Methods Service Pack is a customized intranet platform for creative tools, allowing techniques and case studies on service innovation to be shared throughout the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham council. The live-project initially started as a spin-off project from a piece of work developed in conjunction with the Design Council’s Public Services by Design programme.
In the past few years, the council has been employing creative organisations / agencies to encourage creativity in the workplace and to understand the community through better engagement and communication with service users. Although some of the projects are seen to be successful and do capture valuable insight, the council has frequently found it difficult to sustain the projects and the creative approaches in initiating new project and or moving existing projects forward, once that support has left the organisation.
The aim on this project was to identify the barriers within the council to the implementation of innovative approaches with the aim of developing a toolkit that can practically apply design thinking in the council workplace without external support.
Since joining the council as an internship for 5 months, the project has gone through an in-depth primary and ethnographic research process to understand the council’s organisational culture.
The development phase was able to achieve high levels of user involvement with co-designing and user-testing sessions conducted to capture the views and perspectives of council team workers. The project was monitored by senior officers, who provided frequent feedback to ensure the project outcome would be practical and could implemented in the council. The project’s delivery is an interactive prototype with recommendations for implementation.The report was handed over to the Modernisation team and the idea of the prototype was shared with Elevate – the IT joint-venture department who is going to develop the new intranet system; it is intended that this project will be implemented by April 2012.