From buying stamps to banking, sending mail to exchanging money, the Post Office’s dozens of services require thousands of forms. So, what if we made them all available for citizens to download online? Is that meaningful change? Or just a bit of a misstep?
It’s hard to be visionary when the day-to-day is so demanding.
Working in government, where pre-existing projects cross your path and legacy technology is a tripping hazard, it’s easier to focus on what’s possible than what’s right. Getting something, anything, done can become the be-all-end-all – and the driver of all your decisions. But if you want to become the face of public sector technology, you know you need to pursue meaningful change.
So, where should you look?
Start your search where user journeys end
The trends concerning other organisations don’t always apply to us. As Steve writes in our report on becoming the face of public sector, it’s more important the public sector keeps up than gets ahead. But with nobody to follow, we usually have to find our own way. And sometimes, naturally, it’s not perfect first time. Here’s an example.
One government agency found that citizens were abandoning a complicated online journey and opting instead to call the number shown on each page. The result? Failure waste in the purpose-built service. And failure demand putting pressure on another.
Failure waste is when users hit an obstacle and abandon your service – reducing your return on investment. Failure demand is when users hit an obstacle and turn from your purpose-built service to a more expensive or less suitable alternative. This government agency had built a service that wasn’t serving its purpose – and was stuck paying for the backup option, too.
But failure needn’t be a waste.
This story ends with the government agency spotting its misstep, identifying where citizens were struggling with the technology and realising the meaningful change necessary to meet their needs as users. And it could be where yours starts.
How it’s used, not how it works
Making meaningful change isn’t so much about understanding technology as it is about understanding people’s experiences of using it.
So, what are your biggest sources of failure waste? Look for the points where users are abandoning your purpose-built services and figure out why. Where are you suffering the most failure demand? You’ll find it at the place where citizens are reappearing in your system and raising your costs.
And if you need support, look no further than Scott Logic. We believe that meaningful change can only be based on the service you’re providing, the user challenge you’re trying to solve and the resources you’re trying to save – not the technology you’re working with. It’s why our team, with its combined decades of experience in the public sector, focuses on understanding where you are, what your citizens need and the most meaningful changes you can make to deliver it to them.
When you see it that way, perhaps simply making all those Post Office forms available to download online is just creating more work for the government and its citizens.
But what if we made those forms fillable and submittable online? And what if the data was then applied across the user’s entire digital presence? Now, the focus isn’t on how the service will work but how it will be used. We can identify the areas that really need our attention and to what degree. And we can be sure that our efforts will pay off – instead of going to waste.
People and projects you know. Perspectives you may not. Join the team at Scott Logic in this series and find out how you can become the face of public sector technology. Discover more here