Maidstone Digital Service
This is our new beta site for Maidstone Digital Services.

1 - Early Discovery

The discovery piece of service design can take significant resource to conduct. For some projects it may be necessary to conduct a brief piece of pre-discovery work to understand if the project is worth investing more resource into. An early discovery should only take about two weeks.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have a clear scope for this project?
  • Am I confident this project will deliver a significant outome?
  • Is this the only project I need to deliver right now?


Identify and gather sufficient information to enable you to decide if the project should continue to full discovery without committing significant resources.

What should you do in the discover phase:

Create a brief scoping document

At this early-stage project documentation is not required, however a scoping document is recommended to set some structure. Have initial conversations with the Project Sponsor, Head of Service and Service Manager to get an idea of problem areas, goals and scope to help set some structure.

Identify the potential for improvement

Initially taking the areas identified in your scoping document have conversations with staff to better understand processes, problem areas and look to prove or disprove what was initially suggested. Ensure your conversations are broad, asking open questions to encourage other potential areas of focus to come out.

Utilise service information available like customer feedback, complaints, contact volumes, or failure demand data to highlight other problem areas.

Understand the potential benefits

Gather information on transaction volumes, gain an insight into how long different processes take and how much services cost. Look to understand if there are other benefits to be achieved from improvement such as customer satisfaction, user experience, staff morale or environmental issues and whether these can be measured.

Establish the cost to deliver the improvement

Utilise learnings from others such as other service areas, other authorities or other organisations to seek potential solutions to help you estimate how much time, effort and cost it will take to deliver the improvements.

At the end of this stage you should have gathered enough information to make a decision on whether you should continue to full discovery and whether you should prioritise this project.

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

Recent posts

TADS Get Human-Centered
Keeping residents updated about their bin collections
TADS Weeknote #2