Getting Rid – Our approach to releasing the stuff that we make


Poster in GDS office saying 'Show the Thing'
Poster in Government Digital Services Office, Ben Terret, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Go Ugly Early. Rapid Deployment. Release Early, Release Often. Show The Thing. Rapid Prototyping.

These are all fancy names for an approach that we’re trying to take in the Innovation and Intelligence Lab.

The principle is that as we are making stuff, like maps or reports, if we make them available early on in the design process, then we can change it as we receive feedback from our users. We can also continue to develop the thing that we’re making, and iteratively improve it.

We are hoping that this will lead to better quality, more relevant stuff, because we’ll be more responsive to the needs of the people that’ll be using what we’re making, and we’ll be able to change things quicker.

The downside to this, I think, is that if someone looks at what we’re making early on, and it looks a bit rubbish, they may never look at it again.

There’s also the problem that this isn’t the way that we are used to working in local government, so it’s a bit of a shift in terms of how we think, but we think we can deal with that.

In the spirit of going ugly early, we’re calling our version of this ‘Get RID – rapid iterative deployment’. And we also need to come up with a better word than ‘stuff’, for the things that we make and do. Suggestions welcome!



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