Thanks for sharing this, Matt, really interesting. I like your “digital working” shorthand.
Your comments about “finding a tension between team based agile working and organisational governance” are close to a lot of people’s hearts in government at the moment. Many of us will recognise this tension in terms of culture and behaviours in getting things done. But I am also seeing an emerging consensus that complex programmes need to make best use of agile alongside the disciplines of major project delivery.
Agile is great for focussing on user needs and iterative exploration towards the right design. But in major programmes where “keeping the show on the road” is critically important whilst building new services, we inevitably see the need for some up-front blueprint too, possibly driven by significant organisational change, migrating existing cases, moving to new operating models, etc. This will necessarily need some governance, but clearly it should be the minimum possible to avoid holding back progress.
Not sure how much this applies to your work at ONS and what you were observing at TNA, but may offer a different perspective on the tension.