Universal Credit "Test and Learn" Approach

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In response to recent media interest in the issue of Ministerial statements being at odds with the latest NAO, report the Department has issued statements trumpeting its “test and learn” approach for Universal Credit (“UC”) as best practice.

I agree that “test and learn” is a good way to approach change/innovation. However, for this approach to be of value it requires the organization to be able to obtain feedback (good and bad) from its customers (in the Department’s case claimants) and employees. It also needs the organization to recognize when parts of any change are not working and to revise or scrap them entirely. The Department should also then feedback learning to the broader organisation including claimants.

RFI1: How does the DWP formally obtain feedback from claimants and employees about UC and feed that into the UC programme such that learning can occur?

RFI2: How does the Department document the learning that it has achieved from its “test and learn” approach? After all if “learning” is not documented it cannot be feed back into the programme to be acted upon.

RFI3: How does the Department document strategic changes to the UC programme that have arisen out of its “test and learn” approach?

RFI4: How does the Department provide feedback to its employees and claimants about what it has learned and what it has done about it for UC?

RFI5: Has the DWP formally documented its “test and learn” approach as a formal process?

Yours faithfully,

John Slater

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