Citizen experience has become more important than ever to the public service. In PwC Australia’s Citizen Survey 2020, the reported use of digital channels to access government services increased by 37% during the pandemic. And while the concept itself is simple – designing services that fit seamlessly into citizen’s lives and not the other way around – the challenge lies in delivery.
Government departments and agencies are complex organisations focused on delivering against their legislated remit and authority. Different teams and functions vary in the way they interpret citizen-centricity, and these multiple definitions can create confusion among citizens and disparities in delivery.
Delivering seamless digital experiences is made harder through multiple strategies, organisational silos, a range of touch points, and copious service and program brands.
Governments that are citizen-centric deliver better government outcomes by focusing on behaviours and deeply understanding the lives of citizens.
They also enjoy better economic outcomes through the consideration of creating seamless experiences that are easy to navigate, thus removing time, effort and errors of citizens.
When it comes to connecting the brand promise of citizen-centricity with government operations, the answer is: a central organising idea.
An organising idea is a single customer benefit that coordinates people, experiences, services and communications. It unites the organisation and its brand around a single promise and creates consistency across all internal and external touch points.
How a central idea can have widespread reach
An organising idea solves many of the challenges across agencies and departments, including:
Objectives, drivers and value creation (KPIs and metrics): To deliver what matters most to citizens, connected governments must move from generic metrics to KPIs that better reflect how the department creates value in the lives of citizens. That way, departments can effectively measure their impact and allocate their resources better.
Citizen strategy: It defines citizen-centricity in a compelling way beyond basic functional needs (such as providing an easy or frictionless customer experience) creating truly transformational digital solutions that put citizens firmly at the centre of the picture.
Culture, the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and employee behaviour: Standardised and generic service ethos and models can cause disconnect between promises and delivery, eroding consistency and transparency. A central organising idea can create the link between citizen and employee value propositions that support staff with ways of working and delivery of customer experiences.
Leadership: It sets a clear narrative that communicates the value being created for citizens and, in turn, connects and inspires all parts of the organisation.
Establishing a central organising idea
In developing a central organising idea as the basis for a citizen-centric approach to service, a four-step process should be adopted:
- Defining enduring opportunities to create value: To determine the most important problems to solve, we review citizens’ needs across several dimensions.
- Defining organisation capability to create value: To determine the core focus for the department or agency, we review citizens’ needs against the organisation’s ability to solve them.
- Defining the idea: Next, we define the central organising idea as a single citizen benefit that demonstrates a clear role for the department or agency. This idea should be easy to understand and provide clarity for policy, culture, experience design and KPIs.
- Defining execution: Finally, organising ideas can be embedded in three ways: creating a high-performance culture, citizen orientation, and core behaviours/delivery principles.
This perspective is shared as part of PwC Australia’s Connected Government thought leadership series. Visit our website to learn more about how our Connected Government solutions can help your organisation.