Local Waste Service Standards Project Blog 1: Project Plan

28 Mar 2015, 7:33 pm

Linda O'Halloranby Linda O’ Halloran, Head of Products, Local Digital Programme

We are delighted to announce that our Waste Service Standards Project is officially underway! In this, the first of our ‘Working out Loud’ posts, I’ll outline the plan, the timeline, and the key milestones we hope to hit over the coming months.


A bit of background

This project was born at LocalGov Camp 2014, when Ben Cheetham and Dan Blundell from LocalGov Digital and Paul MacKay, our technical lead on the project, ran a session on common technology standards for local government services. Given the extent of collaboration needed to agree and establish a common service standard, we felt that a staffed and structured partnership was the only way forward. So, we decided to start with one important local service area, and found some resource to design and administer a pilot project. You can read more project background on the product page.


Our mission for this project is 3-fold:

  1. to pilot a manageable way of collaboratively building and implementing common digital standards and related assets across a representative group of local authorities and their service providers. We aim to be honest in our documentation of this journey, and hope to create a model that any other organisation could replicate to collaboratively create other local service assets.
  2. to ‘work out loud’ by
    • blogging about all our findings, lessons learned, and reasoning for all the decisions we make
    • publishing our ‘to do’, ‘doing’ and ‘done’ lists on a live trello board on our project page
  3. to develop and implement foundational common technology standards for a local government service – in this case, waste


The collaboration plan

We put out a call to collaborate to everyone who came to our Waste Service Standards Discovery Day back in November, in addition to others in our network. We were looking for collaborators who could:

  1. secure senior buy-in
  2. offer a key contact at their authority who would coordinate their authority’s involvement in the project
  3. commit to revamping waste services this year
  4. get service providers they are working with to collaborate too
  5. share service data with the core project team and collaborating LAs
  6. operate at least 1 kind of weekly bin collection (to quality for the consultancy support package)


Our offer to collaborators:

  1. Expert service design consultancy and technical support
  2. Ability to influence the tools and standards developed by the project
  3. Priority use of the standards and tools produced by the project, enabling more efficient, scalable and sustainable waste services
  4. Access to information and expertise in other local authorities – learning from how other people run their waste services
  5. Project evaluation support


The Project Timeline:

  • Deadline for expressions of interest in participating was the 11th of March 2015
  • We have selected a “minimum viable collaboration” of 6 local authorities, and offered them our partnership package. We chose this group because they meet the above criteria and because we think that they are sufficiently representative of the sector to co-design a standard that could be adopted nationally.
  • Responses to our invitation should be received by the 30th March 2015
  • Initial Discovery meetings with participating authorities: May/ June 2015
  • Wider Discovery meetings with key public and private sector stakeholders: June-July 2015
  • Development of Alpha documents and tools: July-August 2015
  • Alpha feedback and implementation planning: August – September 2015
  • Initial implementation by authorities: September – Nov 2015
  • Evaluation of project: Dec 2015
  • Ongoing implementation and use of standards and tools


We’ll look forward to publishing our detailed trello board later in April and to reporting back on our first Discovery Days with each collaborating authority in May.

This blog post was written by Linda O’Halloran, Head of Products for the DCLG Local Digital Programme, and Product Owner for the Local Waste Service Standards Project.