Group of people around a table with laptops

Undertaking a service design activity

Culture change 

Adopting a service design-led approach to our improvement activities requires a culture change in how we do things.

To begin with, you may find this way of thinking unfamiliar, even challenging, especially if you are used to having control over what you do.

Part of the ethos that underpins service design is:

  • Engagement will take place with multiple stakeholders.
  • Multiple perspectives will be captured in the course of the service design journey.

Therefore, most of the tools in this toolkit are meant to be used in a collaborative environment.

Participants in the service design process work together to identify problems and solutions. As such, many tools require group working and consensus to be agreed. Most of the tools can be used either face-to-face or online.

Skills needed within your service design team

Ensuring the following skills are covered by members of your service design team will increase the chances of your service design activity reaching a successful outcome:

  • Skills in research techniques, including question design for surveys and interviewing, and data analysis.
  • Facilitation techniques and other individual and group interviewing skills.
  • Project and change management skills.

The tools included in this resource will be most effective where they are used by people with the skills and knowledge mentioned above.

Engagement activity

When carrying out engagement activity, you should bear in mind the good practices set out in:

Involving service users

There is an assumption in service design that users will be involved throughout your design journey, you will not merely be extracting information from them.

As far as is practical and proportionate for your service design journey, you should engage with your users. Users are the experts in their experiences of the service you offer and you should include them in your service design journey to help you understand and identify both your problem and the solutions you wish to put in place.

Diagram showing users should be involved during the whole service design process.

Monitoring and evaluation

In the spirit of continuous improvement, a service design activity shouldn’t be considered as an isolated activity. Once you have achieved your outcome, you should monitor and evaluate it. This loops back to wider self-assessment activity, which will identify any future challenges to be addressed through the service design process

The process should not an isolated activity but continuous, feeding from the outcome back to the challenge.

Shared learning

Sharing your experiences with the rest of the organisation helps us all learn. To this end, after you have carried out your service design activity, you should:

  • Consider submitting a case study for inclusion in this resource.
  • Share your experiences and lessons learned.
    • What worked well?
    • What pitfalls can you help others to avoid and how did you overcome them?