Weeknote #3 Customer Service Programme

This is a regular weeknote on the Customer Service Programme as we move through the delivery phase. The team will aim to keep you posted on achievements, progress, next steps and even highlight things we are worried about along the way. So please do read on to find out more!

Good things

Wow! Where has the time gone…there’s been a whirlwind of activity across the programme following kick-off on the 13th January, with team members onboarded, Sprint rituals (planning, cycles and retros), Discovery approaches and goals agreed, the first Governance Board held and User Research underway.

The programme has established three delivery teams:

  • Team 1: with a focus on business change, communications and engagement; the Engagers are currently working towards the Launch of the Customer Strategy; development of the Customer Charter principles and understanding what users want from a Customer Service Panel. Citizen engagement sessions have been held to help shape the look and feel of these artefacts and more sessions scheduled for further refinement.
  • Team 2: The Creators are leading the programmes’ Big Disco (discovery) to gather evidence-based insight to inform delivery. Made up of one-week sprints, the team is currently in Sprint 3 of a 7-Sprint Discovery phase. The agreed Discovery goal is ‘To understand the current customer experience by targeting high demand services accessed digitally and offline, in order to identify a model customer experience, based on best practice that will increase/improve satisfaction.’ Our User Researchers are recruiting participants, engaging with users and staff; and holding both telephone and face to face interviews. Based on data analysis from the Contact Centre, Complaints, Online and Brum Account the ‘Big Disco’ is focusing on Housing Repairs, Highways and Waste as the services with the highest volumes of customer contact.
  • Following a positive meeting with Paul Lankester (Head of City Operations) on the approach for Bereavement Services, Pest Control and Retail Markets; the Navigators (team 3), kicked off their initial delivery priority, with a 5-week Discovery to ‘Review the existing Bereavement Service to capture and understand the “As Is”, identifying pain points for staff and citizens. Construct a “to be” model service, surfacing opportunities to improve the staff and customer experience across all channels of contact.’


Although most of the team is now onboard, we’ve had to pull on the flexibility of the team to resource User Research activities across the three delivery teams. And, due to the timing of the discovery both School Admissions and the Benefits service have had to push back their engagement with the programme until later this year, so they can focus on business as usual.

What’s next

Engagers: Focussed user research to inform Launch of the Strategy, Charter and Panel; Launch Customer Service Strategy, Agree Comms and Engagement Plan.

Creators: Research activity across targeted areas, sharing progress along the way so we can potentially make small improvements in real time to add value to citizens as soon as possible whilst working on broader recommendations.

Navigators: User Researchers will prepare and get ready to conduct site visits, start interviewing staff from the Bereavement service to further help understand the current service as well as some funeral directors, who are the primary users of the booking service currently in place.

Discovery Phase Delivery Team
Nikki Spencer – Scrum Master
Geraldine Collins – Senior Product Owner
Sheraz Yaqub – Product Owner
June Marshall – Communications & Engagement
Richard Smith – User Research Coach
Hannah Pinnock – Design Coach
Sarah Greenaway – Content Designer
Sienna Bailey – Graduate Content Designer
Surita Solanki – Business Change Manager

Azim Akhtar – Scrum Master
Geraldine Collins – Senior Product Owner
Sheraz Yaqub – Product Owner
Richard Smith – User Research Coach
Hannah Pinnock – Design Coach
George Hanlon – UR Graduate
Al-Haarith Ali – UR Trainee
Nathan Thomas – Senior Business Analyst
Lili de Larratea – Service Designer
Lillian Ip-Koon – UX Designer
Vicki Rainbow – Web Content Officer

Pamela Kumari – Scrum Master
Geraldine Collins – Senior Product Owner
Sheraz Yaqub – Product Owner
Nathan Thomas – User Researcher
Richard Smith – User Research Coach
Surita Solanki – User Researcher
Bodrul Islam – Technical Solutions Architect
Hannah Pinnock – Design Coach
Lili de Larratea – Service Designer
Alison Fumagalli – Subject Matter Expert Lead, Bereavement Services
Bev Nash – Subject Matter Expert Lead, Bereavement Services

For more information, contact: [email protected] or email [email protected] to get involved.

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