In 2019/20 Jessica Chan, Business Development Manager at Shelter Scotland took a Professional Development Award in Service Design alongside five other Shelter Scotland colleagues.

We spoke to Jessica to find out the impact that their programme of learning, funded by FWDF had on her, and the business.

Why Service Design?

“Shelter has an ambitious new strategy and we need to ensure we have the right skills and capacity to deliver our strategic ambitions. We were keen to use Service Design to find new and better ways of working, introducing a shared language and tools across teams so we could work together to innovate. We have started to embed the service design mindset, we now talk about discovery phases, better defining problems through user research, involving the right people to develop, test and implement solutions. It’s a process that develops ideas really well and means that different teams can work together in the same way”

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What did you get from the course?

“I enjoyed learning and using the tools back at work, running workshops on live projects. It gave me the chance to think through and try out new ideas. Because the Service Design Academy’s PDA has an assessment for every unit, it means that we were always putting our learning into action.

It’s hard work and takes time, lots of planning and energy – you are under pressure to complete assessments. You are rewarded with better ways of working and delivering new services. It’s a course I really enjoyed

What impact has the programme had on the business?

“At Shelter, user research can be challenging because it’s not always appropriate to ask our clients to get involved when they are in a housing crisis. Service design has helped us think differently about who we should speak to when designing services to ensure insight of clients is captured, such as volunteers with lived experience, our advisors and other frontline workers from partner agencies.

Taking a service design approach has helped us understand the needs of our client groups that use our different services more deeply. It means that we can design better services to successfully secure funding.  Thinking in different ways and hearing different voices has brought a positive impact to how our services are designed.”

How does online training work for you?

“It’s fantastic how we could collaborate in the virtual world. It has made remote working easier and I’ve learned how to facilitate group working at Shelter online.”

What’s the FWDF application process like?

“Making a FWDF application is very straightforward. The D&A college team were super helpful in getting our funding approved and our Service Design training arranged. We look forward to using the FWDF again in 2021. A specially developed programme by the Service Design Academy will introduce service design to more teams across Shelter Scotland and develop another cohort of service design champions.”

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Caron Sandeman, Service Design Manager at the Service Design Academy reflected on the process

“This type of learning is exactly what the FWDF money has been designed for. The aim of the fund is to provide eligible employers with workforce development training to up-skill and re-skill their existing workforce. This training enables employers to address skills gaps within their workforce and allow them to become more productive and efficient.

Last year, Shelter Scotland chose to have 6 of their team complete the Professional Development Award in Service Design. This meant the staff gained an accredited qualification and worked on business -related projects putting their learning to use straight away in the workplace. This year we will work with them to co-design the training they need, for the context of their organisation, to upskill and embed service design across the teams.

2021 will be a year of rebuilding from one of the most horrific times in modern history, organisations must re-imagine, re-think and re-design everything that has gone before. This applies to almost every economic sector from transport, health, media/digitisation, communities and city planning, communication, banks, insurance, food and shopping, to name but a few. The work of service design is to create a future that doesn’t exist yet and the availability of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (£15,000 for Scottish Levy Payers and £5,000 for SME’s) means organisations can access support to grow a community of change makers to create better services and customer experiences to aid post-Covid recovery and increase their resilience for the future.”

If you are interested in accessing FWDF monies for service design training, get in touch.