How we're tracking — progress in our Digital Delivery Hubs

Dan Searle gives us a snapshot on how our Digital Delivery Hubs in Canberra and Sydney are progressing.

Four images of people working together and writing on whiteboards.

In October, we announced we’d create Digital Delivery Hubs to start transforming services and help build digital skills across government. Since then, we’ve been hard at work and it’s great to be able to update you on our progress.

We’re working on six Digital Transformation projects in collaboration with four Commonwealth agencies and three state and territory governments. These teams are working with us out of our Sydney and Canberra Delivery Hubs.

Our work with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the citizenship appointment booking service is now in Beta. Keep an eye out for the public release in March 2016.

Image 1: A service map showing how migrants access services to book an appointment with government. Image 2: Highlighting the first part of the service to be transformed

Booking or rescheduling an appointment for a citizenship test can be time-consuming and inconvenient for both users and the Department. Citizenship Test appointments and identity verification require attendance in person and are currently scheduled by the Department. Both the Department and clients would gain time and administrative savings if clients were able to independently book or reschedule suitable appointment times online.

The team did user research to understand the experiences people have on the journey to become an Australian citizen. We identified several pain points in the process and focused on improving the most prominent issue identified - the rescheduling of appointments. We developed our Alpha prototype based on what we learnt and we recently got the green light on our first assessment against the Digital Service Standard to progress to Beta.

We are also working with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to simplify import processes. This project is now in its Alpha stage with the Beta expected to be available to the public in April 2016.

Image: A service map to show user pain points when importing goods

This team is working hard to simplify international trade and the importation of goods across Australia’s borders. During Discovery and initial user research, we found two big pain points: that physical paper permits still dominate the process and significantly slow it down; and, that various government agencies’ services are not linked, meaning the importer must send their permits from one agency to another. We’re using what we’ve learnt in Alpha and have begun designing and testing prototypes to help address these problems.

Our project with the Queensland Government is now in Discovery. A Beta of our work to better inform seniors about their eligibility for a Seniors Card and concessions is expected to be released to the public around April 2016.

Image: The current user journey for seniors cards and concessions.

We want to make it easier for older Australians in Queensland to access and apply for seniors cards and concessions. Speaking to residents across Queensland, we learnt that they find it difficult to work out what they’re eligible for and entitled to. Once they do work out which concessions they can access, the application process has to be initiated by the user which means more running around. We’re in Discovery seeing how we can make this more efficient, including ways the government can prompt residents about the concessions they’re eligible for.

We’re excited about the progress of our work with the Department of Human Services as we move through Discovery and work toward the release of a Beta to the public in April 2016.

Image: An Affinity diagram showing common themes and pain points from interviews with Medicare users

Enrolling for Medicare often requires paperwork and face-to-face time with Medicare staff. Our research found there’s lots of manual handling of data that the Department of Human Services already has access to. We want people to be surprised by how easy it can be to interact with Medicare and to deliver a service that’s built for users.

So far in Discovery, we’ve interviewed 51 users and 28 staff to learn more about who our users are. Now, we’re consolidating our findings working on service maps and customer journeys to understand the process, our users and their pain points.

We’re also in Discovery with the ACT Government, working to help Canberrans better look after their health by improving outpatient appointment bookings, with a view to releasing a Beta publicly in May 2016.

Image: User research notes from interviewing ACT Health staff

We want to improve how people can manage their appointments at Community Health Centres across the ACT. This is also expected to reduce the workload on clinical staff.

In our first Discovery sprint, we met with the staff that triage referrals and make appointments with the appropriate health specialists within the community-based services. Listening to their stories, we heard a near majority of the 1,500 written referrals they process each month are completed by fax. That means a lot of double-handling and manual processing of referral documents that could perhaps be avoided. So even though we’ve just begun, already we’re identifying the opportunities for improvement.

And finally, we’re doing lots of work behind the scene to establish our project with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Service NSW, which we’re aiming to start soon.

Image: The starting a new business project will commence this year.

Starting a new business, and especially the necessary business registrations, is a complex and fragmented landscape. There are a number of agencies doing lots of great work in this space, and we’re looking at this research to see what’s already available and finalising our arrangements in preparation for kick-off early this year.

That’s (just part of) what’s been keeping us busy since October.

Most of this work is taking place in the Digital Delivery Hubs we’ve established in Canberra and Sydney.

Each Hub brings together service delivery staff from agencies, DTO teams and digital specialists from the private sector to share knowledge and skills. Multidisciplinary teams are comprised of government, policy and subject matter experts as well as agile coaches, delivery managers, user researchers, service designers, technical architects and developers.

We’ve also appointed a Digital Transformation Advisor to support and lead each team, to make sure we stay on track and relentlessly focus on delivery.

Together, we’re using a method that agencies will be able to share, repeat and scale-up within their own organisations. The Hubs are key to creating an environment that supports rapid iteration and acceleration of the pace of transformation. They create a supportive learning environment for staff and allow the DTO to demonstrate by doing, helping to build service delivery capability across the public service.

‘Showing the thing’ is part of our weekly ritual, and our teams hold weekly showcases to share their learnings. Our most recent showcase attracted more than 50 attendees from across the Australian and ACT public service! We’re looking forward to keeping you up-to-date with our progress as we move along, so stay tuned.