7. Empower staff to deliver better services

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7.1 Make sure that staff have access to the tools, training and technologies they need

We need to evaluate and determine the tools and systems that we will use to build and host the service, as well as prepare for the operation and measurement of the service. We will also need to determine how to procure or build these tools and systems efficiently.

We must seek out and use modern methods such as Agile to ensure that the digital services we own and implement are innovative. We must ensure that our teams are consistently engaged through various opportunities to learn and participate in knowledge-sharing, and that we are successfully collaborating with both internal and external partners.


  • Ensure team members can achieve their full potential; allow them to participate in knowledge-sharing across the government and ensure they receive the training they require.
  • Seek the best results for Canadians by encouraging evidence-based decision-making and extensive collaboration.
  • Develop and maintain a core set of principles that prioritize commitment to users.
  • Determine the team's decision making/approval processes, support practices (e.g., pairing, peer review), and working practices (e.g., stand-ups, sprint planning, etc.).
  • Determine how the team will apply modern methods for project management and design (Agile, co-design, service design).
  • Identify and maintain effective methods for engaging users, stakeholders, and advisors/experts.
  • Be prepared to adapt to a frequently changing digital environment that is consistently evolving (e.g., emerging tech, emerging threats/security concerns, increased use of artificial intelligence, etc.), and act accordingly.
  • Maintain a modern workplace with the professional development, IM-IT tools, and environment necessary for employees to do their jobs effectively.
  • Check for risks or restrictions associated with the tools and avoid any contracts that will prevent you from changing/improving your service.
  • Ensure that the system you build will be both sustainable and easily maintainable once the service is live.

Alpha stage:

  • Determine technical choices and programming tools.
  • Determine how you will net value for money spent on tools and how you will monitor your service.

Beta stage:

  • Determine how you will manage limits placed on the service.
  • Document purchases and value for money, how you will monitor the service, support arrangements, and the specifics and reasons behind third-party decisions.

Live stage:

  • Document tech stacks and development toolchain changes made during beta and why.
  • Document how you are continuing to get the value for money, how you will check the health of the service, support arrangements that have been set up, and the specifics and reasons behind outsourced decisions.

Implementation guides

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7.2 Empower the team to make decisions throughout the design, build, and operation of the service

We must empower staff to share power and control over projects. This can involve assigning tasks, setting priorities, troubleshooting problems, and assessing issues. As a whole, this will mean balancing a recognition of talent with a frank assessment of results.

We must always be searching for ways to improve service delivery, through review of business processes, user testing, and commitment to best practices for service delivery when designing or redesigning digital services. We need to maintain a strong working relationship with experienced contracting and budgeting officers to facilitate a smooth contracting process.

Every service must have a person that will hold the designate authority to make critical decisions (product owner). Key responsibilities will include managing how the project's vision is articulated, stakeholder/vendor relationships, efficiency, and accountability. This individual will also determine features of the service.


  • Encourage learning, even if it is through well-intended efforts that result in mistakes.
  • Remember to celebrate employees' hard-work, including successes and failures.
  • Focus on a strong governance approach in the workplace.
  • Emphasize sustainability and innovation.
  • Promote information-sharing to build better decision-making capacity.
  • Have clear objectives, milestones, and defined roles to assist employees as they navigate interactions with users.
  • Allow employees to grow into personal roles, and avoid the limits of hierarchy within team member/manager dynamics.
  • Seek opportunities to connect and integrate with relevant existing services to simplify the experience for users and clients.
  • Use up-to-date IM-IT management practices and tools.
  • Ensure that the budget includes research and discovery activities, as well as prototyping processes.
  • Maintain contracts that are structured to request regular deliverables and hold the vendors accountable accordingly.
  • Ensure that contracts commit to the evaluation of open source solutions.
  • Ensure contracts specify that the software and data to be generated by third parties will remain under our control, with the potential to use, reuse, and release to the public if appropriate and lawful.
  • Maintain that contracts specify a warranty period, a transition of services period, and a transition-out plan.
  • Use business intelligence and business analytics.
  • Identify the policy and data constraints that may restrict the project.
  • Build the digital platform when the potential for improvements and relevant considerations are accounted for.
  • A product owner is identified and all stakeholders agree that the owner has the authority necessary to assign tasks and make critical decisions regarding product features and technical implementation.
  • The product owner has the necessary qualities to fill the role, including apt knowledge and seniority.
  • The product owner has technical experience and a project management background, with strong knowledge of the procurement/development process.
  • The product owner has a work plan complete with budget estimates and identified funding sources.
  • The product owner's relationship with the contracting officer/development team is strong and able to endure potential challenges throughout the process.
  • There is a plan to conduct regular user testing to deduce the success of the service's ability to meet the users' needs.
  • The particular data sources and data-capture methods are appropriately identified; a roadmap highlights performance analysis and responsibilities for the identification of actionable data insights.
  • The service can be improved through iteration with the necessary resources and flexibility.

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