Project: Advanced Freight Targeting Capability Project, Border Force UK, Home Office
When: July 2015 to September 2015
Where: Home Office
Border Force UK is responsible for keeping Britain’s borders secure and preventing illegal goods from entering the country.
This is a huge challenge given the volume of goods that enter the UK every day.
Border Force wanted a new digital system that would improve their ability to target illegal goods across all modes of transport from air to sea.
The challenge was identifying what this digital solution should be.
Business process visualisation
Actions I took
Working with another user researcher and a team of BAs, I did a gap analysis of our knowledge of the business process across the different modes of Border Force.
It was clear that we had very limited knowledge of some of modes, nevertheless we knew enough to put forward hypotheses of common business processes across all modes. I created posters that visualized these processes and then ran workshops with our Border Force contacts to get feedback.
To further test our hypotheses, my user research colleague and I visited a number of Border Force offices. We interviewed front line staff and observed their processes.
This contextual research helped us in a number of ways; we were able to validate our hypotheses, we identified key differences between modes, we learned about new processes and systems that officers used to supplement existing systems.
I communicated these finds by iterating on my initial posters, adding further detail of commonalities and highlighting differences among modes.
I also developed experiences maps for each mode, highlighting pain points and noting supplementary processes and systems.
Through my research I was able to identify common business processes across all Border Force modes. This knowledge enabled the project team to confidently recommend a solution that would benefit all modes. Border Force accepted this recommendation and the project was able to move out of its Discovery phase.