Client story

Seasonal Payments

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) "We are really pleased to have worked with Scrumconnect, who have successfully supported the outcome of transforming Get Your State Pension through their expertise in digital service, design and delivery" Ian Patton, Deputy Director for Retirement Bereavement and Care

Methodology / approach to design, develop and delivery outcome (i.e. user centred design and research)

Scrumconnect consultants worked with DWP Retirement Bereavement & Care to deliver end-to-end service transformation and major change through an Agile project lifecycle for the Winter Fuel Payments Service. We helped DWP work towards a vision of ensuring pensioners always get the right financial support they are entitled to, simply and easily.


DWP makes a Winter Fuel Payment to eligible citizens every year to assist with the cost of heating bills over the winter. A Scrumconnect team made up of user researcher, interaction designer, content designer, product manager, engineers and business analysts co-delivered through Discovery, Alpha and Beta stages (all GDS assessed).

Our delivery approach

  • We started in Discovery by understanding the current systems and mapping the as-is user journeys. We needed to understand who our users were, how they behave, what pain points they experience and where there are opportunities to transform into a digital service
  • Our iterative delivery approach reflects our philosophy of user-centred design and ongoing test and learn.

We uncovered user needs, hypothesised, prototyped, built quickly and usability tested regularly. Iterative improvements were made based on regular feedback from users and performance data.

To reflect our ongoing learning, we had a constantly evolving roadmap influenced by and regularly changed based on our interactions with users/potential users of the service. 

The content, which is an integral component of the service, was also regularly tested with users and the GDS content team to make sure it was clear and easy for users to understand.

Discovery; exploring the current landscape

  • identify the key stakeholders 
  • understand the current complex end-to-end process
  • work with other teams to understand existing insight and learning
  • understand the legacy technology 
  • map the current user journey


  • understand citizens' current experience
  • identify any pain points in the current user journey
  • understood and mapped the complex operational processes
  • identify a potential minimal viable product to move forward with

  • tested prototypes with both agents and citizen user types
  • designed a potential technical solution
  • completed technical prototypes, proving a potential solution for the design authority 
  • identified re-use of proven solutions (eg: address look-up service)
  • mapped digital inclusion 
  • identified success criteria to measure outcomes
  • tested paper prototypes with agents and worked with DWP colleagues across the department to identify improvements that would realise value in operational areas

  • ran accessibility testing in Tyne View Park (Newcastle) with agents with variable accessibility needs
  • began activity to achieve improvements in process for citizens
  • commenced a Beta phase to develop key areas of the service
  • added more development people to focus on delivery velocity to meet timelines
  • continued to understand both agent and citizen user needs through various research methods
  • tested hypotheses through usability testing of prototypes
  • promoted a collaborative environment involving all team members
  • used GDS design patterns as a starting point for system redesign and built prototypes
  • built in accessibility principles from the start and rigorously tested using tools such asDragon; our researcher led the engagement with an accessibility agency to review designs

Technical approach & tech stacks

  • our approach allowed services to be tested and deployed independently within a Jenkins pipeline and continuous delivery environment, without impacting other production services. 
  • used TDD, BDD, continuous integration / delivery and DevOps as our core practices listed below

  • Used continuous integration, continuous delivery, microservices and relentless focus on automation and releasing small features to production constantly; through automation we have enabled frequent updates to live applications without impacting end customers

Outcomes of DWP Winter Fuel Service

  • Digital adoption and channel shift of 70%
  • Approved by Design authority and digital planning forum
  • Service board buy in and business case sign off
  • Internal GDS assessments passed from Discovery through to Beta