Waste Transformation Week Notes - Weeks 11 to 14



What a great start to the year; January was for our waste project!

A total of 8 (yes 8!!) waste forms went live, and 5 of them contained our new appointment booking development.

After having a slight hiccup, we got everything back on track and picked up where we left off before Christmas. We managed to fully test the appointment booking system, and then add it into the relevant forms. Some of the forms also have payments within them, for example the ordering of burgundy bins. Payments is something we have used before, but has to be configured each time we require it for a new form.

When the forms were fully complete, it was testing, testing, testing! It was a looooong process, and one that couldn’t be rushed. Thorough testing is the key to a successful go live and launch week, as well as a critical part of the journey. With having so many forms going live at once, organisation and preparation were essential and test plans were live working documents throughout the process.

Due to the sheer amount and importance of these forms, we had a slightly different plan of action for this go live. We trialled a go live which was split over two days. The first day being for users within customer services and the second day for customers. Customer services had to revert back to a manual process for appointments for a short time, and we wanted to get them back up and running on a digital service as soon as possible.

Going live early with customer services first gave us a ‘trial run’ and a chance to receive feedback. We then used this user research to make small iterations to the form, before our customers could see them. We then went live for customers and hoped that it would go as well as the day before. Luckily, everything went without a hitch and so far the appointments have been working well.

We have also added mobile worker to the forms, which means that the delivery crews who are on the ground receive the jobs to their device and they can update them accordingly. This will reduce paper reports and will also give customers real time updates on their requests.

Training has been an important factor in the go live too. We used our experiences with street cleansing and implemented them into the training for waste. This has included; show and tells with the contact centre, working with the manager of the crews, providing training documents and a trip out with one of the crews just to be on hand to support on the first day of switching from paper reports to the digital devices.

User research

We carried out some user research about the web pages associated with these forms and have recorded some feedback we are going to follow up with.

A big focus over the past couple of weeks for user research has been for bulky collections, which is up next. We have shown the prototype form to users within the borough to see how they interact with it, and whether any changes need to be made. As it is still in the development stage, it was useful to gather the feedback early.

Bulky collections is one of the conclusive pieces of our waste puzzle, and we want to finish on a high.

Things we will be doing next:

     - Finishing and testing the bulky forms.

     - Developing the new build forms.

     - Bulky go live!

I can’t believe that the journey is nearly over, but because it is such a big service I don’t think waste will ever really be finished for us!

If you have any comments, questions or feedback for us, please contact us at customerpanel@blackburn.gov.uk

By Katie Leake on 21st Feb 2022
Katie Leake is an Assistant Service Designer with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council