Weeknotes – series 02 episode 01

This was my first week back after Christmas and my first week on the Census cross-service team.

I was weirdly nervous because I didn’t know where I was meant to sit, but it turns out that nearly everyone was moving desk. The whole Survey Data Collection department was being reorganised as it gets ready for the Census test later this year.

Resisting the move

I’ve been resistant to moving teams, and one of the reasons is because the job feels so different (new room, new team, new products, new manager) and it didn’t really come with any of the usually exciting aspects associated with a new job. I guess I’m going to have to bake my own welcome-to-the-team cake?

Focus on something

I decided to focus on trying to identify all the channels that a person might experience when using the Census. A simple user journey could include all of these, and more:

  • marketing campaigns
  • paper letter
  • people calling at the door
  • a big fat online survey
  • email reminders
  • call centres

Service design fun

I was slowly getting over myself and realising that this is a very interesting and complicated service journey to help design. There are of course many complex behind-the-scenes things that need to happen to keep this running smoothly, not to mention the challenge of processing and using the resulting data effectively.

My plan over the next few days and weeks is to:

  • meet the wider team
  • understand the different products
  • draw up a service blueprint
  • map out the stakeholders
  • perform a service walkthrough
  • identify gaps

I’m going to really miss my old team in Digital Publishing and the wider data publishing community, but I'm focusing on the positives of working over here*. I get to:

  • help improve a service that will be used by everyone in the country
  • work across several multidisciplinary product teams
  • learn about another bit of statistics (how survey data is collected)

Apart from helping the Census, there is real work to be done to help improve the design community here at ONS and I think that being able to hang out with a different team should give me a more rounded view of things.

*in reality my new desk is about a 1 minute walk away from my old one.