Building a design methodology for a public sector digital transformation consultancy
Agilysis, one of the public sector’s most trusted digital transformation consultancy and citizen-centric technology products provider in the UK, asked us to develop a service design program to help their service design team to build their new way of working through a co-designed toolkit.
The focus of this project was co-creating the toolkit to support the adoption of a new design methodology for a large digital team, and guide them in a service design test-project that included scoping, development and delivering phase. In this way the practice of a new flow of collaboration and use of technique and digital tools and template provided, allowed the team to create a work environment driven but the necessary language and mindset for design to be impactful.
Mapping the Work Model
We mapped the current model, methods, capabilities and supporting structures of Agilyisis through interviews, observations, and co-design sessions to help uncover a set of organizational insights.
From this exercise, we learned that New Opportunity Development and Organizational Change were priorities for the the client that could be strengthened by User Research, Agile Development and Instructional Design.
At this point we introduced to the team an user centered way to conduct research for ongoing projects. By directly applying it on ongoing projects we were able the team was able to provide us feedback on how the research process integrated in their existing team and organizational structure, and reflect on the process itself.
The insights we gained by the direct application of the research opeartions, fed a temporary methodology and created a shared language, paving the path to establish the internal service design team roles and methodology.
Testing the new environment
We created a temporary work environment through digital tools and weekly agenda of work, that included a mix of online coaching to covering a specific service design phase and method and work sessions to work directly on projects.
During this period the design support included project planning, conducting and synthesizing research, mapping opportunities and generate design concepts as well as prototyping alpha and minimum testable versions of services for the team ongoing projects.
This test is functional to understand the impact of the team and of service design processes on the Agilysis wider system. As most cases of service design applications fail because the wider environment is not ready or supportive, this temporary environment supported us in coming up with insights to integrate service design more broadly within the client’s organization.
We used the knowledge and insights from the test of the new environment to implement a digital project management toolkit to run and organize projects, ensuring asynchronously work, and tracking meetings and lessons, file storage and shared documents, using a mostly open source digital workplace platforms. This was the infrastructure to operate the mini personalized toolkit we co-designed with the team.
The methodology is a roadmap for Agilisys’ teams to guide their clients through the phases of the projects we discovered were common to all projets — Discovery, Alpha, Beta. Each phases is supported by a team playbook to ensure consistency across projects. On each phases there is an indication of target outcomes — Mobilize, Vision, Model, Transfer — that we materialized through templates for teams to capture and visualize results.
- Designing work systems and processes proved to be very relevant for consultants because it mirrors the activities that their clients seek them help for.
- Testing design methods and the scenario where these are used, helped the team benchmark possible opportunities and transform their ideas into new service propositions for their clients.
- We extracted four principles out of the Agilysis Design System that inform new service offers and how to structure collaboration with their clients.
- Improving work experiences
- Facilitating new ways of working
Simon Gough, Senior Service Designer