Bringing our digital strategy to life

11 January 2022

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) are working in partnership on NRW’s first piece of user centred, Agile service design.  

NRW’s product lead Alex Harris, explains: 

Taking direction from the Digital Strategy for Wales, NRW’s new digital strategy focuses on designing and delivering services around the needs of those who use them. 

Working with the CDPS, we will use our hazardous waste service as ‘a demonstrator project’, and we hope to learn lots from this. 

Hazardous Waste Service 

This service has been in operation for many years and has not had a review on how it meets the needs of the people who are required to use it. 

If you didn’t know already, organisations or individuals who handle hazardous waste in Wales are required to interact with us: 

A consignment returns form needs to be completed to inform NRW about the waste that has been received, removed, or disposed of at a site. This is a compulsory requirement of the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, which means companies are breaking the law if they don’t complete this. 

The returns generate an income which provides NRW with revenue to regulate hazardous waste activities.  

What’s the problem? 

During this discovery phase we are focussing on: 

‘Our users struggle to know what they need to tell us and how to carry out tasks that are needed to meet their regulatory requirements, leading to an increased support burden for NRW staff. 

We need to understand the end-to-end journey for our users and identify the areas where we can make it much simpler and easier.’ 

Ways of working 

Starting this project with a discovery phase is a new way of working for us. It means that we don’t start with a solution, but instead spend time really understanding the needs of those who use the service by carrying out user research. 

It is essential that those who use this service are involved from the start of the process. They will be paramount to the success of any solution, whether there is a digital element or not. 

At the end of discovery, we aim to have a clear understanding of the needs of the organisations or individuals who interact with this service.   

What next?

The project started on November 22 and will last for 12 weeks. We’re already conducting research with both external and internal users of the hazardous waste service, and we will continue to blog throughout to share our learning. 

Blog post by: Alex Harris, Product Lead 

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