Developing a whole-of-government architecture

We’re helping develop an architecture-based understanding of existing opportunities, to reuse common capabilities and platforms across agencies. The aim is to further streamline government services.

A diagram demonstrating the Taskforce's approach to government architecture. From Government Architecture there are four branches, Championing Users, Connecting Services, Building Communities and Enabling Assurance.
Caption: An easy-to-understand government architecture

This whole-of-government (WofG) architecture will provide a better user experience through cross-agency design and investment decisions. The vision is to improve from ‘siloed capabilities’ to ‘connected platforms and services’.

Stuart Robert, Minister for Government Services, announced this initiative in November 2019. We established the WofG Architecture Taskforce to begin this work. It is made up of secondees from the large government agencies, supported by DTA architects.

The focus is on providing tools and capabilities to support agencies and government to invest in integrated capabilities.

Our approach

The Taskforce will deliver value to agencies in 4 ways:

  1. Championing users – show and promote a user-centric design of service and capability planning, design, and development
  2. Connecting services – develop and promote guidelines, standards, and practices to support connected services and platforms
  3. Building communities – create architecture communities to collaborate, innovate, and design government services, platforms, and capabilities
  4. Enabling assurance – provide advocacy, insight, and tools to visualise and assure investment and design decisions for all agencies

Why we’re doing this

The Taskforce aims to:

  • improve the user experience for all users – citizens, agencies and providers
  • enable current and future APS reform by enabling WofG capabilities
  • generate cost savings through informed investment and design decisions
  • enable a ‘joined up’ government through user-centric design, security and privacy
  • promote re-use and standardisation of capabilities, services and platforms
  • provide greater agility to support rapid change

Scope

The Taskforce will:

  • define the vision and strategy
  • define a simple, understandable government architecture framework
  • provide a method for classifying the important components
  • work with agencies to create ‘canvases’ that present ‘service-on-a-page’ views of a segment of government. We will develop tools and templates to help with this work.
  • set up an operating model to help continued engagement, refinement, and usage of WofG architecture products

A community of practice of government architects will support this ongoing work. The community will come together regularly, to share architectural insights and work on specific aspects of government architecture.

Who we will engage with

The core members of the Taskforce are from Services Australia, Australian Tax Office, Home Affairs, and Defence. A full-time team from the Digital Strategy and Capability Division of the DTA supports them.

There will be a working group with contributors from several other agencies, including service delivery agencies, policy agencies, and central agencies. The Taskforce is also beginning to engage with architects from state and territory agencies. This will make sure we don’t miss opportunities to ‘join up’ services and share capabilities across federal, state and territory governments.

Next steps

During the second half of 2020, the Taskforce will further develop its core products. These include:

  • a catalogue of reusable platforms and services across government
  • a prototype qualitative investment tool to appraise the alignment of proposed initiatives with the Digital Transformation Priorities
  • improvements to the Government Business Architecture
  • set up a Community of Practice
  • research into a suitable tool and method for collecting a knowledgebase of government architecture

Further information

Contact the WofG Architecture Taskforce by emailing architecture@dta.gov.au. We will publish more blogs in the future about specific aspects of the Taskforce’s work.