be moved to an account managed and owned by CSR. Whilst the code is open and the team are accepting contributions, the panel would encourage the team to ensure that the project is publicised effectively and they are fully realising the benefits of sharing code.

The team should also carefully consider what can be reused or repurposed from Civil Service Job Share in future products managed by CSR, particularly the new Job Search and Fast Stream recruitment services.

Capacity planning

The panel recommends that the capacity planning undertaken during beta be reviewed given current and planned usage. Whilst the service is deployed on cloud infrastructure there is no elastic scaling of resources in place. Given the current usage of the service, scaling capacity elastically based on demand would help ensure the team are getting value for money from hosting and infrastructure.

Regression testing

The panel identified a bug during the assessment whereby the “Dashboard” page was not shown to users following a successful login.

The service team described using manual exploratory and manual scenario based testing to validate changes prior to deployment, and characterised this as a relatively low burden for the team. The panel suggests that some degree of basic automated testing could have helped identify the regression prior to deployment to the live environment, as well as offering improved confidence during engineering and deployment.

The panel were also unsure whether the team's manual testing scenarios are documented in sufficient detail to facilitate transfer of knowledge. The panel recommends that the service team review the scenarios in detail, and ensure service documentation is appropriately shared.

Transferring knowledge

As the service enters a less intensive period of development, the service team must ensure that key knowledge is maintained or transferred appropriately, particularly given the reliance on external agencies for development.

Utilising the performance platform

The panel expect to see the service report their performance data to the Performance Platform prior to the removal of the beta branding.

Summary

The assessment team identified several areas where there is scope for improvement but the service broadly met the requirements for a live service.

In coming to this decision, the panel took into account the internal nature of the service, the recent application of service assessments to internal services, and the significant improvements undertaken following the beta assessment.

The panel wish to congratulate the service team on their success and wish them well for the future.


Digital Service Standard criteria

Criteria Passed Criteria Passed
1 Yes 2 Yes
3 Yes 4 Yes
5 Yes 6 Yes
7 Yes 8 Yes
9 Yes 10 Yes
11 Yes 12 Yes
13 Yes 14 Yes
15 Yes 16 Yes
17 Yes 18 Yes