Transforming Places Together: digital strategy for planning

This strategy defines a long-term strategic direction for how Scotland’s planning system will digitally transform, embracing the opportunities new digital technologies and data present. It sets out what we intend to deliver, why this is needed and the benefits this transformation will bring.

Shaping digital transformation

Everything discovered through user research, stakeholder engagement, horizon scanning and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic – together with lessons learned from our day to day operation of the eDevelopment service – has informed the priorities for delivery set out in this Strategy.

  • Early work, in the form of user research, stakeholder engagement and horizon scanning, confirmed a baseline understanding of problems and opportunities. These identified key areas for transformation
  • These were explored further in a series of design challenges and collaborative workshops with stakeholders explored potential design solutions and visual prototypes that illustrated what a future planning system could look like and how it could address the user needs and challenges identified in our research
  • We embraced the use of prototyping to communicate and collaborate with stakeholders on the type of digitally enabled future planning system. We used these to iteratively refine and validate ideas around the type of solutions needed and therefore the delivery priorities
  • Taking earlier learnings we produced a full set of priorities, centred on user needs – for example the ability to submit a valid planning application – and surveyed planners and planning stakeholders to help inform the relative importance of each
  • These priorities form the basis for the Five Missions and deliverables set out within each mission. To help us get a head start on delivery, pathfinder projects were run with partner organisations (Scottish Futures Trust, the Improvement Service, British Geological Survey and the Local Government Digital Office) to gather information that will move key areas forward rapidly once the digital transformation programme launches

“This user centred approach will continue to be at the heart of what we do as we move into delivery, ensuring digital services that work for all, and a digital transformation journey that is able to evolve and grow along with technology, challenges and opportunities that the sector faces in the future.”

Shaping Digital Transformation – The Process

A process flowchart which shows how the different components in this strategy  informed and shaped its development



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