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Sarah Drummond, Julianne Coughlan & Karen Fitzgerald: Ireland's first Service Design centre | Building design capabilities across local government

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Over the past 7 years Snook have worked with public bodies and Governments to develop design capabilities, developing a blended strategy for building capabilities inside institutions. In 2017, Cork County Council launched Ireland's first Service Design Centre, 'Service rePublic', after a journey with Snook to develop design capabilities across the council and improve public services. Speaking at the launch, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Séamus McGrath noted the opportunities available to the people of Cork county to be involved in driving innovation where they live. We will present alongside the team from Cork, this landmark project in Ireland, then reflect on the wider strategy for building capabilities from prior experience. We'll share success and failures with the audience.

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Sarah Drummond, Julianne Coughlan & Karen Fitzgerald: Ireland's first Service Design centre | Building design capabilities across local government

  1. 1. Embedding Design Ireland’s first public sector innovation centre and the journey to develop design capabilities
  2. 2. Public sector = No design Mapping policy to delivery from Scottish Government (2007-2010)
  3. 3. 2000s onwards we saw a proliferation of early public sector design models emerging that focused on building in-house capabilities
  4. 4. Ireland’s First Public Sector Service Innovation Centre Cork County Council
  5. 5. “The senior team at Cork County Council wanted to improve customer and staff outcomes county-wide and set up a centre to use and showcase service design approaches. With a council in the process of ‘going digital’ we saw an opportunity to ensure services were led by user needs.” James Fogarty, Deputy Chief Executive
  6. 6. Focus on council Customer Service Transformation Develop their design capability
  7. 7. Building a user-centered council for citizens and staff
  8. 8. Designing services not forms. Moving from a lift and shift attitude.
  9. 9. Housing Representations Elected Members Housing Department Live training project
  10. 10. 250 Reps a month 15 minutes to process each one 5 Hours to process the reps daily 3 Day acknowledgement KPI with a 10 day response time wasn’t being met The situation was ….
  11. 11. Stakeholder and journey mapping Session User Research and Interviews Persona Development and user need Blueprinting user stories High level prototyping of the service Co-designing detail of the form and service Usability testing and research Review Meetings Discovery Alpha
  12. 12. Discovery Workshop
  13. 13. We had to compromise For this project we couldn’t speak to the citizen to see why they were engaging the elected members on their behalf.
  14. 14. Research: User interviews Shadowing Staff Observation We interviewed users - local and national elected members, analysed how staff ran the service and the existing data we had been collecting
  15. 15. It seemed really rather complicated...
  16. 16. Customers meet directly with Public Rep or with staff in their office. Liaise with reps one to one, over phone/email to offer advise and answer and questions Email confirmation 15 mins per application Scanning paperwork System very slow. Checks info available Norma emails user to advise query is waiting for them to answer. Chases user to answer. Further information sought through Norma or system updated Not everyone updates system Councillor gets acknowledged for work done Norma checks data on CCS and ihouse Email, Post, Face to Face Clinics/Office Phone Email Post Face to Face Telephone Email Face to Face Emaill Post CCS System Scanning documentation CCS System Internal Post Email Excel Spreadsheets iHouse Phone Email Email Post Clinics/Office Phone Email Post Face to Face STAGESTORYBORADFEELINGTOUCHPOINTINTERACTION Local Rep meets Constituent Local Rep Contacts CCC Norma confirm receipt. Norma inputs data into System CCC forwards query to relevant dept Dept answers query, looks for further information & updates system Dept advises Norma of updates CCC advises local rep of updates Local Rep contacts constituent
  17. 17. “It is time consuming to document, scan and upload original correspondence onto CCS system takes approx. 15 mins. Excluding the time involved chasing staff for answers, sending confirmation and other correspondences” - Norma, Housing Department
  18. 18. Lack of clarity on what information is actually needed and useful to submit a representation ● Elected representatives send in everything they think is relevant ● Photos are not required by Council staff ● Lack of clarity around what is and is not required to process a representation
  19. 19. TD’s (which is the Government elected member) make a higher amount of representations than local councillors Councillors (Local Elected Members) can ‘shine a light’ on individual cases of citizens
  20. 20. The Re-design Standardising data collection Document to support elected members Developed a workflow for housing staff
  21. 21. Re-designing the service: Great engagement from elected members and staff ● Ran prototyping workshops to design what information is needed ● Breaking down the content ● Co-designing the needs across different users
  22. 22. Language was important Senior management recognised how important the language was when we walked through the service visually in the co-design workshop
  23. 23. Usability Testing: Testing our design with elected members Usability testing on the YourCouncil.ie (Firmstep platform) allowed us to quickly test our designs and find out what worked and what didn’t before going live
  24. 24. Prototyping straight into live Prototyping on our customer experience platform allowed us to tweak continuously and then go immediately live
  25. 25. Processing Reps The processing of documents by housing policy reduced from 15 minutes to less than 2 minutes per rep. In most cases elected members are submitting relevant documents. This means roughly a week of time saved per administrative staff member per month. 86%Decrease in time spent processing
  26. 26. Instant Response The reps are getting instant acknowledgements – they were previously waiting weeks despite having a KPI of 3 days. Nearly 75% of responses can be answered straightaway once they’re in the system. 100%Decrease in time spent waiting for acknowledgement
  27. 27. Data Dashboard A Dashboard is now always available which saves ½ day a month (6 days a year) in preparing a report for the Development Committee ½Day a month saving in preparing data
