Practical Approaches to Tackling the Executive Order on Transforming Federal Customer Experience
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This is an unprecedented move that acknowledges the need to transform constituents' government-facing interactions, which have often been overly complex and time consuming. In an environment where transacting with commercial entities online is fast and ubiquitous, the EO makes clear that the government needs to up its game and get much closer to delivering the level of experience the public now expects.
That is not to say that hard-working people at civilian agencies have not been putting forth their best efforts. There are certainly many dedicated public servants in our government. But in environments with deeply entrenched practices, copious rules and regulations, and complicated procurement processes that constrain modernization, agency teams can be challenged to know what specifically needs to change or even how to begin.
While information technology (IT) is essential to enabling agency customers' experience, improving that experience is not the domain of IT alone. Rather, a strategic cross-agency effort to realign processes and touch points is required. Agency leaders can start with a frank assessment of their current status. Look at issues such as:
- Do we already have a clear and coherent strategy in place that is driving the best constituent outcomes?
- Do we know what and how to assess constituents' experience with our agency?
- What constituent issues or challenges are we really trying to solve for?
- Is there something holding us back from addressing those challenges?
- Have we engaged constituents directly? If so, what have we done to proactively address their feedback?
- Are we having difficulty weeding through the many vendor organizations who say they can help, to determine what we really need?
These questions are foundational, but perhaps not readily answered. When everyone is busy with the day-to-day business of government, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to step back and impartially re-assess.
WWT is ready to assist with guided services that will objectively inform agency leadership about what works and what doesn't, empowering them to move confidently forward. Three service options are available to fit an agency's specific needs:
Experience accelerator with a focus on qualitative research
We will immerse ourselves with agency participants to assess and understand the agency customer journey, friction points, unmet needs and gaps in their overall experience. This assessment utilizes a blend of methodologies, including:
- Peer to peer discussions that bring people with like challenges together in a safe environment for sharing. Observing these interactions uncovers issues that may be missed in a traditionally moderated conversation.
- Engaging with citizens in their natural environment, which helps us achieve a more intimate and authentic understanding of their reality.
- Leveraging a community platform, which allows participants to engage when they are able to throughout a set period, yielding more thoughtful and complete responses.
- Enabling dynamic engagement through a variety of feedback mechanisms, enabling us to explore topics from unique angles and iterate on the right approach to addressing them.
The output of this assessment provides agency leaders with deep insights visualized through personas, journey maps and friction maps, bringing constituents' voice to life in a way that resonates across the agency.
Innovation sprints that accelerate qualitative research
We'll help agencies solve targeted problems such as what citizens would need from technology, or discover what they want in interactions with a given agency. We can also deep dive on future-casting user expectations. Our rigorous methodology includes:
- Conducting online constituent focus groups that uncover challenges to be solved
- Facilitating internal ideation to help agency teams imagine potential solutions
- Rapidly designing art-of-the-possible prototypes and visualizations
- Re-connecting with the same focus group participants to evaluate the ideas and further optimize them
- Conducting a Now What? workshop to align agency teams and explore feasibility of the top ideas and possible next steps
This assessment provides agency leaders with a better understanding of their future roadmap and how it can adapt to constituents' needs.
System evaluations that include technology-focused research relevant to agency customers' experience
We will assess your digital landscape architecture, stability and readiness to scale to meet dynamic needs. This assessment includes:
- Technical workshops and interviews with technical leadership, product owners and other stakeholders to get a clear understanding of the technical strategy roadmap. WWT helps determine the minimal number of system interactions needed to accomplish agency goals.
- A product and technology stack review to gain a clear understanding of the current landscape and overall architecture.
The resulting output includes an evaluation of high-level data flows, analysis of product readiness for the planned roadmap, and recommendations on what products and systems to improve or sunset.
While the Executive Order specifies 17 High Impact Service Provider (HISP) agencies in particular, all agencies can benefit from examining the constituent experience they provide. As the Order notes, every government-public interaction can be seen as an opportunity to save an individual's time and deliver the level of service that the public expects and deserves. By putting people at the center – a core value at WWT – agency leaders can and will meet their mandate to transform the constituent experience in a way that meets modern norms and still fulfills their critical missions.
For more information, contact Dave Watts, Chief Digital Advisor, Public Sector.