Rapid digital service delivery at Ministry of Justice

In just six weeks, we delivered a No10 priority that helps grieving families.

The project

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) needed to build a digital service that helped grieving parents to pay funeral costs once they’d lost a child. This was an urgent No10 priority and the service, which makes it possible to make funeral cost claims online, needed to be delivered in a tight timeframe of just 6 weeks.

Photo showing a woman entering Ministry of Justice building
Photo showing the front door of 10 Downing Street

Our approach

The MoJ had done research and journey mapping but asked us to deliver a digital service within a tight timeline. We began by establishing mixed Made Tech/Civil Service teams, as some of the LAA team had left. We then focused on delivering the service at speed and decided that using the Form Builder to build the claims form was the best approach.

In order to do this, we had to ensure the Form Builder was fit for purpose and production ready. Therefore, we developed two work streams to operate in parallel, one for fixing the Form Builder and one for getting the claims form live. It involved the use of Kubernetes, Ruby, AWS and Electron JS, and reduced the development time of the service so the idea could be built into a public beta in just 6 weeks.

@richardjpope: “How would we know if [UK government] digital services are getting faster? There are indications of ‘faster’ from things like MOJ getting the funeral costs service live in 6 weeks.”

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Richard Pope, part of the Government Digital Service founding team

The results

We built the idea into a public beta in just 6 weeks, meeting No10’s urgent need. Not only that, our work on Form Builder has resulted in it being used by other MoJ agencies to digitise paper-based processes. The tool is open sourced and available for all government departments to use.

Support for childrens funeral costs laptop

“No grieving parent should be faced with the stress and worry of finding the money to cover the costs of their child’s funeral. I hope the Children’s Funeral Fund will bring an end to this.”

Prime Minister Theresa May, June 2019

The results

  • Service delivered in 6 weeks
  • Made Tech/Civil Service mixed teams
  • Open source solution usable across departments
  • Digitisation of manual, paper-based process
  • Open source tool for all departments
  • Kubernetes, Ruby, AWS and Electron JS used

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