The problem with the service lifecycle

Feb 1 · 3 min read
Arrow going left like a timeline, with sections labelled Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live

It’s actually more like…

Arrow going round in a clockwise cycle, labelled Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live

The jumping off point

Same image as before, with another arrow coming out of the Live portion of the cycle

The cycle should be a spiral

A spiral with the Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live labels as before
A summary of the three images. Linear: Out of nowhere, new services are born. (Doesn’t actually happen, but we pretend it does.) Cyclic: New tech saves money, but no real improvement. (Shouldn’t happen but does, and we don’t acknowledge it.) Spiral: Radical improvement by challenging of scope. (This is what we facilitate when we do a good job.

Our job is to facilitate the progressive spiral


Written by

Service Designer at the Government Digital Service

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