Service Designer Marc Hébert speaks at Open Lab


Marc Hébert from the Innovation Office in the San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA) spoke to a crowd of around 50 people at the November Service Innovation OpenLab event.

Marc is a Design Anthropologist/ Service Designer and was formerly a Code for America fellow.  Marc hosted the D5 New Zealand Exchange Team at the HSA Innovation Lab in August, and made a return visit to New Zealand in November.

The HSA works with vulnerable populations, including the homeless, and Marc works with teams from periods of a day to over a year, across digital and non-digital spaces, with a focus on improving service delivery for the public and other government employees. Marc’s slides can be downloaded here.

Open Lab welcomed Service Designer Marc Hébert

The D5NZExchange team was thrilled to host Marc Hébert Director of the Innovation Office in the San Francisco Human Services Agency (HSA) at the November Service Innovation OpenLab event.

In his presentation, Marc described service design as an “organizing logic” composed of principles that guide his work as well as Human-Centered Design, Agile and Lean Startup methods that are iterative, experimental and measurable. He also discussed adapting Lean Process Improvement, behavioral economics, visual facilitation and results-based accountability in his practice. He shared lessons learned, and reflected on his approach within the context of service design in New Zealand.

The event attracted a larger-than-usual turnout for the Openlab including people interested in:

    • service design and innovation in government
    • designing and delivering services for vulnerable people
    • the Code for America approach, which brings technologists and designers into government for a period, to help build government's capacity to deliver effectively in a digital age.

The event came about after Marc found out about the Service Innovation Lab through our blogs and on Twitter. Conversation ensued and it was quickly apparent that we had lots we could share with each other  This led to Marc also hosting the @D5NZExchange team in August at his Innovation Hub. Marc's slides can be downloaded here.

Here’s what people said afterwards:

“What inspired me about Marc’s talk was the little points. Sharing where he gets his own inspiration from as well as snippets of success and wins he was having in the lab. I left thinking about all the ways I could apply this in my own work setting.” - M

“I wasn’t sure coming into the talk of what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and context of the talk. It was interesting to hear about ethnographic research from a researcher's perspective (I am too often given the perspectives of designers) and to see the outputs of a wide variety of projects. I would have loved to have seen a deeper dive into one example, exploring the processes used or some excerpts from interviews.” - S

“The comment around wasting your time if you’re in a 4-hour workshop and you’re not prototyping by the end of it, was really interesting and something I think we are guilty of. By extension, the role ‘pace’ plays in getting buy-in was also really interesting. Biggest take-away was an overall willingness from the organisations and leaders [that] Marc worked with to trust the process and embrace change.” - A

“I really enjoyed the talk, definitely keen to be kept in the loop of future ones. I really enjoyed Marc’s energy and insights – particularly his comments around government’s reliance on ‘best practice’. We do see time and time again this phrase thrown around and misappropriated to justify policy changes or implementations of initiatives (just because that thing worked in Scandinavia is not a strong enough argument that we should adopt it here in NZ). ‘Best practice’ is just a snapshot in time and place and should be validated in the context it is proposed to be adopted.”
It was also super cool that he took us through some really useful resources, and gave good analyses of them – would love to get my hands on his presentation!” - K

Coming to the Lab this week: Terence Eden, Open Standards Lead from the UK's Government Digital Services. 

OpenLab events are held every Friday. This Friday features Terence Eden, the Open Standards lead at the Government Digital Service. Please RSVP
to help us with planning, but if you happen to be free it’s fine to just drop by.

For information about the Service Designers network, contact Ben Briggs.

If you want to maintain links with Marc check out the San Francisco HSA Innovation Hub Tumblr or catch him on Twitter @anthromarc.

To stay in touch with the D5 Exchange team follow us on Twitter @D5NZExchange.

To read more about the work at the Service Innovation Lab, see previous blog posts on the Web Toolkit.


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