NOT a Good Delivery Service

March 31, 2011

The DeliveryDemon has been looking at what’s involved in renewing a UK passport. Even getting the forms is a bureacratic nightmare.

  • Option 1 is the ‘online’ application. What happens? You enter your details online, the passport service prints them off and posts them to you second class, with an SLA of a week, although the claim is that forms are posted within 24 hours. You then sign the documents and post them back with additional paperwork, and the subsequent process is likely to take in excess of 4 weeks.
  • Option 2 is to collect a form from a post office offering the Check and Send service – not all post offices offer this, and it costs £8.17 on top of the passport price. This option is likely to take in excess of 6 weeks.
  • Option 3 is to request an application form online. That can take 5 working days to get to you, and you still have to get on to the month-plus paperwork trail.
  • Option 4 is to phone and ask for a form. Again it can take 5 days to get to you before you get into the application process.

If there’s less than 2 months before you need your passport, there’s a ‘faster’ service. You first have to get an appointment, then travel to one of only 6 regional offices – particularly bad news for anyone living in Inverness given the distribution. It can take 2 weeks just to get an appointment. And even though you may have to travel half way across the country, you must not turn up more then 10 minutes before the appointment time, in case queues makes it appear that the service can’t handle the demand.

Once you get the apppointment, you can choose between the Fast Track, 1 week, service or the Premium, 1 day, service. With the Fast Track service, you must be at home to sign for the passport a week later. With the Premium service, you have 4 hours to wait once your forms have been checked and the cashier has given you a receipt – or overnight if you haven’t been able to get a morning appointment in all but 1 of the regional centres.

In summary:

  • Online application – £77.50, 5 weeks
  • Check and Send – £85.67, 6 weeks and 2 trips to the post office
  • Normal post – £77.50, a week to get the forms, processing time unspecified and high risk of loss.
  • Fast Track – £112, a trip to a Check and Send post office or a week to get the forms by any other means, 2 weeks to get an appointment, a day to travel to the appointment, a week to wait, and a day at home waiting for the passport to be delivered.
  • Premium – £129, a trip to a Check and Send post office or a week to get the forms by any other means, 2 weeks to get an appointment, a day to travel to the appointment and potentially another day to pick up the passport if you can’t get an early enough appointment for same day collection.

The passport service are investing in sexy technology like phone apps and online tracking of progress. Just how much effort would it take to provide a basic online PDF application form which would deliver a full week’s benefit for most applicants? Priorities?

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Project / Programme Delivery and Service Delivery – Is There A Conflict?

June 1, 2009

(Shamelessly taken from a reply the DeliveryDemon provided to a question on LinkedIn)

Do you see a conflict?

The main interfaces with service delivery are:

  • When defining the scope of the project, acknowledge that there will be an impact on service delivery, and involve the stakeholders who can form a view of the impact and how it is likely to affect other priorities, and take decisions.
  • During the design / delivery / test stages of a project, identify and involve the service delivery stakeholders needed to provide input / carry out activities / test.
  •  As part of dependency management, identify dependencies / resource conflicts with other projects also impacting service delivery, establish a suitable level of communication with them.
  •  For transition to business as usual, allow for testing and business change within the service delivery function.

All of the above are down to planning and communication and should not be a significant source of conflict if well managed.

There is only ONE intrinsic and irresolvable conflict between programmes / projects and service delivery. Service delivery is there to deliver a service and that is their first priority. In the event of a serious incident, restoring the service has first priority.

In the event of a serious incident, all the programme / project manager can do is:

  • Keep tabs on the incident resolution without hassling those at the sharp end.
  • Make use where possible of resource not involved in the incident, provided their workload has not increased to cover colleagues dealing with the incident.
  • Carry out an impact analysis, work on a contingency plan and implement it.
  • Keep the project / programme stakeholders informed.
  • Escalate only in the event that it is likely senior management will give the project priority over the service.
  • Keep the morale of the team up when they can’t make progress.
  • When the pressure lifts, get in there with the key stakeholders to ensure that the programme / project gets appropriate priority as the pressure comes off.

Delivering According to Priorities

March 30, 2009

It’s a good thing to do away with discrimination in the job market, more so during an economic downturn when the sheer volume of jobseekers gives the recruiter so many adequately qualified people to choose from that discrimination in individual cases becomes virtually impossible to prove. So, with the ever increasing number of jobseekers in the UK it might seem like a good time to ensure that none of those millions qualified candidate is denied a job on the basis of, say, religion or gender.

But why, oh why, has the government given priority and Parliamentary time to THIS http://tinyurl.com/c8hf46 , a single job opportunity which becomes available only a handful of times a century, when there’s a crying need to deal with the pressing economic conditions hitting MILLIONS of jobs at the moment?