Identity IDP and Exchange — Alpha assessment

The Identity service seeks to allow people to prove their identity as they access government services online. This report considers the alpha phase for both the IDP team and the Exchange (previously ‘the Hub’).

Department / Agency
Digital Transformation Office
Date of Assessment
8 September 2016
Assessment type
Digital Transformation Agency-led
Assessment stage
Result of Assessment
Lead Assessor
Leisa Reichelt
Service Manager
Malcolm Young / Andrew Grischenko / Felicity Hitchcock

Areas of good performance

The Identity team has met criteria 1 to 3 of the Digital Service Standard and shown sufficient progress towards meeting the remaining criteria. This report recommends the service proceed from Alpha to Beta stage.

Throughout discovery and alpha the team have involved a wide range of participants in ongoing user research and have sought to always balance the challenges of ensuring a secure service with meeting user needs and making the service as easy to use for the widest possible audience. When it is not possible for some users to complete the service online they have begun to explore how offline services might be integrated into the digital services. The team has done foundation work to define technical architecture for the alpha particularly using open source options to build on common platforms. They have taken care to ensure they take a platform approach to design.

Criterion 1: understand user needs

  • The team have involved 135 people as research participants during the Alpha stage. Research participants had many different backgrounds and access needs as well as geographic locations. The team noted the importance of doing geographically distributed work to help them better understand the propensity of different participants to have access to different types of identity evidence.
  • The team are able to show how aspects of the service have been designed in response to user needs identified in research. They have shown commitment to including more diverse participants as they proceed to the beta, in particular more users with different access needs.
  • The team have taken a disciplined approach to capturing the research insights throughout the Alpha stage to ensure that all future work focuses on meeting user needs.

Criterion 2: have a multidisciplinary team

  • The team grew rapidly throughout the Alpha stage and are now well positioned to move into beta.
  • The team are co-located and work cohesively to balance the user centred design prototyping and user research as well as technical spikes required to inform the architecture of the Beta stage.
  • The team have worked hard to understand the resource requirements for the Beta stage of work. This ensures they have the appropriate capability and experience in the team.

Criterion 3: agile and user-centered process

  • The team have taken an agile approach to their project methodology throughout the alpha and are well aligned to the Service Design and Delivery process.
  • Throughout the alpha they have continued to work to optimise their agile processes and ceremonies and are committed to improve throughout the beta.
  • The team are able to show many examples of iteration in their prototype based on insights gained from user research. The user-centred processes are strong.


Criterion 1: understand user needs

  • Moving forward the team need to ensure they are moving beyond user preferences to uncover the true needs driving user behaviour. Balancing the desire for a good user experience will help users ensure their own security.
  • The team should ensure that they are well informed of issues identified with the myGov user experience and avoid repeating them wherever possible.
  • The team should involve security specialists and privacy advocates when reviewing the design of the service. This will ensure that a comprehensive range of potential breaches and compromises are considered in the design of the services.
  • There are many opportunities within the detail of the prototype design to improve the user experience for a wide range of users. Unmoderated usability testing will help to ensure these areas are identified and addressed throughout the Beta stage.
  • The team should continue to seek out a wider range of research participants to focus on the more difficult users from both an identity and digital literacy perspective as well as particular access needs.

Criterion 2: have a multidisciplinary team

  • In the Beta stage the IDP and Exchange teams will separate to ensure that the Exchange service behaves as a true platform and does not privilege the Australian Government IDP (GovPass).
  • The team acknowledged they need to work on improving their communication and this will be a focus as they move into beta.
  • The team should ensure that the delivery and policy teams are aligned, communicating effectively and informing each other’s work appropriately.

Criterion 3: agile and user-centered process

  • The team should focus on ensuring that all of the agile ceremonies are well facilitated and contribute to improving the health and productivity of the team.
  • The team will consider whether it is appropriate to bring policy into particular teams as part of the multidisciplinary mix, rather than as a separate policy team (or a hybrid approach).

Assessment against the Digital Service Standard

Assessment result for each criteria
4On track
5On track
6On track
7On track
8On track
9On track
10Not assessed
11On track
12On track
13Not assessed