The department’s Chief Citizen Experience Officer continues to support our customer‑centric approach to designing and delivering services.
Thousands of customers have participated in a range of engagement, user-testing and research activities. This research creates a rich library of insights for the department to use when designing improvements in service delivery and policy. The development of detailed customer journey maps helps us to prioritise improvement activities.
Our Design Hubs provide opportunities for the department to directly engage department staff, stakeholders and customers on key departmental and government priorities, and include them in designing future services and products.
The department plans to trial a new customer experience measurement approach and is working towards implementation during financial year 2019–20. This approach will allow us to consistently measure, capture and analyse customer feedback to improve in areas that matter most to customers.
The department’s transformation journey is guided by a customer‑centric vision to deliver high‑quality, consistent customer experiences across the department. A human‑centred design approach underpins the design and delivery of services, ensuring we understand the customer context, needs and experiences with the department and government.
Simplifying forms for aged care services
Every year the department processes over 180,000 means assessment forms for Australians seeking help with the cost of aged care.
The Aged Care Forms Taskforce brought together consumer groups, aged care providers, peak bodies, financial advisors and partner agencies to make the process easier for older Australians and their families.
Led by the department, the Taskforce worked closely with our customers and drew directly on the insights of our experienced service delivery staff. Design sessions and over 180 user-testing sessions across the country taught us where the problems and frustrations were arising, and gave us a deeper understanding of the customer experience during what can be a challenging time.
Through those conversations we developed better ways to conduct means assessments for customers entering aged care. Approximately 110,000 people will no longer have to complete a form at all. For those who do, the forms are significantly shorter and simpler, taking around half the time to complete. Our redesigned forms were also merged into a digital service offer, using questions that could change depending on the customer’s individual circumstances.
These important steps will ease the journey into aged care and help families to focus on what counts.
The Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Programme is a business-led, user-centered, technology-enabled transformation that is fundamentally transforming the delivery of welfare payments and services. It is an important long-term investment that allows the government to properly address the challenges facing Australia’s welfare system and maximise the benefits of digital capabilities while reducing the costs of administering payments.
The department’s transformed welfare system will be quicker and easier to navigate, providing improved access to its face‑to‑face, phone and digital services. The department is four years into a seven‑year program of work. In 2018–19, the focus extended beyond students to job seekers, older Australians, and people receiving disability and carer payments.
As part of the 2018–19 federal Budget the government invested $316.2 million net expenditure over four years to progress the next phase of the WPIT Programme.
During this phase, the department will continue to modernise welfare services and payments for job seekers, older Australians, and people receiving disability and carer payments. This will include redesigning high‑value services, centred on customers, to provide a digital experience that is easy and intuitive. The department will work across government to develop a flexible approach to policy that supports improved service design.
Payment integrity will be improved through better access to data and improved analytics. The department will improve data exchange with third parties—such as higher education providers and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)—to streamline processes for customers and staff, provide faster outcomes to customers and reduce debt. This will also allow us to automate simple processes, ensuring our staff focus on supporting customers with more complex needs.
The department will maintain a focus on developing secure national infrastructure platforms and making the most of new technology to replace legacy systems.
The WPIT Programme uses an agile delivery methodology based on principles from the Scaled Agile Framework. The great strength of this framework is that it takes a customer‑centric approach to designing and delivering services. It also enables us to deliver improvements frequently, rather than as a ‘big bang’ at the end of the Programme. This means we are delivering real improvements sooner and reducing risks along the way. The Scaled Agile Framework is aligned to the government’s Digital Service Standard, which helps us build government services that are simpler and faster for all users.
Veteran Centric Reform
Veteran Centric Reform is a comprehensive, multi‑year transformation of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) with a strong focus on putting veterans and their families first. This initiative will reform DVA’s business operations and ICT platform.
The department began work in 2017–18 to provide a modern digital ICT platform for DVA, leveraging capabilities being delivered by the WPIT Programme.
In 2018–19, the department continued to collaborate with DVA on progressing the design and delivery of digital, ICT and telephony capabilities to transform DVA and mitigate risks associated with its aged ICT legacy systems. We are supporting DVA to streamline access to services, including through the introduction of the 1800 VETERAN phone number for all client enquiries. We are also working with DVA to design modern digital services, building on the MyService portal we delivered last year to provide DVA clients with an easy way to interact with DVA online.
The department has been successfully piloting new approaches to improve access to DVA services using our Mobile Service Centres and Agents network to connect DVA clients to services across regional and rural Australia.
Health Delivery Modernisation Project
The department is working collaboratively with the Department of Health to deliver the Health Delivery Modernisation Project to stabilise and modernise the existing health and aged care payment systems and ensure continuity of payments while providing benefits for customers and health care professionals.
The project is funded under the 2018–19 Budget measure Guaranteeing Medicare—Modernising the Health and Aged Care Payments Systems. The government provided $106.8 million over 18 months for the first phase of work that commenced on 1 July 2018.
This work is reducing the department’s reliance on ageing technology, positioning the health and aged care systems to be more responsive to changing policy and making it easier for customers and providers to do business with us. There are four discrete work streams:
stabilisation—replacing and redeveloping health and aged care legacy system components into stable and supportable technology platforms
simplification—foundation work to consolidate databases, enabling a single source of truth for customer and health care professional records
strengthening—enhancing controls and processes for delegation, logging and authentication
improvements—simplifying user interfaces to provide a better experience for customers and health care professionals and to reduce manual work for staff.