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Priority 1: Develop a digital transformation roadmap

The roadmap will allow the government to identify and fund the digital transformation initiatives that will have the greatest impact on user experiences. Most digital services are designed to address the needs of a single portfolio or agency, but for many people, they will have to contact many different agencies to get one thing done. By tracking user journeys across government, we can assess what digital initiatives to invest in to improve users’ experience of government.

Corporate Plan 2017–21

We measure our performance against this priority by assessing progress against:

  • success measures related to the increase in digital services and improvements to user experience
  • performance criteria related to developing the roadmap and delivering associated strategies that support the government’s transformation agenda.

Success measure 1.1

Increase the proportion of services that are delivered digitally and improve the user experience

Target: Annual digital transformation priorities start informing investment decisions
Source: Corporate Plan 2017–21

Overall assessment: Achieved


  • Advice and guidance - We provided advice to Government on possible future
    investments, and guidance on digital transformation priorities and areas where
    investment could drive high-value changes (the priorities are confidential to
  • New proposals—As part of our review of digital and ICT proposals for the 2018–19
    Budget, we examined how proposals aligned to the digital transformation priorities.
    • This resulted in decision-makers gaining a better understanding of the technology needed to support improved government services, and the contribution to business and the economy.
    • Our advice focused on how agencies transform their approach to digital and ICT investment, to make a sizeable impact on how people and business interact with government services.

See more details in Priority 3: Oversee and advise on ICT and digital investment.

Success measure 1.2

Improve the user experience with existing digital services

Target: Baseline compiled of performance data of high volume services and an initial set of life event journeys

Source: Corporate Plan 2017–21

Overall assessment: Achieved


  • Baseline data—We collected initial baseline of performance data for high volume services, which we are continuing to augment. We will use this baseline performance data to track improvements to user experiences over time and identify future opportunities to improve services.
  • Life event journeys—We researched eight life event journeys, such as ‘looking for work’, ‘accessing aged care’ and ‘Australians travelling overseas’. We have analysed what services support people through these events and what their experience is when using those services. We are now working with the relevant agencies to identify opportunities to improve user experiences.
  • Services quality framework—This year we developed a services quality framework to provide government agencies with a consistent method for measuring the quality of the services they offer.
  • Performance dashboards—We published four additional public service dashboards on the gov.au Performance Dashboard. The Performance Dashboard aims to make data open and accessible by measuring the performance of Australian government services against the Digital Service Standard. This promotes government transparency and helps drive the ongoing improvement of government services.

First performance criteria for priority 1

Develop a whole-of-government ICT strategy and digital transformation roadmap

Target: Deliver ICT and digital strategies that support the government’s transformation agenda and are put in place and taken up by departments and agencies

Source: Portfolio Budget Statement 2017–18
(This is also an Open Government Partnership commitment)

Overall assessment: Partially achieved


  • Digital Transformation Strategy—Late in 2017–18 we started drafting and consulting on a Digital Transformation Strategy for the Commonwealth to improve the experience of people and businesses accessing government services over the next seven years. By the end of June we had engaged directly with 30 government agencies, canvassing the views of more than 500 stakeholders, to develop and circulate the alpha (first) draft of the strategy. The overarching strategy brings together several existing and new elements including:
    • Secure Cloud Strategy—We published this strategy in February 2018, with agencies preparing plans to migrate to the cloud. Of the 58 agencies that responded to our inaugural cloud survey, 16 per cent already had a cloud strategy and 39 per cent were drafting one.
    • Hosting Strategy—We are developing this guidance on data centres, infrastructure and transition to cloud, due for delivery in October 2018.
    • Whole-of-government Platforms Strategy—We are developing this operating model governing the development and ongoing operation of reusable whole-of-government digital services platforms, due for delivery in September 2018.
    • Content Strategy—We released this strategy iteratively over a six month period during the year, providing guidance to better manage and improve the quality of government content.
    • Trusted Digital Identity Framework—We updated and released this framework for public consultation. It is a comprehensive set of requirements that establish a nationally consistent approach to accredit, govern and operate digital identities in Australia.
  • Digital Transformation Roadmap—During the year we began creating the new the Digital Transformation Roadmap (first published in December 2016).
    • The updated Roadmap will complement the strategy.
    • We also developed two sector-specific roadmaps for digital transformation for business and individuals over the next two years.

Early in the year we focused on more immediate strategies, such as the Cloud Strategy, reprioritised as required and began work on other major projects as the year progressed—noting partial achievement of this performance criteria.

Second performance criteria for priority 1

Develop and deliver a detailed Digital Transformation Agency engagement plan that will be implemented around key initiatives

Target: All government agencies will have a clear understanding of the Digital Transformation Agency’s role

Source: Portfolio Budget Statement 2017–18

Overall assessment: Partially achieved


  • New approach to our engagement—During the year we reviewed how we engage with government and industry including formally seeking stakeholder feedback to better understand their experience. As a result, we changed the way we engage with our stakeholders by introducing new processes, training and a flexible approach to planning that reflects the changing nature of our work.
  • Increased engagement across government and industry—Our level of engagement across the Australian Public Service is growing, as is our external engagement with industry. In 2017–18, our engagements included:
    • working with agencies to develop whole-of-government platforms
    • collaborating with state governments to grow the Digital Marketplace (see success measure 4.1)
    • engaging directly with agencies on 17 major projects, providing in-depth advice through our Digital Investment Management Office (see performance criteria for priority 3)
    • increasing capability in the public service through training or coaching and mentoring individuals working in government (see success measure 5.1)
    • hosting a series of industry roundtables to consult on ICT procurement reform (see success measure 4.1)
    • delivering high quality, fit-for-purpose communications products including blogs, social media campaigns, media releases and our own beta website, which we released to trial new designs with limited content
    • growing our social media reach, with a 60 per cent overall increase in followers on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and a 14 per cent increase in blog subscribers.

Rather than develop a set plan around key initiatives, we improved our engagement approach on a case-by-case basis with the flexibility to update our planning as needed to complement the changing nature of our work. We are confident our new engagement approach will help to improve understanding of our role. As a result, we assess that we partially achieved this success measure.

Further explanation about our work under Priority 1: Develop a digital transformation roadmap

Establishing a strategy for 2025

In late 2017–18 we commenced the development of a strategy to ensure Australia is one of the top three digital governments in the world over the next seven years. The strategy will be accompanied by a refreshed overarching roadmap, which will set out clear milestones showing how and when the Commonwealth will improve outcomes for people and businesses through digital transformation.

The strategy will outline clear goals and steps for engagement and service delivery, decision-making, and supporting structures and business models. It will also bring together work we are already doing to advance digital transformation in areas such as platforms, cloud, hosting, content, digital identity, and critical infrastructure.

We aim to deliver the strategy before the end of 2018, and have already consulted widely with jurisdictions, the private sector and the community.

By the end of the reporting year, we had engaged directly with 30 government agencies, canvassing the views of stakeholders, to develop and circulate the alpha (first) draft of the strategy for comment.

Mapping priorities and milestones

The Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda aims to make services simpler, clearer and faster.

We published the first government Digital Transformation Roadmap in December 2016 as an 18-month framework to guide the transformation of government services. We are now refreshing this to recognise progress to date and support implementation of the strategy by mapping out the high level timeframe for digital transformation.

This year we also worked with relevant agencies to develop sector‐specific digital transformation roadmaps for business and individuals. These roadmaps outline expected changes in experience
for individuals and businesses as a result of digital transformation.

Improving user experience

Life event journeys
We are researching high volume services to identify and track improvements to user experiences over time.

This year we looked at several life event journeys—events that lead people or businesses to engage with government.

We worked with people and government agencies to consider the services that support people through these life event journeys and better understand their experience of these services. The first five life event journeys we researched were:

  • looking for work
  • growing a business
  • becoming a carer
  • accessing aged care
  • returning to work after having a child.