  28. 28. €1Saving on every acknowledgement and response Cost Savings in postage There is a cost saving in postage of €1 per acknowledgment and response. This is a saving duplicated for the council and the elected members. We think this is roughly €12,000 a year in savings for the council and elected members
  29. 29. Cost Savings in staff We’ve cleared the backlog so much so that the staff member we had been working with has been freed up to work on other projects and initiatives two days a week. 2Days a week for staff members now free
  30. 30. The real value of the service emerged through this work Reps are service co-producers in supporting some of the most vulnerable and marginalised in our communities.
  31. 31. We’ve hooked housing Our short intervention created an appetite for more Service Design. We’re now looking at repairs, enquiries and grants.
  32. 32. Learning Lunches
  33. 33. Winning Hearts and Minds “For me, the greatest part of the process had to be changing people’s mind-sets. Initially we weren’t given the go-ahead to work with elected members. After taking senior management in housing through the process, they got onboard, organised information and training workshops. I skipped back to the office” Karen Fitzgerald, Customer Service Transformation Team
  34. 34. Where now? Multiple projects underway using Service Design approaches From library services to flood risk, planning to environmental reporting
  35. 35. We’re now collecting and analysing data on what works We can follow transactions by service users to continuously tweak our services and we are in control. Data is our new material.
  36. 36. We’re creating the business case to feed upstream. We’re analysing our performance against Government digital standards, and producing reports contrasting service performance and maintenance possibility pre and post design.
  37. 37. Where now? Wider strategy for embedding design Taking a holistic approach to developing the capability inside the organisation
  38. 38. Building design capabilities We’ve been focusing on building the capabilities of organisations whilst we deliver live projects
  39. 39. Making Service Design stick What we learned from the reality of delivering new services through to live
  40. 40. Dormant Unconscious incompetence The organisation doesn't recognise it isn't performing or where weaknesses lie. Design deficit No resource for design or literacy to recognise the value Starting Block Conscious incompetence The organisation are making the first steps to improve and are at the planning stage of how to do this. Clean Slate Solo lead or one design expert, often organisation will be smothering this person to a clear goal to scale or build a team Sprinting Active Unconscious Incompetence Have started trying to improve, but are doing more harm than good through unfocused efforts. Lift and Shift Small team focusing on user-centred approaches and service improvement to a dedicated team offering a UX/CX service across the business Stretching Conscious incompetence The organisation are making active positive improvements and have a scalable plan in place to develop their capabilities. Design as a service Small UX/CX team working on products and services offering skills across departments and teams to a solidified and scalable model for growing capability org wide Running Unconscious competence The organisation have scaled their approach across departments and teams with competence growing in improving products and services and building a sustainable approach. Embedded Design literacy Larger UX/CX centralised team working on products and services and other departments start using embedded designers, work across multiple groups full time. Non designer move to design literate in the business. Moving to non designers becoming design fluid. Pacing Conscious competence The organisation are using user-centred approaches across all areas of the organisation and literacy is high across all teams. User-centred organisation Design is alive and living across all processes internal to the business. The end users are always considered and projects are delayed if the design isn't delightful. Consistent conscious act of ensuring the sustainability of the user-centred approach across the whole organisation. Learning Style Typical Approach Design Capacity
  41. 41. A centralised team can begin as agitators and influence others The CST team in this context are agitators, spreading the approach
  42. 42. Don’t make assumptions and map the dark matter Don’t always think people don’t want to do this or it can’t be done, be strategic in understanding the dark matter and find ways around barriers
  43. 43. The projects need to land We need ownership through service managers or product owners to ‘own’ the service. Find who these owners are.
  44. 44. Find the right people for the job If Senior Management Team put people onto projects, they have to be the ‘right’ people for the job. Find the people who really want to make change happen.
  45. 45. Build and grow external networks Look at your development pipeline of talent and building the network to bring them in-house/work alongside you
  46. 46. Build a consistent playbook Playbooks are great but don’t focus too much on the tools. Build the playbook as you deliver services.
  47. 47. Speak the right language Speak in the terms and terminology that people feel comfortable with. Don’t complicate it, keep it simple.
  48. 48. Don’t ‘be the agency’. Help build the capacity in the organisation in their language, their tools on their terms.
  49. 49. Support from both ends You need senior level buy-in but nurture a grassroots agenda to grow the movement
  50. 50. Have a strategy that looks ahead Map your service needs and what citizens need to do to prioritise your resource
  51. 51. Build the sustainable design products Recognise the central team, in time, will need to refocus their effort on building scalable products for design
  52. 52. Communication matters Get communication capacity onside to support the message of what you’re trying to do
  53. 53. Use live projects to train They highlight the actual reality of scoping, designing and delivering a live service
  54. 54. Work live and learn as you go Let people have the space and time to learn as they go Build live in the platforms you will go live
  55. 55. Impact over ‘case study’ Don’t get obsessed with service design to ‘show the process’. Show the impact.
  56. 56. This may seem small, but this is only 1 of 600 services, and a snapshot of what Service Republic will do. The reality of delivering services in local government is tough but this start has been transformational for us.
  57. 57. Gracias! www.yourcouncil.ie @servicerepublic @wearesnook

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