Skip to content
Stephen Mcdonald


Job title: Service Design Manager

Area of work: Digital Transformation Team

I started at Devon County Council in June 2019. Previous to this I worked for a private company in Bristol as a Service Design Manager and had a 3 ½ hour commute. I was seeking a fresh challenge and wanted a better quality of life. The Service Design Manager role is a very unique role so when I saw one come up at Devon County Council, I was keen to apply. I was interested in what the council were trying to do in terms of transforming their services and challenging old ways of working.

In my role, we’re commissioned by service areas to design new ways of working. We work closely with the service areas to find out what their needs are. We think about the service, not the technology and use technology as the enabler. By identifying the highest priority for the service, we can see how to best meet the public’s needs. It’s an exciting role, and I am able to work with multiple service areas which keeps my role varied.

I have worked with a wide range of service areas whilst working for DCC. One of which was with the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub). We have worked with them to redesign their service to support vulnerable children. I have also worked with weddings and ceremonies which has helped to support people on what is potentially the most important day of their lives. I’ve also helped to design services for Blue Badge and with the education service.

By helping to transform services, we achieve huge positive outcomes for the local authority and its users. We have received huge amounts of positive feedback and I find my role very rewarding. Every project is new and different which keeps it interesting.

One of my favourite parts about what I do is seeing the difference these changes make to the residents of Devon. The end results of transforming the services are huge and really do change people’s lives for the better. The work we do can be really high profile as well, such as working with Adopt South West. There is very little that we do that doesn’t have a big impact!

I enjoy working within the local community and how rewarding my role is. I also enjoy the fact that we are given the tools to work remotely which is especially important during the current pandemic. The flexible working policies at DCC are pretty great too!