Developing Capability

The fiscal challenges that we face mean that we need to address the future affordances of digital skills and we know that a system wide approach to developing digital capability is required.

Public service reform

Public services touch on many aspects of everyday life – health, social care, education, early years, community justice, enterprise and skills – and play a crucial role in ensuring people’s wellbeing.

We are undertaking a programme of public service reform to ensure our public services are inclusive, sustainable, and effective in improving people’s outcomes.

Helping you to build better digital public services

The Digital Programme is a new area of work that will improve the way the Scottish Government does digital. The implementation of the programme will enable the delivery of quality digital public services that are predictable and seamless for the user. A shift in focus from individual projects and programmes at the local level and up to the system level will ensure that we are working on and delivering those projects and programmes that are the most important.

The programme is a key enabler to public service reform by embedding reuse as the norm, driving efficiencies across services, and the development of the Scottish public sector digital ecosystem.

A new Digital Scotland Service Manual will provide a common methodology for digital transformation, which will move beyond organisational boundaries to focus on end-to-end service reform across the public sector. A wraparound service will embed these common ways of working into public sector digital transformation.

There are 6 domains within the Digital Programme:

  • Project and Programme Management
  • Data
  • Architecture
  • Design
  • Commercial
  • Capability

Developing digital capability 

Our digital world continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate and we face multiple challenges locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine and advances in artificial intelligence and cloud technologies have created an immediate need to refocus our effort on current and future digital capability. In response, we will scale the Scottish Digital Academy as the public sector centre of excellence for digital capability, supporting and maximising the benefit of the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession within the Scottish Government.

The fiscal challenges that we face mean that we need to address the future affordances of digital skills and we know that a system wide approach to digital capability is required. Although we have some way to go to fully understand how we will work in the future, we have already started that journey and our thinking is beginning to advance and move into a detailed programme of work for the next few years.



Digital Scotland Service Manual

The Digital Scotland Service Manual will offer expert guidance and information for anyone delivering a digital service in the Scottish Government or its agencies.

At the moment, the Digital Scotland Service Manual is in its beta phase, which means any content you’ll find on the site will likely change significantly before the beta phase ends.

Read more

What are we working on?

We’re developing 12 workstreams which have been designed to build a sustained approach to developing capability. This is a long term programme of work that will take a few years to complete, but we’re working in an agile way and you’ll begin to see the first iterations over the coming weeks and months. You may want to check back to this page on a regular basis to see what progress has been made.

We recognise that we cannot do this work alone, and the DDaT Profession as well as our partners and stakeholders all have a role to play as we collaborate and co-construct resources for government and the public sector.

Capability Assessment

We’re developing a toolkit that will enable teams and organisations to assess their capability maturity and ready state for transformation.

Capability Management

We’re developing resources that can be used by teams and organisations to support their capability.

Capability Service 

We’re developing resources that can be used by organisations wishing to adopt their own DDaT profession. The service will be integrated with the Digital Scotland Service Manual.

DDaT Lived Experience

We’re developing resources that can be used to promote or recruit DDaT professionals.

DDaT Professional Communities 

We’re identifying opportunities to build upon our communities of practice, to better enable engagement and collaboration between DDaT job families and introduce special interest groups.

Digital Capability Advisory Group

We’re implementing a new national advisory group to enable increased collaboration and co-construction amongst our partners and stakeholders. The advisory group will be co-chaired between Scottish Government and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government.

Leadership Prospectus

We’re developing a new professional learning offer that will build leadership capability across the public and third sectors. The prospectus will bring our leadership courses and programmes into a single place.

Scaled Agile Coaching Service

We’re developing our agile coaching service to improve our operating model, to build a sustained approach to building capability across the public and third sectors.

Scaled Digital Recruitment Service

We’re developing a new approach to recruiting DDaT professionals, to address the skills shortage and to improve talent pathways.

Self-directed Professional Learning

We’re developing self-directed professional learning resources that can be used by the public and third sectors.

Standardised Job Descriptions

We’re standardising DDaT job descriptions across our profession. This workstream will provide resources that can be adopted across the public and third sectors to support recruitment and consistency in job roles.

Standardised Technical Assessments

We’re standardising DDaT technical assessments across our profession. This workstream will provide information, advice and guidance that can be adopted across the public and third sectors.

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