Agile Service Design

Service Design in Scottish Local Government

In this video Stephen Kyle, the Changing for the Future program manager from Dundee City Council talks about Service Design in Scottish Local Government.

Before summarizing the video, let’s talk about what is service design and what does service design do?

What is service design?

Service design is a process where designers create sustainable solutions and optimal experiences for both customers in unique contexts and any service providers involved. Designers break services into sections and adapt fine-tuned solutions to suit all users’ needs in context—based on actors, location and other factors. Service design originated from the combination of marketing, service operations, and user-centered design.

Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider, authors of This is Service Design Thinking, identify five key principles—for service design to be:

  1. User-centered – Use qualitative research to design focusing on all users.
  2. Co-creative – Include all relevant stakeholders in the design process.
  3. Sequencing – Break a complex service into separate processes and user journey sections.
  4. Evidencing – Envision service experiences to make them tangible for users to understand and trust brands.
  5. Holistic – Design for all touchpoints throughout experiences, across networks of users and interactions

Service design concepts and ideas are typically portrayed visually, using different representation techniques according to the culture, skill and level of understanding of the stakeholders involved in the service processes. Services unfold over time. Some parts of services are visible to the service user; these parts are called front stage. Some part of services are not visible to the service user; these parts are called back stage.

What does service design do?

Service designers design the end-to-end journey of a service. This helps a user complete their goal and government deliver a policy intent. In this role, your work may involve the creation of, or change to, transactions, products and content across both digital and offline channels provided by different parts of government.

Video Summary

In this video Stephen Kyle will talk about the service design in Scottish Local Government. He is the Changing for the Ffuture program manager from Dundee City Council.

Firstly, he talked about the definition of service design. Service design is one of the methodologies for transformation and it is quite a new thing in Scotland, and is gaining a lot interest. Service design thinking is an iterative process that involves discover, define, develop and deliver.

This process is like unpacking a problem such as exploration, creation, reflection and implementation. In exploration phase the problem is being explored widely. In this phase they interact with people and listen to their issues then they come up with an idea to solve it. Service design is about understanding the reality, not just the planned process.

This process is designed one-way but it has many dimensions. Customer’s experience regarding the process and mapping the model what’s going on is very important in this process. Back stage of a problem is the internal processes. Front stage is about customer.

Service design is a reminder that needs to think about the front stage that is the customers. Customer’s viewpoint about how they are using a service is more important that service designer’s viewpoint who is actually designing it. Citizen/Customer engagement is at the heart of the service design. Service design is built for the needs of the citizen.

The continuous improvement cycle of this process involves identification of opportunities in the process workflow, planning about how can the current process be improved, execution that is implementing the changes and lastly reviewing how changes are working for the team. The cycle of continuous service design includes current state analysis and customer insights, current customer journey and pain points, target state, re-designing touch points, prototype and organizational experiments lastly management and iteration.

There are two tools that are used in the service design. One is UX Wrench and other is Service Design Chain Show. In UX Wrench there are digital and physical experience design wrench that lets a person adjust user engagement. In Service Design Chain Show there is service innovation and management chainsaw that helps shred through business model design.

The Scottish approach towards the service design is seeding, growing and flourishing. The seeding started in 2016 which involves finding works, building networks and championing programs. The growing started in 2017-2018 which involves co-producing principles, tools and methods of the Scottish approach to service design and building capacity.

The flourishing started in 2020 which includes establishment of the ability to scale and continuous improvement. The citizen journey of service design is not straight forward. Citizen journey in public sector is usually very complicated. Citizens re-explaining and message lost between departments and organizations is pretty complex.

The principles of Scottish approach to services designs are:

  • Using public services should be simple.
  • Users should be in the room when design decisions that affect them are made.
  • All the people of Scotland should be able to join the service design.
  • Learn, understand and envision make the test and deliver together.
  • The reasons behind this Scottish Approach are design for policy, design as capability and design for discrete problems.

Snook is a service design agency based in Glasgow, London and it helps organizations make their service better. Livework is a research and design consultancy and a global pioneer of service design. Futuregov is helping global and local authorities across four continents to make their public service better. Snook, Livework,

Futuregov and Design for Europe are examples how good service design looks like. Hazel White and Mikepress are the strong advocates of design for public service. They are building capacity across the Scotland to improve public policy and services. Cat Macaulay is the chief designer for the Scottish government. The digital director has got a whole team underneath her within the office of the chief designer which is consist of numerous service design within the team looking at a number of challenges that the Scottish government are delivering and are actually working in this method of service design.

Some of the service design tools are task analysis grid, service image, touchpoints matrix, mockup, poster, system map, group sketching, roleplay, actors map, motivational matrix, story telling etc. The digital office playbook aims at beginners not experts. It is a combining best practice in service design, agile, lean six sigma, open innovation and benefit realization. Digital office playbook fits with other tools through three methods namely, decision thinking, lean startup and agile software dev. There are four stage of project in digital office playbook.

These stages work in a complex process through case studies, advice, service design, agile, lean six stigma, open innovation and benefits realization.

Service design course is designed for anyone involved in the transformation of public services, digital and non-digital. It will benefit those interest in learning about new ways of thinking about solving problem, policy making and organization design. This course will give an overview about how user-centered design works and how service design approaches applied to real work.

Video Timeline

0:00 – Intro
3:47 – What is service design?
13:26 – What is the Scottish approach?
20: 32 – Why a Scottish Approach?
22:40 – What does a good service design look like?
27:57 – Service Design Tools
34:22 – Service Design Champion
36:15 – Q&A

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