Service design principles for government

15 Jan 2009 by Karl Hallam

A friend of Cadence works on customer insight for the Government. Recently they sent through a link to the Cabinet Office's Delivery Council which is responsible for 'co-ordinating cross-government activity to drive citizen and business centred services'.

There are lots of interesting documents, many labelled carefully with 'this is a working paper and not the Government's policy'. The Delivery Council Workplan says it wants to 'establish "Customer Insight" as a strategic asset in public service design, which they translate into:

'There is a wide range of information about what really matters to citizens and businesses in the way public services are designed and delivered: not just formal research but feedback from front-line staff, on websites and from contact centres and so on. Within this material there will be some valuable insights which can help us create services which really work'. 

Cadence's work on innovation would lead us to translate this into something along the lines of; front line workers and users often have good ideas about what the problems are and how to deal with them.

It is progress that front line insight is seen as valuable, but changing that into action based on this inisight is where things can get tricky. There is a document that touches on this issue on the Delivery Council website called Service Design Principles -A Pocket Guide which makes the case for the use of insight from the front line and is worth a read. Some noteworthy bits include:

Suggestions that policy makers need to;
- Ensure that the view of the customer/community is sought;
- Consider the desired outcomes from the frontline perspective;
- Ensure governance and resource issues are considered and addressed;
- Ensure that those charged with implementing policy are ‘fit for purpose';
- Ensure that mechanisms are in place to evaluate the outcomes of policy implementation; and
- That policies are assessed for their sustainability.

Customer Centred Services objective:
Are focused on the requirement to meet the needs and aspirations of both the individual and communities rather than shaping the customer to fit the organisation. This is achieved by working from the ‘outside in'.

Customer Centred Services outcomes:
Organisations have an eye on their customers' needs and aspirations. They develop a range of Principles which assist in the development of strategies which effectively turn customer and stakeholder information into action.

We will look more at Government thinking on insight in future posts on innovation.

your comments

Posts: 2
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Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Tue October 16, 2012, 17:20:28
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