ePDR is an internal application designed and built in-house by NHS Lancashire Care. The product allows all NHS Lancashire staff to record, track and analyse their work related objectives for the financial year. This is a story describing my work process.
NHS Lancashire Care staff is over 7000 employees. One of the major tasks for HR Department is to keep developing skills among the staff. They do it by setting up objectives and completing them during the year.
Until now NHS has used a complicated Personal Development Review system which had been translated from paper into a digital version. This system was outdated and complicated to use. HR department needed a new sleek and modern PDR system which would make the objective recording and managing process quicker and easier. They needed a completely new product.
I got involved in this project as a new NHS employee. My role was to understand the current system, analyse its drawbacks, and to provide a new solution.
I was working as a part of the team including project manager, quality assurance officers, although I was the only one designer of the product.
The biggest challenge was to translate the old clunky system into the modern application. This would have to suit the whole spectrum of personas. I had to design the application having in mind various levels of staff computer literacy, their background and professions.
We had a limit of 3 months to deliver the application. The reason was the beginning of the tax year coming soon. The obligation was to make the new ePDR system wholly working for the 1st day of the new tax year.
The new ePDR had to include certain parts/questions provided by NHS England.
Requirement was to build the application around the Trust Values and Strategic Priorities
I have defined various types of personas during a research phase:
- IT literate medical studentMiddle age experienced staff nurseMedical Consultant and his personal assistantAdministration officerCleanerCorporate based manager
- Their level of computer and software experience vary depending on age, sex, social group, profession and ethnicity.
Due to limited time and work hands I had to speed up the research and analyse phases and jump into the initial design as soon as possible. Stakeholders decided to go for a Minimum Viable Product. This way we were able to deliver it on time. Then, after collecting feedback from users, we would develop it further in the next sprints.
After I understood the process of data collection within the existing PDR system I have created personas to define red routes and design limitations. At this stage I decided to use the framework created for another NHS in-house application designed by me - The Revalidation - to keep consistency among all products.
I have used UXPin application to design low fidelity and high fidelity prototypes and test them accordingly.
At this stage we discovered additional drawbacks:
- NHS yellow colour doesn’t work well on the screenSimplification of login systemWe needed to design of the new branding for the softwareThe review process had to be rethought
Developers delivered the application in phases. Thanks to that we could perform user testing. During that phase, we discovered many bugs and we were able to deal with them before the final launch of the product.
The new ePDR system was introduced in the NHS Lancashire Care on the 6th of April 2016 allowing staff to record their objectives with the tax year beginning.
The response was extremely positive. Staff applauded new design and together confirmed that the new ePDR allow them to record and manage their objectives much easier and quicker.
After the release, HR department agreed to discuss the further development needs of the software, which will have a place later this year.