Working with the Service Design team

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illustration with two women collaborating, one sitting in front of a laptop and another one standing moving sticky notes

Why am I writing this?

I want to highlight the great teamwork I’ve experienced working with the Service Design team, but also to highlight challenges we are trying to overcome.

Who am I and why am I involved with Service Design?

I am a Project Manager working within the EFRS (Enquiry Fulfilment Research Service) Enquiry Team.

My job is to liaise with other Project Managers around Scottish Enterprise and Partners when they want the EFRS to handle customer enquiries. I work with them to create processes for handling enquiries in the best way possible for the customer and staff, as well as setting up the necessary technical elements within the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, offering guidance and support wherever needed.

I started working with the Service Design team during the redesign of , then on the Prepare For Brexit website, Find Business Support, South of Scotland Enterprise, now FUND (and a few in-between).

From auto-pilot to actually thinking about each step

If I said “I’m going to the shop”. It’s a simple task and when you’ve been doing it a long time, you think you know what you’re doing (until you realise you forgot to take a carrier bag).

But if someone started asking a series of questions such as:

  • What shop are you going to?
  • How are you getting there?
  • What are you buying?
  • How are you going to pay for it?
  • And all the steps in-between that we take for granted

We have to put some thought into the answers, which makes us realise we do so many things in auto-pilot. It’s not until someone questions the way we do things that we start to consider: Is this really the best way to do it? Can improvements be made? Do we really need that? Or even just reassure us that we are doing it the best way possible.

We can also make assumptions that others know the finer detail of what our job entails but when they don’t, this can have an impact on the design of a system or process, or both.

Working with the Service Design team helps to answer the questions:

  • Is this really the best customer journey?
  • How can we improve it?
  • What does the customer actually want?
  • What do you need as a team?
  • How can we relieve pressure from other teams?

Likewise, getting to the granular level of business processes can help the Service Design Team understand why the processes exist in the first place. Doing customer research can be helpful, but it is also helpful to hear from people around the business on the frontline talking to customers day in and day out.

I have found that engaging more and getting involved at the early stages of design has been beneficial with the work we do to help our customers.

There are so many areas to consider and making sure other teams from around Scottish Enterprise are involved, getting the right people at the right time, helping the Service Design team understand business needs better are crucial to delivering something effective.

I am a Project Manager in the Business Support Partnership, with a background in Information Management and an interest in all things technical.

3 Replies to “Working with the Service Design team”

  1. Great blog. This discipline is needed across so much more of what we do both externally and internally. How many of us have looked at some intranet form or CRM form and thought “who designed this? why on earth would they want to know that? what, if anything, would collating that data actually tell them and what would they change even if it did?” Now see what you’ve done, you’ve made me put myself into a foul mood just before I knock off for Christmas. Have a good one everybody!

  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing this, Sheryl. I know the team also value the input you make really highly – its definitely a win win 🙂

  3. Thanks Sheryl. You probably explained my job better than I do 🙂

    And can I reciprocate: it’s always a pleasure to work and collaborate with your team. We learn so much every time we engage with you, because you are Scottish Enterprise’s interface with the outside world.

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