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What the Digital Scotland Service Standard is and how it impacts you

The Digital Scotland Service Standard (DSSS) is a set of 14 criteria that all organisations within the Technology Assurance Framework should meet when delivering public services.

Typically, senior roles in a service delivery team, such as a Senior Responsible Officer, Service Owner or Product Owner should be familiar with DSSS. Everyone in a service team is responsible for making sure that the service being delivered meets all 14 DSSS criteria.

The standard has 3 themes:

  • meeting users' needs
  • providing a service
  • using the right technology

Meeting users’ needs

The first 5 criteria of the Digital Scotland Service Standard cover designing and delivering a user-centred service. Work to meet the 5 criteria is largely undertaken by user centred design roles, such as user researchers, service designers, content designers and interaction designers, with input from accessibility and web performance roles. The 5 criteria are:

1.   Understand users and their needs
2.   Solve a whole problem for users
3.   Design and deliver a joined up experience
4.   Help users succeed first time
5.   Make sure everyone can use the service

Providing a service

Criteria 6-9, and criteria 14, are about making sure your products and services are sustainable and continually improving. 

This means that you need to have the right team in place, make sure your service is secure, and plan to iterate your service based on its performance. The criteria are:

6. Have a multidisciplinary team
7. Iterate and improve frequently
8. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy
9. Define what success looks like and publish performance data
14. Ensure sponsor acceptance

Parts of these criteria will be covered by senior roles managing the project, but some may need the input of specialists working in data governance or cyber security roles.

Using the right technology

Criteria 10-13 are all about the technology in your service. This includes making sure that you develop or choose the right technology to enable your service to be high quality and cost effective. A lot of the detailed work involved in meeting these criteria will be done by technology specialists, such as developers and technical architects. If you’re in a project lead role, you’ll also need to make sure any procurement of digital services or products is properly evidenced as meeting user needs and being cost effective. The criteria are:

10. Choose the right tools and technology 
11. Make new source code open
12. Use and contribute to shared digital practices, processes, components, standards, patterns and platforms
13. Operate a reliable service

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