This working group aimed to develop Human Centred principles and performance indicators. Human Centred Design in local authorities means putting the citizen at the centre of our services and purpose. This project aimed to create citizen centred principles that could be adopted across local authorities in Wales.
The working group ran for three months and comprised officers of different levels from various local authorities. This offered the project, to its benefit, a range of experience and perspectives. Each working group participant committed to giving 2 hours of their time a month, 1 hour with the rest of the group and another hour preparing for the next week.
The working group had representatives from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Data Cymru Flintshire County Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Newport City Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, Powys County Council, The Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council, Wrexham County Borough Council.
We started the Working Group by introducing ourselves, our skills, and our goals for the next 12 weeks. We then talked about the problem we were trying to solve and tried to frame it. In the end, the objective we agreed on was:
What is needed to make a positive experience for citizens? How can this be measured?
We all acknowledged early that we needed to do research to satisfy the first question in our objective. We started with desktop research, and our goal was to answer, ‘What are universal features that can be applied to most services that improve customer experience?’
We shared our findings with each other and then moved on to planning primary research. We decided to do primary research with friends and family who have recently used a service and then later test our principles with a random sample of local authority end users.
We decided that semi-structured interviews were suitable for gaining the insight that we needed. After our first round of semi-structured interviews, we presented our findings to each other and then wrote the principles. We started by defining our Minimum Viable Product and Definition of Done. This helped us to visualise what we were aiming for. Then, we brought our desktop and primary research findings together to shape these principles.
Whilst writing the principles, we started looking at the recruitment of participants for focus groups and interviews to test these principles with them. We recruited over 80 participants and tested the principles with 29 citizens. The citizens were service users of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Flintshire County Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, Powys County Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, The Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council.
After the research, we analysed the results. The method we used was affinity diagramming which worked well to identify and uncover the key themes from the research. These themes and other information about the research can be found in this report.
After analysing the research, we agreed that we did not have enough time to iterate on our prototyped principles, so we decided to focus on recommendations for the next stage of the working group.
- Put together citizen centred principles based on the research findings.
- Investigate how these principles can be measured to assess service performance in future.
- Investigate internal processes and structures that need to be changed or altered to deliver these principles.
- Join with closely related working groups like Service Design and Entry Points.
- Explore how best to present the benefits of adopting these principles to achieve buy-in from all local authorities in Wales.
A special thanks to working group contributors:
Alexandra Bradley, Elizabeth Sharma, Gary Nicholas, Jeremy James, Kay O’Flaherty, Kelly Watts, Leanne Roberts, Mandy Rogers, Mark Watkins, Nicholas Evans, Nita Sparkes, Owen Davies, Philip O’Brien, Rachel Sollis, Rebecca Jones, Ros Roberts, Suzanne Draper, Teresa Perry, Tony Curliss, Tracy Amos