Susan Acland-Hood reflects on what she has learnt since she started as CEO of HMCTS last November. Susan explains her plans to write a set of blog posts that outline what we need to do, what we’ve done so far, what our plans are, and how to get involved in shaping HMCTS’s reforms for the future. This blog post focuses on her first-hand observations of our courts and tribunals system, its strength and value, but also the deep challenges it faces and the reasons why she believes only radical reform can make it flourish for the future.
Every month the National Digital Practitioners’ Working Group meetings are arranged. These meetings are for defence practitioners to raise any digital issues they may be currently experiencing within the Criminal Justice system plus the opportunity to showcase the latest developments within the Criminal Justice System Common Platform Programme.
I would like to draw defence practitioners’ attention to the Citizens Advice Witness Service which is funded by MOJ and offers free, independent and impartial support for defence and prosecution witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales. The Witness Services provides practical information about the process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident about giving evidence.
Agile delivery allows for the iterative and evolving design and implementation of services to meet user needs – and this is a good thing. The challenge this can face, however, is that designs can focus on the Minimum Viable Product and so when products start scaling or have additional contexts applied, the system can need substantial re-engineering or re-implementation to address these challenges.
Over the last year, we’ve recruited 13 user testers into the Criminal Justice System Common Platform Programme. Over that time, we’ve experimented with a number of on-boarding processes, with varying results. We needed to get people up to speed quickly about the technologies that we’re using, the application that we’re building and the domain language and context that goes with them.
On 22 September 2016 I gave a presentation to the National Digital Practitioners’ Working Group summarising interim findings of the two-factor authentication survey which I mentioned in my last blog post. In summary the majority of practitioners have access to a smart phone, would be able and willing to install an app on their smart phone to provide an access code.
A blog post from Alison Blunsden, Diary Manager to His Honour Judge Graham Wood QC at Liverpool Civil and Family Court. Alison shares her experiences on how she introduced an online forum for external stakeholders, judiciary, court staff and court users.
One of GDS’s design principles is ‘Do the hard work to make it simple’. This is directed at transformational programmes like the Common Platform and the delivery teams working within it. Right now, those of us working in the Common Platform Programme are living out the reality of this principle – we’re working hard to uncover the essence of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) so that we have clean, clear service design that feels simple to use.
This blog post from Leanne Galbraith details information from the National Digital Practitioners’ Working Group on 28 July in which we presented a session that sought views of defence practitioners in relation to two-factor authentication. Leanne also details information from the National Digital Practitioners’ Working Group on 25 August 2016 in which we presented a session on the importance of security.
Like many government departments and arm length bodies, the CJS Common Platform Programme (CJSCP) has adopted Agile processes and put it at the heart of what we do. From my experience while working in CJSCP, I have detailed in this blog post a number of ‘danger signs’ that may indicate your organisation is not embracing Agile ways of working.
On the 13 July 2016 our Common Platform User Research team attended Liverpool Crown Court to interview three defence practitioners. The practitioners were asked a number of questions about their current ways of working. I’ve detailed a summary of their answers in this blog post.