Phase 3 - Build

This phase is where you start building the service and releasing it for customers to use in a ‘production environment’. At the end of the phase you will have a working service, though still have important things left to do. It is important to continuously release parts of the service and get feedback. If you don't do that, you'll be creating an ever-larger risk that the service won't achieve its aims. This phase is unlikely to be useful if you are using off-the-shelf software.

Team and skills

During this phase, the team will experience the benefits of having built the team in the earlier phases. A highly engaged Product Owner will ensure that the right user stories are prioritised and the business’ expectations are met, and developers with a common understanding of user need will deliver better work. However, the roles of the service designer and user researcher remain important to test and iterate the usability of the service. A content editor can ensure that the language of the service is also clear and that it is written in a way that makes it easy to find from search engines.
  • A project sponsor
  • A Product Owner
  • A project manager
  • A developer (potentially a front-end and back-end developer)
  • A service designer
  • A user researcher
  • A subject matter expert
At times, you will also need to involve:
  • Information governance
  • Content design
  • Councillors and senior officers
  • Suppliers of existing solutions
  • Applications Support Officer
  • Engineers to install solutions, establish connectivity or configure servers


During this phase, you should be releasing iterations of software into a product environment at least fortnightly. This may take the form of a ‘friendly user’ trial or the soft-launch of a ‘beta’ version. Where the iteration may have an impact on other tools, a change management request should be submitted to ICT’s Change Advisory Board, which ensures that change is well-managed and documented on behalf of the whole council. If the solution architecture changes materially during the course of this phase, it should also be submitted to CAB. At the end of the phase, you will need to request a service standard assessment prior to the service being launched or presented as fully operational.


The key tool in the building phase will be the user stories. Each user story needs to contain acceptance criteria detailing how it should work technically and what it needs to achieve for customers. In essence, the build phase is a process of working through each user story until it is ‘done’ and then moving onto the next story. The tools which can help with this include:
  • Kanban boards (either physically or digital boards like Trello or JIRA)
  • Story estimation
  • Sprint Planning
  • Calculating a ‘velocity’ rate - the speed at which the team is able to deliver a story point
  • Team healthcheck
To successfully complete the phase, you may also find useful:
  • An updated business case
  • An Acceptance into Service document
  • An Equalities Impact Assessment
  • A Privacy Impact Assessment
  • A digital take-up plan
  • An assisted digital plan


This phase of work can take a few weeks or several months. The length of the phase is less important than the regular release of working software.

For inspiration


  • A fully operational service that meets some of users’ needs including changes to the underlying business process
  • A clearly defined list of user stories that would meet all users’ needs
  • A set of KPIs for the digital service and understanding of how these map against the KPIs for non digital elements of the service
  • Evidence the service can lead to the desired customer and business outcomes

End of phase checklist

We have:
  • A service that works for users first time, unaided and evidence to show that it meets their needs
  • A team that can support the service, have a shared understanding of how it works and understands the remaining user stories and how to achieve them
  • Tested the service end-to-end in an environment similar to the live environment, on all common browsers and devices
  • Promoted the service
  • Started measuring the performance of the service
  • Support for those who cannot use a digital service without assistance
  • A plan for what to do if the service is unavailable
  • A completed Service Standard assessment, published on
  • An updated, completed Privacy Impact assessment
  • Tested the service with the Cabinet member responsible (or the senior officer to which they delegated this)

Team and skills
End of phase

Last updated on 25/06/2018