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Rethinking service delivery: Mid Devon District Council embraces digital transformation

Citizens today expect a frictionless digital experience that mirrors the customer service of the world’s largest brands. The clunky and frustrating interactions all too common when dealing with government agencies must come to an end.

Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) knows this as well as anyone. The council recently embarked on a bold initiative to transform how its residents interact with their government. They worked with Granicus Experience Group (GXG), Granicus’s digital agency that specialises in digital strategy and human-centred design, to redesign their digital services in a way that places residents at the heart of the experience.

“Like many local authorities, we saw cuts to our grants funding over the last few years, which sliced into our resources. Coming out of the pandemic, we knew we needed a shift that leveraged less traditional and more digital methods. We wanted to move away from reacting to become proactive in our customer engagements.”
Lisa Lewis, Mid Devon Council corporate manager for digital transformation

A pressing need for change

Like many local governments, MDDC faced challenges with its existing services before undergoing this transformation. The citizen experience varied significantly across different departments, creating confusion and frustration. Back-and-forth communication was commonplace, leading to delays and inefficiencies, and limited access and transparency in certain services hindered citizen engagement and trust.

Internal hurdles also existed. Complex and outdated back-office workflows created difficulties for council staff in managing cases and providing timely support. Recognising these limitations, MDDC sought a solution that would not only empower citizens but also optimise internal processes for dedicated staff.

The power of partnership and a human-centred approach

To address these challenges, MDDC partnered with GXG to engage residents in multiple ways, including surveys, focus groups, and interviews, to understand both their needs and pain points. Collaboration was key.

GXG worked closely with MDDC staff to co-create digital service blueprints that addressed user needs while simultaneously optimising internal workflows and improved employee morale. This end-to-end journey blueprinting process ensured every touchpoint, from initial customer action to service completion, was meticulously considered. Additionally, GXG helped MDDC adopt an agile methodology, allowing for continuous refinement based on user feedback and testing.

Building a robust foundation with govService

The newly designed services were built on Granicus’ govService platform, which offered several unique advantages, including:

  • Pre-built functionality: Streamlined development process through pre-built components for common functionalities like forms, workflows, and document management.
  • Seamless integrations: Easy integration with existing council systems, ensuring data flow and information accuracy.
  • Scalability and futureproofing: Ability to adapt and scale as future services need to evolve.

Collaboration for success

Throughout the project, GXG, MDDC, and the Granicus implementation team worked in harmony to ensure alignment on project goals and user needs, with regular communication and feedback loops keeping everyone informed. The Granicus implementation team provided technical expertise and support during the build and launch process, while GXG’s user-centred design principles were seamlessly integrated into the technical development and implementation.

By providing a full end to end design-led and build service Granicus was not only able to help Mid Devon with a strategy for success but also fast track their digital transformation journey, leap frogging their peers and bringing forward the efficiency and experience benefits of their new digital services.

Outcomes and impact

The project yielded significant results:

  • Enhanced user experience: Citizens now enjoy a streamlined and user-friendly journey across all online services.
  • Improved citizen satisfaction: Increased accessibility, transparency, and efficiency led to higher citizen satisfaction with council services.
  • Streamlined back-office processes: Optimised workflows and improved case management tools resulted in greater efficiency for council staff.
  • Enhanced staff productivity: Reduced administrative tasks and improved access to information freed up staff time for more rewarding and value added customer support.

A model for the future

The Mid Devon District Council and GXG partnership serves as a sterling example for local governments seeking to transform their digital services and create contemporary online experiences. The secret sauce? A deliberate blend of prioritising user needs, facilitating cross departmental collaboration, and leveraging Granicus’ understanding of transformational civic technology.

Together, this unique combination of digital service design and technical knowledge enabled MDDC to create a modern and efficient service delivery platform that benefits both citizens and staff. This project paves the way for continued improvement and innovation in council services, enabling MDDC to better serve their customers, communities and businesses.

What’s next for Mid Devon?

Mid Devon Council intend to keep the momentum going and will be turning their focus towards other services to see how the customer experience can be improved by Granicus solutions and human-centred digital service design.

“It’s a balance,” Lewis said. “We will look to do what our customers want whilst being conscious of our own internal resources to deliver those services effectively. If it’s something that has a high transaction rate but a low customer experience, then that’s where we will focus. It’s about improving the customer journey but also improving and decreasing contact points that slow service delivery.”

Ready to get started?

MDDC’s story is just one of many across government organisations around the world. Granicus works with public sector agencies of all size and can help transform your citizen engagement processes.

Explore further

For further details, explore the following resources: