Users of the digital technology standards and Plan Tech tool need to understand the same core information for any topic. Both parts of the service are rooted in the same user behaviours under the same policy intentions, but the level of detail needed for each varies.

For instance, standards do not need the detailed advice and guidance. Whereas, in Plan Tech they need this information to shows users how to move from low to high digital maturity.

The challenge

The key challenges we wanted to solve were:

  • how to capture all the information, together with joint scoping, in the most efficient and useful way for both teams

  • how to set a clear and easy to use process for pair writing the first draft of standards following the joint scoping sessions

What is a joint scoping session?

A joint scoping session is a way for two teams to understand a design challenge.

The standards team and the Plan Tech team need a consistent understanding of digital technology used in schools and colleges, as the information is split into topics which are used in both parts of our service. But each team has a different focus:

  • the Plan Tech team need to understand the target model and behavioural triggers to move schools from low to high digital maturity

  • our standards’ team need to know what schools and colleges should be doing as a minimum to meet the policy intentions for their digital technology

The initial results from our joint scoping session

We initially tried to bring the teams together for 2 hour-long sessions where the subject matter experts (SMEs) talked through the topic, the wider team attended – and content designers from Plan Tech and standards took notes.

Intiial scoping format 2023-09-01 125711.png

Joint scoping helped both teams, but there were still aspects we could improve. We needed to:

  • capture information in a more structured way

  • work out a better way to link the scoping session to policy intent and behaviour change

  • understand how the information would be directly used for a standard

How we refined the joint scoping session

We refined the joint scoping by:

  • working as a team to decide what the core questions were that we needed to ask the subject matter experts and policy

  • focusing more on the target model – how, for our users, it is as much about giving tangible examples of common behaviour around their use of technology as it is about listing the technology needed at each stage

But there was still more we could do. So, we:

  • created new templates split into areas such as policy intent, user needs, and the behaviour needed to move through the target model

  • trialled the template and realised we could be more focused – so we split the session into 4 separate shorter sessions for each part of the template

  • asked policy and stakeholders to fill in their part of the templates before the sessions so they became more open conversations on how to make the information provided as focused as possible

Scoping board 2023-09-01 121031.png Target model 2023-09-01 121306.png

The results

Scoping is much more focused – and a good first step for both standards and Plan Tech.

Next steps

We will next look at:

  • ways to share the Plan Tech refinement of the target model information so that it is useful for both teams

  • adding in a policy and SME check before pair writing to make sure we stay focused on the original intentions – and to get a collective agreement on what the standards will be