We analysed how these different events lead people or businesses to access services. We worked with relevant delivery agencies across government to develop a list of high volume services and engaged with agencies to identify more than 80 opportunities to deal with pain points and accelerate digital transformation. Nearly three-quarters of these opportunities are at least partially addressed by planned or current transformation projects.

Under our Government Experience (GovX) initiative, we researched a second set of events. These were:

  • accessing commercial childcare
  • coming to Australia to study
  • Australians travelling overseas.

From our analysis of these life events we were able to identify a set of global pain points for users and focus on systemic, whole‐of‐government approaches to addressing these problems. We have identified a set of solution hypotheses and begun a program of experiments to start exploring and testing solutions.

Performance dashboards

The Performance Dashboard is a place for government to publicly report on how services are performing. We create a dashboard for services as they reach their beta stage. The dashboards report against indicators including user satisfaction, cost per transaction, digital take‐up and completion rate. There are now 11 service dashboards ranging from tax and trade marks to newborn enrolments.

This year we published four more services on the Performance Dashboard. We worked with service teams to help them identify outcome-focused metrics for their service. By measuring and reporting on the right metrics, service teams are able to find areas of improvement to the experience for their users (for example, if completion rates decrease it is likely to mean users are struggling to successfully complete a transaction).

Figure 3: Screenshot of our performance dashboards product

Engaging more effectively

We engage with our stakeholders in numerous ways including:

  • working directly with agencies on major ICT and digital projects, monitoring and providing in-depth advice through our Digital Investment Management Office
  • collaborating with agencies and the private sector to improve the way government buys ICT and digital products and services, and help ensure more competition and better value for money
  • working with stakeholders to develop and improve whole‐of‐government platforms to provide better infrastructure for improved digital services that meet users’ needs
  • building capability across the public service through training, recruitment and other opportunities to share knowledge, solve problems, showcase work and explore best practice
  • developing a range of tailored communications products and materials, such as blogs and presentations, to engage stakeholders through information and thought leadership on digital transformation.

During 2017–18 we reviewed the way we engage with our stakeholders. Based on feedback we introduced a more effective and coordinated engagement approach across our agency (see Spotlight on...Transforming our engagement).

Spotlight on...Transforming our engagement activities

The way we engage with our stakeholders is central to our ability to accelerate digital transformation in government. We lead, guide and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to improve digital services. That is why one of our performance criteria for the year was to develop and deliver a detailed engagement plan around key initiatives. Our stakeholders’ engagement experience is important to us, so we formally asked for their feedback to better understand our engagement landscape and experience. We found that while there was goodwill
from our stakeholders, our previous engagement activities had been inconsistent and there was room to improve. As a result, we have changed the way we engage.

More connected with industry

During the year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Information Industry Association to strengthen and formalise our engagement with the information industry. As a result, regular meetings between the DTA, the Australian Information Industry Association and its members are providing more opportunities for critical feedback, strategic discussions and practical engagement.

More strategic and coordinated

To coordinate the engagement happening across our agency, we have established engagement principles and set up an Engagement Guild. These principles guide our engagement and help us track and evaluate our activities. The guild brings together people responsible for engagement in their teams. The guild meets regularly to run through engagement activities, share experiences, ensure our engagement is coordinated and consistent and build our engagement capability.

More skilled

We are uplifting our skills by rolling out International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) training for staff. The training focuses on defining issues, identifying stakeholders, planning and ensuring their involvement, and evaluating effectiveness.

More social

To help reach our stakeholders on their preferred channels, we increased use of social media, growing our Twitter followers by 34 per cent, LinkedIn followers by 106 per cent, Facebook likes by 147 per cent and blog subscribers by 14 per cent.

More flexible

Our improved engagement approach enables the flexibility to update our planning as needed to complement the changing nature of our work, while supporting more strategic and coordinated engagement across our agency.