How Code for Canada Empowers Teams to be Effective Change Makers
As any dedicated civil servant knows, launching a new public digital product or service is no easy task. Whether you’re building the solution in-house, recruiting new digital talent, or finding the right external partner, the process can take months, if not years, and often ends with a high price tag and unmet expectations.
Savvy civil servants also know that the solution to this common scenario is complex and won’t materialize overnight. Meanwhile, mandates need to be met and digital projects should have kicked off yesterday. What to do?
Enter: Code for Canada.
Since our founding, Code for Canada has embedded over 60 digital professionals across the Canadian public sector to help advance the delivery of public services while improving the digital capacity of their government teams.
Our Code for Canada Collaborators are talented digital professionals who come with many skills — from user research and design to software development and product management. But to make the cut as a Collaborator, it’s not enough to be a specialist in your field, you also need a change management mindset.
We support every Collaborator with a coach-the-coach training plan to help them be effective change-makers so their government partners can get the most of their time together.
How do we coach the coaches?
Let’s take a look at what this training looks like in practice:
- Onboarding — We take time onboarding each Collaborator so that they feel equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make the most of their time with their government teams. Onboarding topics include:
Digital Government and Civic Tech Foundations
How Government Works
Bureaucracy Hacking (aka How to Get Things Done in Government)
Designing for Accessibility, including AODA Compliance
Decolonizing Technology through Digital Equity and Justice
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion with Bright+Early and Code for Canada
Code for Canada’s Delivery Excellence Model (aka How to Make Digital Practices Stick within the Public Service)
Technical Coaching — Every week, Collaborators spend dedicated time with their Technology Chapter Leads (senior practitioners in their field) who provide guidance, feedback and targeted professional development.
Team effectiveness meetings — Collaborator teams check in with Code for Canada’s experts, who help conduct ongoing project health checks to enable team’s short and long-term goals for building products and capacity
Monthly chapter meetings — Collaborators master their craft among their fellow specialists through peer-to-peer learning opportunities, including demos to gain feedback and share lessons learned.
Inclusive design intensives — Through our GRIT offering, Code for Canada engages a diverse and representative sample of users for research and testing of public-facing technologies. Our collaborators get first-hand access to GRIT’s resources and the rare opportunity to learn while practicing best-in-class approaches to inclusive design.
Lunch and learns — Monthly lunch and learns enable Collaborators to sharpen the tools in their toolbox, helping them stay on top of the latest principles for best-in-class digital services
Transition support — From day one, we support Collaborators in ensuring their government partners are planning and prepared to sustain solutions past project end dates
Storytelling support — Collaborators work with Code for Canada’s in-house communications team, helping set up projects for success by providing the crucial infrastructure for successful, strategic, and sustainablechange management and knowledge exchange
Independent development — Collaborators are encouraged to pursue targeted professional development opportunities, including courses and opportunities that will hone the skills valuable to their project’s success
How do we determine appropriate training?
While we have a standard training curriculum for Collaborators, every government partner is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to effective capacity-building and knowledge exchange. As a result, we customize the training to meet the needs of each team.
Who can I contact if I have questions about the Coach-the-Coach training plan?
For more information, please contact Andrew Lui, Director of Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org!
*This retention rate is published and explained in Building Digital Government Talent Pipelines: Recruitment and Retention for Digital Era Government, as part of the Code For Canada, Institute for Public Administration, and Policy Ready digital government case study series study. Read the complete study to get a more in-depth review of our findings!