Waste Transformation Week Notes - Week 2


Here’s an update with what the Service Design team have been up to last week on our waste project;

We have had our report missed waste collection forms built in our live Digital Customer Portal (DCP) environment, so we have been able to test these based on various bins at various properties. This has been a long process, which we have had to tweak along the way. We receive a high volume of enquiries on this subject, so we really needed to fine tune it to make sure it was user friendly. We now have two separate forms to report a missed waste collection, one for refuse and recycling and another for garden waste.

Mobile working

Alongside this, we have had numerous other forms built with a focus now on the back office processes – always keeping in mind our deadline! The process doesn’t stop after a customer has submitted a form on DCP, we build automatic workflow so that processes are streamlined end to end and reports end up exactly where they need to go to get the job done.

A big part of how we have developed this is by introducing mobile working to our team on the ground. This will help to link up submitted service requests to handheld devices that our crews can use whilst they are out and about. This gives them the opportunity to update jobs in real time. The Service Design team work with the relevant business teams to find out exactly what needs to happen. One of the big benefits of this is switching from paper reports to a digital system.

Elsewhere on the development side we have worked with our supplier, Abavus, to develop a function called ‘single user per record’. This means that service requests can be allocated to different members of staff, within the same team. This helps with accessibility. Our plan is to retrospectively add this function to forms we have previously created if this will be a benefit for the team.

There is work ongoing with bin crew job sheets, these are the reports that are given to the crews with daily tasks for them to complete.  We have met with our Senior Developer to make sure the form codes are correct, so that the information matches with what the customer is submitting on their form.

User research

We now have a full time member of staff who has been recruited as a User Researcher, this shows just how important this it is to our project and how it fits into our overall digital strategy. We want to ensure the customer is our main focus, and always at the forefront of our designs.

For our new abandoned bin process, we have done lots of user research. This has included our Keep Tidy volunteers and our Customer Services staff who will be using the form daily. All of the feedback was positive, and ensured we are on the right track.

A quote from Councillor Jackie Floyd – “I had an online session about the new forms being launched with Zahida. It’s quite exciting how we’re collectively helping to join the dots between services and citizens.”

User research is continuing on our street cleansing work, which will go live later this week. The user research will continue after go live to ensure a smooth transition, and make any necessary iterations based on the feedback from our users.

Our objectives for the next two week sprint are:

     - To test our assisted waste collection renewal process, using a new piece of functionality.

     - Street cleansing service to go live on our digital customer portal.

     - To not panic!


Thank you for catching up with us, if you have any questions please send them to customerpanel@blackburn.gov.uk

By Katie Leake on 18th Oct 2021
Katie Leake is an Assistant Service Designer with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council