Man with hard hat and building plans looking at a building

East Sussex Building Control Process Review

Wealden District Council asked SDS to support them in a review of the East Sussex Building Control Partnership’s business processes. The aim of the project was to explore ways to enhance customer experience and improve efficiency.

SDS facilitated two process capture workshops with the Building Control teams. The teams participated remotely through MS Teams. We used Process Mapping Software to capture the processes associated with the most common customer tasks of:

  • Submitting a new application (by post, by email, via the portal)
  • Making a payment (online, by telephone)
  • Requesting a site inspection (online, by telephone)

We reviewed the processes we had captured to identify the pain points. Then we held a third workshop with the teams to explore potential opportunities for improvements.

Our report set out our overall recommendations to:

  1. Reduce complexity and simplify the application process by identifying the ideal user journey. Then focus on this journey as the preferred method of application for the common case – the easiest for the customer and the most efficient for the council.
  2. Review the order of the process so that each step takes place at the most logical moment, reducing the need for rekeying or unnecessary customer contact.
  3. Take advantage of system functionality to improve the process, by implementing automated workflow, improving online payments and automating payment reconciliations.

The report included suggestions for the ideal user journey and outlined ways to implement these recommendations.

Ideal User Journey Diagram showing submission via the building portal, workflow, payment and validation.

Wealden District Council’s Digital Programme Manager said:

‘The report will be used to develop a vision for the service, help us make some decisions and how we proceed and then action the appropriate recommendations.’

Following this project Wealden District Council asked us to carry out a similar review of the application registration and validation processes within the planning service.

If you would like any more information on this project or the Planning Process Review project please get in touch.