In 2016, South Kesteven District Council joined our Design in the Public Sector programme, funded by the Local Government Association. The programme provides training to public sector staff on the application of design approaches to tackling complex challenges.

Through five one-day workshop sessions held over a 16-week period, the team were facilitated through our structured design process, Design Council's Framework for Innovation. Alongside their peers from other local authorities in the East Midlands, this helped them to collaboratively explore and ‘reframe’ the challenge they need to tackle, conduct research with users and stakeholders, and identify opportunities for new solutions.

In these videos, members of the team from South Kesteven District Council discuss their motivations for joining the programme; how it helped them to ‘reframe’ their challenge; what they learnt about research methods and prototyping and how they have put design approaches at the heart of all the organisation’s work.

Video 1 – Motivation for joining the programme

In this first video, Lee Sirdifield, Paul Thomas and Tracey Blackwell discuss why they applied for the Design in the Public programme.

Video 2 – Reframing the challenge

Next, Paul, Tracey and Lee explain how the original housing challenge they started the programme with developed into something wider, as they realised that housing supply couldn’t be tackled without consideration of the wider economic development of South Kesteven.

Video 3 – Research methods and prototyping

Through the Design in the Public Sector programme, public sector staff are taught about research methods and prototyping. In this video, Paul and Tracey explain how they are combining qualitative research methods and prototyping into their existing data systems.

Video 4 – Using the tools to tackle other challenges

In this video, Lee, Paul and Tracey explain how they have used the tools and methods they learnt on the programme to tackle a variety of different organisational challenges, including redesigning council tax forms, engaging with residents and businesses, making staff conferences more engaging and changing the way projects are planned.

Video 5 – Successes

In this final video, Lee, Paul and Tracey outline the success they have had in embedding the use of design into the wider organisation and the positive impact this has had.

Find out more

Since 2014, Design Council has supported 54 teams from local authorities and other public sector organisations. The programme has been run in nine regional cohorts (funded by LGA since cohort five) with a tenth cohort, comprising 13 teams, in progress at the time of writing. This will bring the total number of teams supported to 67 by the end of May 2018.

To find out more about the programme, download our report ‘Lessons from applying design approaches in the public sector’.

For more information about the programme, visit the Design in the Public Sector page.

Credits

Interviewees:

Tracey Blackwell – Strategic Director, South Kesteven District Council

Paul Thomas – Assistant Director for Growth and Development, South Kesteven District Council

Lee Sirdifield – Assistant Chief Executive, South Kesteven District Council

Production:

Film by Revealing Reality

Edits by Hiten Kamari Popat

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