GOV.UK Technical and User-Centred Design Resources
Flexible resource provision to supplement teams and deliver outcomes across OPSS Digital’s portfolio
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It delivers several external-facing GOV.UK digital services that are key to product regulation, compliance and consumer safety.
With several services already in flight at different lifecycle stages, and others scheduled to commence imminently, OPSS Digital needed a flexible contract with a quality partner to provide specialist DDaT resources to supplement its delivery teams. These specialists would also have a crucial role in upskilling OPSS’ internal resources.
In July 2022, OPSS Digital signed a multi-year contract appointing Olive Jar Digital as its strategic resourcing partner to deliver its requirements.
OPSS Digital at times requires resources at short notice (5-10 days). It therefore needs Olive Jar to quickly understand problems, and work with us to define outcomes, deliverables and milestones to ensure that key delivery dates at met.
Requirements also include niche and specialist skillsets, such as technical development roles across both Ruby on Rails and Drupal code bases, which can make resourcing more challenging.
We understood OPSS’ requirements through proactive weekly checkpoints with project leads to clarify deliverables and resourcing needs – roles, security clearances (BPSS, SC), skills (tech stack, code bases) and responsibilities.
To meet requirements, our in-house talent acquisition teams engaged suitable resources from our maintained talent pool of high-calibre trusted professionals, who are pre-vetted and ready for delivery. For niche Developer skillsets (.NET, Ruby-on-Rails, Drupal) we engaged specialist resourcing partners with the strongest associate network for each requirement, and selected resources through rigorous vetting and assessment processes.
Comprehensive onboarding packs then helped facilitate ‘Day 1’ introductions for deployed resources, driving a quick, deep understanding of OPSS’ structure, values and project deliverables.
Olive Jar currently supplies 30+ multidisciplinary DDaT resources to OPSS Digital across 7 parallel projects. This is an increase from 15 roles initially onboarded in Week 1 of the contract across 5 projects.
Deployments thus far include User Researchers, Business Analysts, Service and UX Designers, Data and Technical Architects, Software Developers, QA and Automation Testers, Product Owners, Delivery Managers and Scrum Masters.
Our resources are fully embedded into OPSS, working in blended Agile Scrum teams with Civil Servants and other suppliers, and where ‘Rainbow Teams’ accountability model is used to further drive multi-team collaborations and Agile working.
Olive Jar also provides capability building for Civil Servants in parallel to delivery; this includes mentoring and coaching (e.g., Developer pair-programming), helping to create longer term resilience for the Department.
All services are successfully progressing through Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live stages.
OPSS Digital continues to engage Olive Jar for additional resources to meet its pipeline of projects progressing or commencing, expanding our working partnership.
“Timeliness of sharing resource information (contacts, security clearance) has been consistent and very fast. This has helped us onboard new starters with minimal delay. Olive Jar has been quick in their identification of resources when resource needs emerge, and have been efficient in setting up role assessment meetings and debriefs where required.
Resourcing has improved considerably, which aligns with a more robust vetting process from Olive Jar as supplier.”
Delivery Manager, OPSS Digital