Role and Responsibilities: Service Design Consultant
The EDF Energy residential digital team wanted coaching for a service design team in its infancy, and a large-scale product management team over a 6 month period. The goal was to support the development of in-house user research practices, service design processes and the strategy for a pattern library rollout.
Prior to the start of this engagement EDF Energy launched its first online-only tariff. A cross department initiative that saw the residential customer digital team in the driving seat. Working with a number of digital service partners, the team was built up of product managers, business analysts, 1 UX designer and 2 service designers.
With capacity low for design support within product design I wanted to provide tools and frameworks for the product managers to enable them to commission, or carry out research that would reduce risk, identify user needs and better align business goals with voice of the customer.
We started with one of my alignment exercises - customer experience mapping. When you have product teams responsible for specific areas within the customer experience it can be easy to clash over areas of responsibilities, which can result in negative customer experiences and losing customers. With a clear visualisation of how customers experienced the core services available it was time to review team relationships and how they wanted to communicate direction.
I worked with the services designers to understand what they needed to do great work. Their challenge was overcoming the misunderstanding that because they sat on the org-chart under digital that they were only a resource for changing the website.
“Andy joined the team to coach and support them on all things relating to user-centred design. Andy is a real professional and brings a challenging and frank perspective, along with an amazing set of skills. He was immediately credible with the team and quickly became a reference point. If you have an interesting research, service design or UX challenge then Andy will bring a fresh and creative perspective and quickly add value to your team.” – Geoff Mills - Director of Digital, EDF Energy UK
Clearly defining the role of Service Design
Through some value mapping exercises the team determined that the experience map would be a great way to introduce themselves to the business and set out to host workshops with each customer-facing department to gain further insight, encourage their involvement in making better experiences and identifying how the service design team can work with them to improve their working day.
The end result was identifying 3 projects that could be used as proving grounds for new ways of working, lead by the service designers in collaboration with product managers, and leads from other business teams.
During the engagement and beyond the digital team introduced revised ways of working that supported prioritising design and development based on outcomes, and impact to customers. The service designers lead a high-value work programme for the business showing that both trust and value in their work had become high.
The product managers began using journey mapping as a way to understand what was happening within their specific spaces from a user-centred perspective making it significantly easier to communicate issues and collaborate with design and development partners on solutions. This also helped data teams to develop relevant measurement strategies to better monitor and report on the value of change over time.
A year later, I still have regular coaching sessions with the product managers, services designers and UX designer.