First West Credit Union is the fifth largest credit union in Canada, operating four distinct brands, and driven by a passionate care for their local community. First West’s IT service team had just gone through a large reorganization and merger when they reached out to Domain7. A new season was dawning, and with it, an opportunity to ask questions about process, workflow and team norms. It was an ideal moment for a service design process.
Streamlining a help desk with service design
The engagement started at the executive level, to understand organizational priorities. This helped create a rough outline of the story the First West team was living: where they were trying to go, what their starting point was, and what hopes and challenges they had been encountering along the way.
Recognizing the value and wisdom that is available from the folks on the front-line, we relied on a bottom-up perspective to determine how to get to our shared goal. These individuals drove our solutions and our process from day one, not just as subject matter experts, but also as designers within our process.
Although our intent was to redesign and improve the service delivery of IT support, we also ensured that we created room for conversation and interaction between the IT team and their “customers”—such as branch managers and staff—who rely on IT to ensure that mission-critical systems are always in the green.
This exploration took place through conversations, field studies and observations, and through participatory design sessions where everyone on these teams had a direct hand in crafting outcomes and solutions.
We often find that this intentional, interdisciplinary interaction is a "first" for most organizations. It becomes a refreshing experience to get in a room together to hash out problems in a facilitated and mediated manner. Participants gain a new sense of empathy, connection and respect for each other and the challenges they respectively face. This was certainly true for First West.
Mapping the future of service
Domain7’s design leaders visualized the organization’s current state in the form of two service design blueprints. These wall-sized process maps showed the specific workflows involved in two key processes within First West. For each one, it showcased the points of interaction between customers, front-line support staff, and back-stage processes.
Using the blueprints, Domain7 facilitated a well-architected process in which the team identified, assessed, and prioritized gaps and opportunities. From there we worked together to identified themes and make decisions. All of this work informed a final roadmap, creating a clear path forward for First West to streamline their service.
Serious about the shift
The final roadmap stretched from immediate actions through to longer-term strategic shifts, giving the organization a framework to create real change. First West Credit Union demonstrated the readiness to meaningfully transform, and leveraged service design to significantly shift the way they work.
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