Yesterday at the cross-government user research meetup, Jeremy Foot (HS2) and I gave a talk about the project we did at the beginning of the year.
Tom Brown and I came in to HS2 as consultants from Rainmaker; we led a user research project about how HS2 staff use technology. We found out about the nature of their work, and who they have to communicate with and how.
I’ve been at Rainmaker for three months now. Rainmaker is a consultancy that works primarily with government clients. They put a big emphasis on helping clients understand their user needs. I’m their first service designer associate.
The first project I did with Rainmaker was at HS2; I worked with a colleague Tom Brown who picked up user research skills very naturally and *gets* service design. I’ve just started a contract at BIS.
Tom and I gave a talk yesterday about service design and user research, and used the project at HS2 as an example. (More on the HS2 project another time.)
The feedback we got from the presentation was very positive: Rainmaker values align closely with service design principles, and there is an appetite for the service design mindset to be spread across Rainmaker projects.
Where does your work fit in to, or support, this process?
We asked Rainmakers to map how their individual skills and activities mapped on to a diagram of the service design process.
Delivery Managers, event organisers and CEOs mapped their activities in their own ways. They marked on with hearts where they particularly enjoyed the process.
I found this interesting as an exercise because it enabled non-service designers to begin to see their work through the lens of a service design process. It also enabled me as a new member of Rainmaker to better understand the skills and approaches of others, which can help me know how to work with them better.
We could do a similar exercise when a new project team is formed. We could ask for people to mark stars on skills they feel particularly good at, as well as hearts to show what they enjoy, and this could help us know how to best share out the work according to their skills, approach and interest.
Thanks to all the Rainmakers that participated!