Helping the public sector deliver change through digital

From Discovery to Live we have the knowledge and expertise to build transformational digital services.

At Great State we’ve been delivering change through digital for the public sector for over 17 years. Over the last six years, through our work with the Royal Navy, MOD, HMPPS and the British Army, we have developed a deep understanding of the Government Digital Service (GDS) methodology. We are passionate advocates of the Digital Service Standards, so much so that its agile approach has become central to our core principles and project approach. Putting the user at the heart of everything we do not only shapes our work with the public sector, but with our commercial clients as well.

Great State can help your organisation deliver real change through digital. We have numerous experts that can guide your organisation from Discovery through Alpha, into Beta and beyond. Our public sector experience stretches across all disciplines and a wide variety of project scales; from small user-based discovery, gathering user needs and stories, to large secure technical builds that require complex integrations in line with government security classifications.

Want to find out more about how we work with government? We’re always happy to chat, so please get in touch. We’re also on the Digital Outcomes and Services3 & G-Cloud10 frameworks if you want to find us on the Digital Marketplace

The team working on any government project is fundamental to successful delivery. We have invested heavily in ensuring that we have the right training, frameworks and processes internally to support this way of working. Pure Agile can be a struggle for some organisations, as can detailed knowledge of the government digital process, but by effective training and support where it’s needed, we can help train and mentor your project team.

Polly Gannaway  - Senior User Researcher: Navy, MOJ.

“Delivering products that work for absolutely everyone in our society is where you really see the power of user research to challenge assumptions and inform great design.”

Polly Gannaway , Great State Senior User Researcher: Navy, MOJ.

Andy Green - Government Digital Partner

“We know that not everyone is an agile expert or knows the GDS standards back to front, so part of our process is to mentor our clients and take them on the journey with us.”

Andy Green, Great State Government Digital Partner

The Royal Navy

Guaranteeing future capability

Over the past six years, following GDS principles, we have led the Royal Navy’s strategic digital programme.

We build continuous improvement through a programme of regular digital deliveries that sit under the broad umbrella of strategic transformation. This ensures both the real-time monitoring of impact and the securing of long term success.

To grasp the full scale and complexity of the Navy's needs, we have worked directly with the First Sea Lord and his executive team. We have spent many hours on-board navy ships, to gain a deep understanding of the culture, user behaviours and needs. We iterate the Royal Navy’s website based on continuous user testing to ensure we are delivering the right message to reflect the changing nature of the multiple audience types.

The outcome is an ongoing programme of award-winning digital projects. Recently we've redesigned the digital recruitment offering, engaging with potential recruits from their first digital touchpoints to their long-term career experience; increasing applicant registrations by over a third.

We have won no less than 15 awards including the DADIs, BIMAs, Digital Impact Awards and Personnel Today. Our careers page re-design was voted in the top three most engaging and impactful careers website by the Times Top 100 Graduate recruitment awards, 3 times in a row.

Ministry of Defence

Understand my benefits

Attrition is a huge problem across the Army, Navy and RAF, with one serving person leaving per day, on average. With the cost of training new recruits and budgets continually under pressure, the MOD know that they must use all available means to discourage people from leaving the Armed Forces.

Education plays a huge part in retention, and we were originally briefed to improve upon an existing tool where serving personnel can calculate the value of their total employee package and compare to a civilian equivalent.

Discovery taught us that serving personnel did not perceive value in the existing tool, and where more interested in understanding the breadth of benefits available with a clear, easy to use, single point of truth, instead of relying on inconsistent information.

Throughout Alpha, and with continued user testing on working prototypes we developed a product that not only provided clear information on the various benefits available but enables users to glean a deeper understanding of entitlements, specific calculations for allowances and to compare how a change of circumstances may impact on what they may receive.

User research has continued throughout the Beta phase, with learnings feeding directly back into the iterative development cycle, with the Agile approach enabling easy adaption to changes.

This was a technically challenging project, as due to security restrictions we were unable to capture any personal data, the solution needed to be accessible in remote locations and therefore we chose an offline-first, lightweight headless CMS. We have followed GDS standards strictly throughout this process on all areas, and as a result we have passed assessments for both the Alpha and Beta phases.

This project has exceeded all expectations across the three Armed Services, and will provide serving personnel access to information that was previously hard to find, and understand. We are due to launch as a Public Beta in the new year.


Digital prisons programme

With reoffending rates at an all-time high and an annual bill of over £11bn, HMPPS were facing increased pressure to start making changes to address the issue.

They recognised the pivotal role that technology needed to play as part of the solution and approached Great State to help. We were briefed to examine how in-cell technology could improve outcomes for prisoners by giving them access to the education and support resources that are proven to be crucial for their rehabilitation.

Led by extensive user research, including over 100 hours of in-prison time, we completed a number of Discovery, Alpha and Beta phases across multiple workstreams, including advancing the ongoing development of the HMPPS proof of concept.

We worked as part of an Agile multi-disciplinary team, across three core locations; co-creating with the HMPPS Digital Team, working with stakeholders across the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), or offsite, using multiple tools to maximise efficiency and effective collaboration.

We worked under heavy security restrictions, and within a protected environment, while still idolising cloud technology in alignment with MOJ Digital Strategy.

Our work has enabled HMPPS to revise their approach based on user needs, adopt GDS design patterns and continue development at pace. Together, we’ve laid the foundations and provided a solid rationale for technology solutions in offender rehabilitation.