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Communities of practice

Communities of practice

Implementing the Digital Service Standard & UCD

Has anyone else had significant push-back/resistance to implementing human centred design approaches and if you managed to overcome it, how? I seem to have triggered a Tsunami just by introducing the concepts…

Hi AniaK,

Yes, in the past. A lot of us have fought these battles long and hard although honestly I haven’t heard of anything as serious in terms of pushback you seem to be describing. Generally this approach has become very mainstream over the last 5-6 years so this is quite rare.

Nonetheless, a lot of us veterans know how to fight these arguments well. There are also a tonne of resources online on how to sell HCD in an organisation.

I assume you’re in Government? Thankfully you can leverage a lot of existing work by other agencies in this space (including the DTA). Sounds like you’ve really unsettled some people though. What is the nature of the pushback exactly? Like I said, a lot of us know these arguments well and how to move past them, so if you can share a bit more specifically as to what exactly you’re pushing back against hopefully we can give you some advice!


Hi AniaK,

Welcome to my world.

I used to have hair before starting changing the way we work, now I’m bald as. :slight_smile:

Firstly I’d try and find root cause, try using 5 Whys. You can generally get through to the third or fourth why before they’ve either walked away or they’ve told you the real reason.

Generally I’ve found it’s either they’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, they didn’t like the person that tried to do it to them before, or it’s management again telling them to do something.

Instead of trying to push it on to them, try and leverage their desire to deliver great work and introduce small bits of contemporary way of working without labelling it. Knowing that if they start using the little thing you mention, that they’ve started their journey.

If you find that they just don’t like it because they don’t like it, there are some that just can’t be helped unfortunately. Work through them or around them, or just ignore them and work with the larger team. You can only work with those that want to learn unfortunately.

Lastly, the stick is in the DSS itself. Here’s the link that outlines the services that have to use the DSS. Hopefully you’re working on one of these: But again, you’ll get long lasting change if the team pulls the new way of working in to their culture, not if it is imposed upon them.

If you want to chat more, don’t hesitate to call, 0474525892 and I’m on GovTeams. I’m at Finance after just coming out of DTA Co-Lab, bringing contemporary work practices to the art of procurement :slight_smile: