Executive Agency.

Improving ways of working in a Government agency.

Client overview

The client is an executive agency of a UK central government department, with approximately 1,000 employees and field staff working flexibly across the UK.

Key Deliverables

Lighting Sprint

The challenge.

The way in which the Agency allocates and programmes its casework to field staff, is time consuming, manual and consists of working across a number of systems. The main concern was its case management system, which didn’t support the needs of caseworkers, and was contributing to a number of delays by manual working.

Caseworkers and field staff needed their case management system, and the way in which cases were being allocated to them, to be simple, integrated and intuitive.

The Agency chose to run a Lightning Sprint with the aim of building a testable prototype of an intuitive and integrated case management system, focused on the users, which supported efficient allocation and programming.

And they wanted it done rapidly!

The sprint.

Day 1  |  Understand

 

Day 1 was about meeting the sprint team, and discussing the challenges around using the existing case management system and allocation process. We used this time to agree and set the sprint goal.

“As a field worker, it was interesting seeing how manual the process is around programming.“

We spent the day asking “How Might We …?” to pinpoint specific areas of interest and collate the data into a process map.

Due to the quantity of information to analyse, a decision was taken to extend the sprint to nine days.

Day 2  |  Understand more and sketch

 

Day 2 was used to deepen understanding. We started to think ‘outside the box’ and sketch possible solutions. This included adapting existing processes that users had experienced in other industries, as well as what the Agency had done before.

“Being challenged around ‘why’ we do things really pushed our thinking and got us to a point of actually questioning ourselves and the reasoning behind why do things that just make no sense.”

A sketch board of possible solution features was presented for people to start gathering and prioritising their favourite examples, focused on case management.

Day 3  |  Case programming sketching

 

Day 3 continued with sketching but with the focus moving to programming. Again, the team was encouraged to think outside the box and challenge each other on what the future process might look like.

“When comparing what [we] do, it’s crazy how many manual steps are repeated.”

The outcome of the day was a number of different ideas that could form an idea map for redesigning the new process.

 

Day 4  |  Decide

 

Day 4’s goal was to develop the new workflows for case management and programming. The team worked together to decide on key features and capabilities and build out new streamlined processes with the developer.

The outcome of the day was a new and improved workflow design, from which the prototype would be based and developed on, on day 5.

Day 5  |  Prototype

 

The fifth day was for the developer and sprint team to develop a workflow representation of what the new case management and programming process might look like.

“I was really surprised to see our ideas and sketches come to life so quickly.”

The developed prototype included screens and features that could represent a final solution at an early stage. A tangible output with clickable outcomes allowed users to experience what they had developed.

Day 6  |  Validate

 

Day 3 continued with sketching but with the focus moving to programming. Again, the team was encouraged to think outside the box and challenge each other on what the future process might look like.

“When comparing what [we] do, it’s crazy how many manual steps are repeated.”

The outcome of the day was a number of different ideas that could form an idea map for redesigning the new process.

Day 7  |  Casework allocation

 

Day 4’s goal was to develop the new workflows for case management and programming. The team worked together to decide on key features and capabilities and build out new streamlined processes with the developer.

The outcome of the day was a new and improved workflow design, from which the prototype would be based and developed on, on day 5.

Day 8  |  Questionaire

 

On day 8, we discussed a number of issues around the existing customer questionnaire and the possibility of making it more user friendly and incorporating it into our case management system.

Although a prototype was not built for the the questionnaire, the idea of streamlining the number of questions was discussed, as well as making the process of answering questions and providing documentary evidence as easy as possible..

Day 9  |  2nd iteration validation

 

Day 9 involved a second round of validation of the prototypes. It reinforced the first round of iteration based on feedback from user testing and enabled quality assurance off additional features, such as the allocation calculator.

“You have achieved in 9 days what we have been trying to achieve in 5 years

Senior Director . Executive Agency

 

The impact.

 

Priority needs identified.

 

Functioning prototype in just 9 days.

 

To reduce the time spent on allocating cases to field staff by case workers.
Allows users to gain a quick overview of workload and allow the right cases to be assigned to the right field workers.
 
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