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Participate in Services Week 2020

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Events, Service design

A woman holding a phone while looking at posters for Services Week 2020. She looks at one poster saying ‘Check & contribute to the agenda’, which includes an internet address to the open agenda:

Government is working hard on making services work better for their users. Over the past few years, hundreds of services went through user-centred digital transformation and now meet our Service Standard. Thousands of user-centred design specialists are working alongside digital, policy, and operations professionals to make services less complex, easier to understand, and simpler to use.

Services Week is the UK government’s annual event series to celebrate what we have achieved so far and take a look at the work ahead of us. We started Services Week in 2019 and it has been a huge success. Last year, 20 government organisations ran more than 55 sessions in 10 different locations across the country.

Services Week 2020 will take place from 3 to 7 February and gets people from all parts of government to discuss how we can work together to deliver end-to-end, user-focused services.

The User-Centred Design Communities team at GDS is providing some resources, support and a framework for the week, but the agenda and all the events are organised by colleagues from many government organisations, including arm’s length bodies and local authorities.

Join sessions in person or remotely

Over 60 events have been added to the open schedule so far. In South Gloucestershire, Dorset and Westminster, you can join service design drop-in sessions. In Cambridgeshire, you can attend a workshop on the importance of solving the right problem. In Manchester, you can learn about prototyping services with paper and code.

If you work in the public sector, take a look at the growing agenda and find a session in your area that interests you.

Various people participating in service design training. Three young women in the front are collaborating on a task, using colourful sticky notes

Service design training has been immensely popular since we started offering it 2 years ago. During Services Week, you can join the 1-day ‘Introduction to service design’ in Blackpool and Gateshead. In London, we will run the new ‘Service mapping masterclass’.

Not everyone has the opportunity to travel or attend a full-day workshop. So there will be even more remote formats offered this year. Throughout the week, there will be a number of live-streamed sessions, which you can watch and listen to wherever you are.

The week will kick off on Monday morning with streamed short talks and a panel discussion between design directors: Katy Arnold (Home Office), Lou Downe (Homes England), Lynne Roberts (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Matt Edgar (NHS Digital).

Every day at midday, you will be able to watch a case study via Zoom. These include Mat Johnson from NHS Digital talking about NHS 111 Online and Silvia Grant from the Environment Agency presenting about her work on the flood warning service.

Other remote sessions include a conversation on the future of user research and virtual 15-minute service design clinic sessions offered by the GDS design community. Services Week will wrap up on Friday, 7 February, in the afternoon, with a streamed open show and tell from GDS.

The links to all remote sessions will be published via the UK government Slack and Local gov digital Slack.

Why people are taking part

We asked some of the people organising events during Services Week 2020 what they are doing and why they are getting involved. Here is what they said:

Mark O’Connor – Service Designer, HM Revenue & Customs

The North East digital economy is one of the fastest growing in the UK, so we are gathering together public and private sector organisations from the region to share practices, training and ways of working – all related to providing users with good services.

Our focus for Services Week will be on how we are working across departmental boundaries and how we can improve collaboration in providing user centric services. 

We have curated a rich diverse mix of sessions across the North East, from case studies and workshops, to training for service design and an introduction to agile ways of working. 

Laura Stevens and Charlotte Downs – Creative content producers, GDS 

We’re running a workshop to help people who have an idea for a blog post, but aren’t quite sure how to make it a reality.

Writing a blog post about your work helps to share knowledge and ways of working, shows your organisational culture, and connects you to other public servants. Participants will come away with the confidence to write a clearly structured blog post that answers their user needs.

Participants will write a structure for their blog post, think about different audiences, evaluate other attendees’ ideas and learn how blogging helps government.

With a new Services in government blog created, and the popular Design in government blog, as well as individual organisation blogs, there’s lots of opportunity for blogging to happen for anyone involved in services.

Laura Stevens and Charlotte Downs, Creative Content Producers at GDS sitting next to a female colleague sitting at a table, looking curiously at a screen

Take part

There’s still time to propose your own event for Services Week 2020. We have suggestions for formats you can run. You can add your event to the open agenda and promote it using the editable poster template. You can also print our prepared posters to let your colleagues know about what’s happening.

We have also prepared presentation slides you can build on to create your own presentations – both in a longer version and a shorter version.

And wherever you are, you can use and follow the hashtag #ServicesWeek on social media to share your experience and follow others.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us. If you are interested in this area, you can read more in the Services in government blog, where we will be posting regular updates from Services Week.

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  1. Comment by lainee goldman posted on

    Thank you so much for replying. I have been referencing your service toolkit for years, it is an amazing resource. I will check out the others. If your organization ever opens up your courses to the international community via online- please let me know. I would be happy to pay for the opportunity!


  2. Comment by Lainee Goldman posted on

    How can other governments or USA agencies access your amazing resources?

  3. Comment by Trish McDonough posted on

    We develop software for Central and Local Government and some of the sessions are relevant to us. Are the links to the remote sessions published anywhere other than the private Slack workspaces?