Our approach to service review begins with gaining a thorough understanding of the service, team
and nuances. We use a customer-centric review to examine the user experience and
opportunities for innovation. Prioritisation of service delivery activities will provide analyses to
debate the tough questions on where to prioritise investment/budgets and a business process
review identifies opportunities for cost saving and service improvement. Finally, a review of spans
and layers identifies areas where team size and management layers can be rationalised.
Findings and recommendations are captured in an actionable roadmap. More details on how we
review service functions are set out below:
We would initially meet the senior management team to discuss and agree the review approach and to understand the aims/outcomes of the service in scope, sustainability aims, wider context and any sensitivities. This stage would involve a review of current documentation, in particular analysis of budgets and costs, volumes, patterns of service use, user complaints and comments, regional coverage, good practice examples, etc.
User-Centric Customer Mapping
We propose reviewing the customer (or user) experience(s) of the service to identify the service life-
cycle, i.e. how the service is discovered, commissioned, used, and ended – working from a user
perspective to develop a picture of the user journey and user experience. We map service delivery
functions to the user journeys to identify gaps, duplication, and areas of under- and over-delivery,
understand pressure points, and identify opportunities for innovative delivery approaches and digital
We create a segmentation of users to determine how the journey differs for higher-need users compared with those who may be more able to self-serve – in this way we consider differentiating service delivery functions to efficiently meet user need. We aim to use existing data where available, or we facilitate user-journey mapping workshops with the service delivery teams.
This stage assesses how all activities/resources are aligned to deliver the service aims and outcomes.
Using WCL’s Portfolio Prioritisation process, we produce a prioritised list of activities, identifying high- and low-impact activities and modelling these against various financial scenarios to identify activities that might be stopped, re-purposed or may be better delivered by a partner organisation.
Our process has been successfully used in several Government departments and Local Authorities to ‘shine a light’ on how budgets are allocated to strategic aims, and to identify activity with lower strategic value that can be stopped or re-purposed.
Business Process Review of High-Value Functions
We use high-level business process reviews to highlight errors, wastage, delays and identify performance metrics for service delivery. Reviews often identify repetitive or low-skill tasks that can be considered for automation or that may be better delivered by a partner.
We use this process to identify efficiency savings and to improve team morale from refocused collective endeavour and from fewer error rates and re-work.
We review existing (or define new) management dashboards to monitor performance and management metrics, allowing rapid identification, and resolution of issues and to set a benchmark to drive a continuous improvement culture and celebrate successes.
Importantly, our approach to business process review workshops provides an opportunity to involve
key individuals in redesigning processes and in identifying performance and health metrics,
therefore increasing awareness of any changes needed. Where available we use existing
data to conduct this analysis and augment this with team sessions as required.
Spans and Layers review
In the light of user mapping and the business process reviews, we conduct an analysis of
service team roles to categorise the current role types (e.g. strategic, coaching, coordinating,
operational etc) in order to determine the optimal number of direct reports to optimise team sizes
and make the best use of leaders’ and managers’ time. At the same time, an analysis of delegated
authorities and decision-making levels provides data to inform decisions on the optimal number of
management layers that minimise overlap and duplication, and simplify decision making processes.
Recommendations and Road-mapping
We feedback and discuss our findings and recommendations in management workshop(s) to
ensure we are aligned with organisation and that the recommendations are jointly authored with the
organisation’s leaders. We recommend developing a roadmap with the implementation team to set
out the changes needed to implement the agreed recommendations and achieve the sustainability
In practice, the stages of this review might overlap or occur in a different order to fit within required
To find out more about how WCL's Service Skills can help you and your organisation please contact us.