Maidstone Digital Service
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What is Service Design?

Service Design is about making a service meet users and customers needs. Understanding the people who will use a service helps to create solutions that work for them. Service design engages users throughout the design process so that decisions are made using evidence, not assumptions.

We use the service design process to improve existing services and as part of our commissioning process when we create new services from scratch.

When we design services we design:

  • from end-to-end: this means from when the user starts trying to achieve a goal to when they finish - including both content and transaction regardless of the department providing it
  • from front to back: this means the user-facing service, internal processes, supporting policy and organisational, financial and governance structures of the service
  • in every channel: digital, phone, post, face to face and physical elements

Service Design Model

Our Service Design Model displays a graphical process of the steps taken in this toolkit to deliver service design.

At the beginning

At the start of any service design review there are a number of documents that you should complete and keep up to date throughout:

  • Project scoping document (make sure you also complete the benefits measuring document linked in the scoping document to understand and agree what the project should deliver)
  • Project charter (within this it’s important that you identify, agree and document the outcomes you want to achieve from the service design review, as this gives you the overall purpose of the review)
  • Risk register to help you identify risks to include in the risk register you can complete a SWOT analysis
  • Stakeholder analysis to help identify your stakeholders and the impact. And a stakeholder communication plan to identify the right level of communication required for your stakeholders.

You should also complete a plan to keep you on track and ensure all of the key elements of the review are covered. Some tools you can use for this are:

During your stakeholder communication plan you will identify different ways of engaging with your stakeholders. If you need to send them regular written updates a template you can use is:

At the end of the review you should complete a lessons learnt log to help inform future projects.

Gateway Reviews

At the end of each stage within the service design process before preceding to the next stage there are two things you should do:

  • Check you have got enough information to achieve the expected outcome of that stage.
  • Go back to the project charter and remind yourself the desired outcomes of the review – based on what you’ve identified at this stage in the review, is it still possible to achieve these outcomes?

Key Decisions

  • During project meetings it’s important to log minutes, key decisions and actions from the meeting to ensure there is a record of this. These should also be circulated after the meeting.
  • If a decision needs to be made about changes to the project scope or objectives this must be agreed by the project sponsor and should be noted in the same way as other key decisions.

Digital Services

The Digital Service team at Maidstone Borough Council lead on the research, design and development of user centered services for residents in Maidstone

Find out more about the team

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