When did you last take an exam? Do they fill you with concern, sleepless nights and dread?
The Quality Management System we have created for our designs includes extensive peer and stakeholder review. Where we can, we involve external views too - such as a managing architect from a key supplier, or a subject matter expert.
Even with that level of scrutiny and preparation, you still feel a little nervous when someone external comes to look at your work. We had such a visit from a specialist consultancy on behalf of our parent department (BIS) recently. Their view:
The SFA’s approach has been heavily informed by GDS best practice guidelines resulting in an architecture made up of loosely coupled components and services, many of which are based on uncustomised out-of-the-box products. In principle this should make for a system that is much quicker and cheaper to change than the current estate.
Although not yet live, there is good anecdotal evidence from beta testing that users regard the new platform very highly. Architecturally, the capacity to handle change has been designed-in from the beginning.
There is good reason to believe therefore that the platform will deliver considerable benefits in terms of cost and time savings.
That feels like a pass for the theory exam, but with the practical still to come. We will celebrate properly when the service is fully live, meeting its KPIs, has lots of happy users, and is continuously improving.
If you want to know how we're doing our design, keep an eye on our blog.