Working groups

Working groups

To sign-up for a working group, please complete this short form.

Since joining the WLGA in February, I have spoken to hundreds of local government officers and officials. Some common challenges and themes come up time and time again.

So, instead of talking about these some more, I thought we could solve some of them.

Starting in September, we will be hosting working groups to help tackle some of the common challenges. We have heard these challenges from talking to various groups, teams, panels, and boards in Wales. 

The idea of working groups

It is incredibly rare for a single team, profession, or group to solve a problem in isolation. 

It takes multiple perspectives and collaboration to come up with something that works. 

My idea for these working groups is to build multidisciplinary teams from across local authorities in Wales to share views, ideas and insights into the problem. We will do so in a safe space to help work towards solving the problem or, at the very least, share why we can’t solve it right now. 

A safe space is vital.

It is essential that everyone involved feels confident enough to share their ideas and perspectives while also being curious and open to others views and challenges. 

I have heard over and over that progress in local authorities has barriers or blockers. Sometimes those can be related to policy, finance, technology, or skills. And sometimes it can be a barrier, and that it is too hard to get all the people who need to work together, to work together. 

This is where these working groups will (hopefully) offer something different. 

We want to bring people together to help to solve some of these challenges, so we invite anyone with an interest or experience in the topic to sign up. 

Get involved with the working groups 

We’ve come up with a shortlist of topics to start within September.

Each working group will be made up of officers from different local authorities across Wales, with different perspectives and likely from other teams and service areas. 

Each working group will work for a maximum of 12 weeks, with each participant dedicating 2 hours per week to the group. 

Each group will investigate a problem and test ideas on these problems to deliver outcomes that they can share and implement in their local authorities.

We’ll adapt the design sprint methodology in each working group, first adopted by Google. You can find more about design sprints on the Design Sprint Academy website.

A member of the Welsh Local Government Digital team will facilitate each session and coach the virtual teams.

A breakdown of each week for all working groups:

Week 1: Team introductions, ways of working and defining the problem

Week 2: Framing session and gathering user insights and data 

Week 3: Lightning talks and defining measurements for success 

Week 4: Solutions sketching

Week 5: A peer review and critique of the solutions 

Week 6/7/8: Prototyping and iterations

Week 9: Feedback from stakeholders and users

Week 10/11: Responding to user feedback and iterating the prototype

Week 12: Show and tell

Each week, a one-hour workshop will match the framework above, with up to an hour’s work to complete outside of the group sessions.

Working groups

DDaT roles

The Government Digital Service has a framework for digital, design, data and technology teams.

This has not been widely adopted in Welsh local authorities for many reasons, including costs, recruitment challenges, and workloads, to name a few.

The outcome for this working group is to recommend a target operating model for DDaT roles within Welsh local authorities.  

Service design in LAs

This group will look at how we can introduce service design into Welsh local authorities, understanding services end-to-end, from a user perspective.

Service design for missed bin collections

This group will review processes for reporting a missed bin collection and conduct user research to understand the requirements and pain points for residents using this service. 

Efficiency opportunities in customer services

This group will work with the customer services group, Customer Focus Wales, to review processes for customer contact and opportunities for increased efficiency.

Blue badge review

This group will do an end-to-end review and critique of the blue badge service, with an audit of similarities and differences in each LA.

They’ll also collect and consider user needs and integration with other services. 

Wet signatures

This group will explore what services need wet signatures and understand/document their requirements.

Following this, the group will explore alternatives against these requirements and present novel solutions for Welsh LAs.

Entry points

This project looks at contact or entry points into local authority. It assesses this against user insights and user feedback. 

The outcome of this working group is an answer to the question:

How many ways can I contact my local authority, and which method is best for me?

Shared principles and performance indicators

Currently, there are no shared principles or ways to measure customer satisfaction across Wales. Put simply, we don’t have a set of standards that our citizens and we can recognise. This makes it challenging for us to show satisfaction and improvement, which often translates into ‘value’ for our citizens.

This group will look at this and define ways to measure service delivery with some agreed standards and principles. 

Dates and times of the working groups

Each session will run weekly, for a maximum of 12 weeks, starting the week of 20 September and finishing by 6 December 2021. 

  • DDaT Roles
    Monday, 10am-11am
  • Entry points
    Monday, 11am-12pm
  • Shared principles and performance indicators for customer satisfaction
    Monday, 3pm-4pm
  • Efficiency opportunities in customer services
    Monday, 4pm-5pm
  • Wet signatures 
    Tuesday, 10am-11am
  • Service Design in LAs
    Tuesday, 11am-12pm
  • Blue badge review (a service design approach)
    Tuesday, 3pm-4pm
  • Service design for missed bin collections
    Tuesday, 4pm-5pm

Week 12 (the show and tell sessions) may run outside of these times. 

To sign-up for a working group, please complete this short form.

This hasn’t been done before, and it is our first time trying this, but we hope that these will lead to more outcome-focused teams coming together from different local authorities, departments, and backgrounds 

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