Discovery phase

Duration: 8-weeks (January - March 2019)

The project team began the project with a discovery phase, aligned with the GDS Service Standard, to explore the problem space and identify the needs of planning officers and planning managers.

Activities completed across the discovery phase included:

User research — carrying out contextual face-to-face interviews, shadowing planning officers using existing back-office systems, user journey mapping, user story formation and defining emerging design principles

Technical exploration — tracking data through the current planning application systems and processes, and investigating emerging data standards across other related systems and projects

Business case definition — exploring cost per application type across different councils and identifying opportunities based on time spent per application per team

Concept creation — facilitating co-design workshops with planning officers, creating a series of concept prototypes based on emerging user research, and testing concepts across London and non-London council teams to gather feedback

The team engaged with:

  • 7 x London borough councils (Southwark, Hackney, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Lambeth and Islington)
  • 1 x Metropolitan district council (Leeds)
  • 2 x other councils (Canterbury and Huntingdonshire)

See the full discovery report here.

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A user-centred Back-office Planning System (BoPS) for local authorities

BoPS is a collaborative local authority project, funded by the DLUHC Local Digital Fund and led by Buckinghamshire Council & Partners.

  1. About the project
  2. Project background
  3. Our approach
  4. User research
  5. Discovery phase
  6. Alpha phase
  7. Beta phase
  8. Weeknotes and sprint notes
  9. Accessibility

If you are part of a local authority team or an interested party and would like to find out more about contributing, collaborating and/or our approach, please get in touch:

Register your interest HERE

Project contact

Kevin Buckthorpe, Buckinghamshire Council

Project partners

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