January 18, 2023
One of the keys to successful digital transformation is ensuring different users, teams, departments, and organisations have a rich and shared understanding. Read on to learn about some of the tools and techniques used to support communication, collaboration and understanding at the heart of the digital transformation of the Blue Badge Scheme.
Valtech works with the Department for Transport (DfT) on their Blue Badge digital service. We have helped transform what had been one of the most complained about digital services within DfT.
Rob Thomas, Digital Service Product Manager at the DfT, told the Valtech Café podcast: “the Blue Badge Scheme is about helping citizens to retain their independence in day-to-day life by enabling them to reach their destinations more easily.”
The service comprises the online application process for citizens, case management of applications by more than 200 local authorities, badge production and distribution, and central government policy teams.
The service involves diverse groups with complex and sometimes conflicting requirements – both on the user and operational sides. High-quality user research and feedback from citizens have been central to transforming the Blue Badge service, along with clear communication and understanding between the different teams, departments and organisations involved. Deploying effective ways to capture, report and respond to requirements has been crucial too. The tools and techniques used have included:
- An email marketing platform - Mailchimp - was deployed to offer a simple but effective way to broadcast project information, updates, requests and more to the whole, extended project teams and stakeholders.
- Feedback and collaboration between users, local authorities, the DfT policy team and Valtech was directed to a Slack This tool enables real-time and asynchronous discussion that can be threaded and focused on specific topics, areas or teams, as well as allowing communication with anyone in the account.
- Jira Service Desk enables users, teams and organisations to capture feature and support requests. It’s secure but highly accessible to everyone, from delivery teams to stakeholders. Its structure and flexibility allow the Valtech and DfT teams to manage, prioritise and respond to requests.
- Google Analytics and Metabase were used to gather and share a wide range of project metrics. Combined, they provided the wider teams with detailed feedback and analysis and the ability to drill down as required.
- One of the most effective initiatives was to use YouTube to deliver regular ‘show and tell’ sessions. These were a fundamental part of providing everyone with a rich, detailed understanding of the user research, iterations of the service design and gathering feedback. The ability to make this widely and readily available – both live and after the event – with the option to limit access was vital.
Effective collaboration was key to making sure everyone was aligned on what was important to our users as the service was developed and iterated. The result has been a step change in the user experience of the Blue Badge service. Digital take-up rates have increased from 37% to 80%, and processing time has reduced from 29 days to 19 days meaning that citizens receive their badges much more quickly. Additionally, user satisfaction has increased for both citizens (73%) and local authorities (78%), reflecting that the service is better meeting their needs.
To find out more about the Blue Badge transformation and how it was delivered, check out the Valtech Café podcast.