Empowering Public Services

Do you have this sense that we struggle to realise why our public services don’t seem to work very well, and why we keep implementing change programmes every few years? Why some citizens seem to be having a more difficult time? And why costs of delivery are…

An important question for anyone involved in designing public sector services, and dealing with complexity, is how to we make sense of what we are attempting to understand?

This blog impresses me the most, because it represents the true picture of need, support, and local government. Does this account help…

This post is a case study from service design in the public sector


An example of what many think that designing a service is all about, that focuses on the customer experience and using Digital to enable and automate administration.

But what if we design the whole service workflow…

John Mortimer, 29 July 2020

Short versio of this article published in the MJ, 30 July 2020


In the short term we seem to be coping remarkably well, working from home using conferencing calls and laptops. But what about the long term? …

Local government response to COVID-19 is giving us a glimpse of a new way of delivering our public services. What can we learn from this, and make Working Smarter the new way of working?

We have all had to work differently, and to our surprise, it worked really well!

This write-up compares the current way that the public sector operates, with how we have rapidly redesigned ourselves to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. …

An example of the importance of understanding the nature of demand into a service, and ensuring that the variety expressed in the demand is reflected in the design — using Councils response to COVID-19.

Inial iterative design

There seem to be two general types of response to COVID-19 disruption to the publics lives, and both are reflections of different fundamental ways of thinking about the design of services:

The response where we create online tools to identify, learn about, and specify the required outcomes. These outcomes are…

The man in need

So, there was a guy wandering outside the closed building, and reading the various messages on the front door. Someone in reception said to themselves “Can’t he go away and call one of the numbers?”

I saw him and went out the back to talk to him. This guy, looked…

So, I was working to design services on day, and the next day all that was out of the window.

A council realised that they had to put together a response to COVID19. …

So, today the director came down to engage with the prototype team, as she usually does at 4:30 on a thursday. If its regular she puts it in her diary and only needs 30 minutes. I follow it up with a debrief after.

Normally senior managers expect reports. When I…

Where to start? This is my account of the work I am doing right now with a local authority in England, continuing on from last year. The brief is to last several months with an outline to focus on certain services, and assist with the Digital front end. …

John Mortimer

a real public sector service design blog. https://www.improconsult.co.uk/portfolio.html

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