Reaching a major milestone

The day felt like it would never come at times! But we have now reached a major milestone of moving away from our legacy digital portal. All the forms that we had on our legacy system – 111 (plus another 46 new forms that we’ve just happened to build along the way!), are now available via our not so new portal - which we refer to as the MyBwD Account.

We are 2 years into our journey, and the numbers perhaps don’t reflect the amount of work that has been needed for the transfer to happen. There’s been a lot of development required in our new system to meet our needs, mainly around appointments and waste services, which Katie has been blogging about, and this all takes time to get it right. It’s not just digital forms that have been designed, but back-office systems, mobile working and in some cases brand new services. The team have learned on the job new ways of designing and delivering services through service design and agile, and we’ve introduced user research which has been fundamental to our commitment to user centric design.

A new multi-disciplinary team has been formed during the past 12 months on the back of this great work, which provides service design, user research, system support and web content design & accessibility for the whole of the Council. We’ve brought together key products & tools that sit hand in hand, so that we can offer full end to end digital service design.

There has been a real sense of change in how we work through the introduction of agile, Kanban and sprint planning, which not only allows you to plan and focus better but it’s that continuous feedback – what went well, what didn’t - real learning.

What’s next?

We are planning our next 12 months of work, which will see further transformation across our services and alongside this we will continue to establish service design methodology and communicate the importance of accessible services – as Shazia has been blogging about. We also have a programme of work for Microsoft 365 to ensure we get the most value out of these products, with one of the early goals being to upskill our service design team so that when they are re-designing processes, they have more tools available to them to streamline services. I’m also excited to watch how our Digital Champions and Digital Skills hub progresses (see Lara’s blog).

I know we’ve achieved much much more than I've written here and I’m excited about the next chapter and where we go from here to improve services that benefit the customer, staff and the wider council.

By Laura Crabtree on 15th Mar 2022
Laura Crabtree is a Service Design Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.