We recently ran a property developer discovery workshop to get together property developer industry experts. Our aim was to help identify some of the big property development mapping, legal and process problems. We looked at what’s going well, current challenges and what could be improved with digital innovation, through the development of our new digital services.
We had attendees from user groups including property developers, conveyancers, utilities, local authorities, Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry.
The first part of the day was to identify any pain points in the user journey of a property transaction for a new build development. We ran a ‘retrospective’ exercise, which was an interactive session where each table raised things about processes that made them ‘glad’ (working well), ‘sad’ (needs improvement) or ‘mad’ (to stop doing). Thoughts were scribbled on post-it notes and stuck on the wall to discuss and group into themes. There were a number of themes that came out of the exercise, this included communication, data specification, linking data and MapSearch enhancement.
For the second half of the session, we discussed each theme as a large group and prioritised them in order of importance for making a difference to the process. We’ll use these to feed into improvement plans to be included in our business case – to start a phased agile approach to redesign our Property Developer Service.
It’s the first time most of the property developer experts have had the opportunity to join a cross-sector research session. We learnt much more about how our processes and other processes can impact both positively and negatively, for example on development progress and subsequent plot sales. We have had a positive response from those that attended:
Jayne Dempster, from Persimmon Plc said:
“I thought the day was very good. It was extremely useful to see issues from the side of the HM Land Registry and to have a forum to explain and express concerns that we encounter as an in-house legal department acting for a major developer.”
Marie Thirlwall, from Ordnance Survey, said:
“The general sentiment on our table was very positive as people were being listened to and felt able to share their views freely.”
James Brewin, from My Home Move said:
“An interesting and informative day, the first step towards a more unified Property Development process.”
Digital tools such as transparent and most current estate plan data and notification of data changes was the top idea from the group. We definitely worked together as a group rather than having competition between us all which was brilliant.
The next planned event will be a ‘hack day’ which will look at prototyping some of the ideas and user needs raised at the workshop.