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DWP throw out Cabinet Office team after initial kick-off of Universal Credit v3.0 development – see demo app on Mobile Phone

December 10, 2013

Exclusive to this blog first!

The ‘proof of concept’ of Universal Credit v3.0 can be seen below for the first time running on a mobile phone.

I understand that DWP now feels it can do without the Cabinet Office experts who worked so closely with them for 3 months recently to produce this ‘proof of concept’ for the kick-off of Universal Credit v3.0. The work was carried out at DWP’s Caxton House ‘Fortress’ HQ in London.

But I now hear that the GDS ‘geeks in sandals’ have been barred from Caxton House, and DWP is trying to use an internally managed team to continue the build of Universal Credit v3.0 without further GDS involvement.


This video released 10 minutes ago. Don’t get too excited, as it is only planned to go live with 100 households by Nov 2014, and probably with limited functions.  But it has got my spirits up after looking at DWP accounts this afternoon!

The inside story:

This video was made early October 2013 and demonstrates the Universal Credit v3.0 ‘Proof of concept’ software.

The 40 strong joint GDS/DWP v3.0 team followed an Agile Project Management approach. It was ‘Agile’ and ‘test driven’, rather than ‘specification driven’. The software was developed in 2 week ‘sprints’ in DWP’s offices over a period of just 3 months.

See my book (subtle plug!) for a deeper explanation of GDS’s working methods.

The DWP is now trying to use an internally managed team to continue the build of Universal Credit v3.0 without further GDS involvement.

The Universal Credit v3.0 demonstration technology shows can be done with a truly Agile approach, it is down to DWP now complete the work.

The above ‘inside story’ section added December 11th, 2013.

Update: December 13, 2013: Another take on this story from the inimitable D. Moss Esq. here.

Update: January 8, 2014: The story hits the mainstream media one month after my blog. “Shadow minister without portfolio Jonathan Ashworth has written to Mr Maude to ask him for further details on the withdrawal of Government Digital Service staff.” Source:


From → Agile Governance

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