- Sending money to prisoners (which helps with the broader policy issue of recidivism as well as making life better for families and prisoners).
- Blue Badge service (which apart from the importance of the need they're meeting and they way they're doing it shows an incredible commitment to working openly by streaming their show and tell on Youtube every fortnight.
- The prison team that's done 9000 miles to really understand the needs of their users.
- Some (not all!) of the teams whose work is assessed here.
GOV.UK Notify is something I can speak to with more detail to highlight a couple of neat examples of great product management.
Crucially they started right. They were given the brief of building 'status tracking' as a platform to deal with the many phone calls that government fields about that particular issue. It's a simple equation: we stop phone calls by building a digital equivalent that replicates the interaction without a call centre agent. But then the team did their discovery and by going back to the underlying principles they understood the need to meet was preventing anxiety about status in the first place. They wrote about it here.
They weren't afraid to challenge that original direction in a way that got buy in from the top. So, when they built something they met a really well understood and clearly defined need not the 'obvious' solution to the assumed issue.
They developed a simple way of meeting the needs of the public but they also invested in the experience of the teams who would be using it themselves both in sending messages, and in integrating into existing processes with file uploads or redeveloped services with APIs. As a result they've had fantastic adoption, despite having no mandate for anyone to use their common platform. That experience has paved the way for establishing GOV.UK Pay and other parts of the GOV.UK Service Toolkit.
A final area to highlight is the product community and the peer to peer encouragement and support that exists in the UK. Individual civil servants started the Product People community as an informal network and it has grown into something that meets across the country and defines a lot of the best practices for the way in which the UK approaches product. Scott Colfer, the Head of Product at the Ministry of Justice has been coordinating a brilliant resource in this product handbook which started life within his department but is now openly being shared (and is open on Github for contributions) whilst the team at 18F has also published their excellent Product guide.