Strategy & Experience Direction

Mapping a service

Money Claims service map with research findings

Money Claims service map with research findings

Mapping a Service

Sometimes it can be a challenge to understand how services really work. In 2014 at Ministry of Justice Digital I worked to investigate how through mapping we could better understand services and identify new opportunities.

One of the big challenges we faced was a real gap in understanding about how services actually functioned, along with very little material that helped the organisation make more informed decisions. As a strategic design director I worked across a number of services and teams to lead how we solved this challenge.

Legal processes, service data, technology, staff and customer journeys were used to identify the full service. They were then mapped into easy to read service maps, depicting a process that had never been visualised or completely understood even to the people who use and work with it everyday. 

Civil Justice service maps

Civil Justice service maps

Traffic Offences service map (Manchester)

Traffic Offences service map (Manchester)

Getting started

The process began to get a better understanding of 'scope' for the Civil Claims Exemplar, but expanded into all civil justice services. Becoming a fantastic tool for explaining experience, costs, risks and savings opportunities to stakeholders at all levels. I then moved into other services including traffic offences and collaborated with other services across GDS.

If you fancy getting a better idea of the process read my service mapping blog post.

Tell me more

The service maps were created though interviews and workshops with specialists in the courts, policy, police and charities to understand better both the formal and informal procedure that people go through. They represented how services were at the time rather than a vision for the future. We added user research findings, service data and finally cost to help determine the best choices for our next projects.

A digital mapping tool

One of the challenges I found with the analog mapping process is that someone still has to draw the maps. I wanted to create a way that those doing the research could make a map regardless of their drawing and design capabilities. How could we map many services in a united and user friendly way department wide?

Service mapper was born out of the collaboration with developer James Darling who was tackling the challenge of a tool for mapping systems. We decided that these were interconnected so working together we created a functioning prototype tool that combined both systems and their users.