Bath and North East Somerset Council

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

Building Regulations Approval

Building Control Applications are submitted to the Council through a variety of channels.  A discovery project, working with the team to better understand the service was carried out recently.  This proved some long held assumptions around root cause of inefficiencies and highlighted overly complex aspects of the process from a homeowner’s perspective.

The next phase of the project is to take the first iteration of an application form prototype forward.  The longer term aims being to encourage applicants to use this as the primary channel with simplified fees and payment being taken up front.  In addition to improvements to the user experience, there are opportunities to automate data flow to line of business systems to reduce manual steps and duplication of effort.

We want to carry out an Alpha project to

  • Further define and contribute to a re-usable pattern and process for Regulations approval applications
  • Further develop prototype form and pay process
  • Carry out further usability testing and user research

Discovery evidence

We jointly carried out a Discovery project with a partner, Futuregov.  Working with our Building Control Team we:

  • Shadowed the Admin Team taking and processing applications over the phone
  • Carried out user research with homeowners, agents (architects, builders)
  • Created a user journey map, highlighting pain points for the customer and Admin Team
  • Carried out desk research on Line of Business system integration, Payment methods, fee calculators
  • Gathered and analysed data around application volumes, types, channels etc.
  • Carried out co-design session with members of the wider service.
  • Created prototype application form focused on homeowners and high volume ‘work type’
  • Carried out initial user testing with lo fidelity prototype, applying incremental changes to simplify wording, terminology and improve flow
  • Introduction to user research
  • Introduction to service design
  • Introduction to delivery management

Other training requests

In addition to the above selections, some further Agile coaching would help us to improve and refine how we run our Agile projects within the team (on-site would be our preferred option for this – as a follow up to GDS Academy Agile for Teams training which was delivered on site for us Dec ‘17).