A Day in the life of a Product Owner – part 2

This is the second snapshot into my world as a Product Owner. Read the first instalment.

Bereavement Services has many forms used internally and some are also customer/organisation facing, but all are downloadable forms, so we have taken the opportunity to understand how these are processed and the challenges in completing and processing them for both customers and our internal staff. There are also paid services which Bereavement Services offer all being processed manually and through invoicing. We have been reviewing these forms in terms of requirements, demand, product features required, size and complexity, and the value in digitalising them, ensuring that we get information and data right first time. That we have all the information needed to process the request.

This is a getty image showing the cover page of a bereavement guidance leaflet showing a person being comforted.
This is the cover page of a bereavement guidance leaflet

We have now identified 24 forms and will work with the service to review the “As Is” and “To Be” processes once they have been digitalised. In this session we will also look at the value and benefits of each form identified to inform the priority in which we will re-design them. It’s also important to review the technical landscape and how the digitalised forms will integrate with line of business systems, without thinking about solutions( we may need assistance from our colleagues who specialise in Robotic Process Automation).

In delivering our Customer Strategy the technology is an important factor in meeting the needs of our customers ensuring that we have the right channels supporting contact made by them. I have now met with the programme Technical Architect to review the initial analysis conducted by on the technology used to deliver our services and the channels available. As part of the wider review of technology within Digital and Customer Services we will be reviewing the technology stack being used to deliver customer service, defining some core principles, looking at what technologies are delivering contact, and if they align to our customer needs.

I have now started conversations around what the customer experience will look like from a technical perspective over the next four years, with some further deep dive thinking around low code, the future of existing content management Systems, customer relationship management systems, telephony, omni platforms, chat bots, data processing, communication tools, customer satisfaction applications and robotics. We will not only have a customer vision in delivering “the best in class services” but a technical vision also which aligns with what our council and customers’ future needs will be, this will support delivering the right product features but more importantly deliver these once and then re-use for other services who have the same needs.

Just as you think the day is over, the above was just the first half of the day, the afternoon consisted of working on the new content strategy and governance for content which are in final draft now ready for QA; and reviewing the testing of the strategy which is being applied as we review and improve the content for the top four service areas of the council.

This is an image showing the cycle of writing a content strategy. To first create, research, measure, promote, publish and optimise content.  To then continue the cycle again.
This is an image of a cyclical process of writing a content strategy

Staying with the importance of content, I have now asked for a plan which focuses on the re-design of content for the four services and the remaining services on www.birmingham.gov.uk so that we have a clear plan of what is being worked on and when, to ensure we have transparency and have the correct resources aligned from the Customer Service Programme, Web team and service area leads who will be owning the content in the future.

To finish off the day, a series of short quick blast meetings to get an overview on the progress on mapping of the current discovery opportunities to the “Gold Standard” customer experience, some conversation on the telephony & Intranet review ahead of going out to do some market testing, a catch up reviewing the successful phase 1 migration of Bereavement Services to the contact centre telephony platform so that we can start looking at data, volumes, call types and satisfaction levels but also moved to a one number solution across all telephony contact.

These were just some thoughts ahead of the Customer Service Programme away day where we’ll focus on what’s next for the coming next few years. I hope you’ve found reading about my work as a Product Owner interesting. Don’t hesitate in getting in touch if you have any questions.

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