Last week we held our inaugural Public Service Transformation series event featuring two of our colleagues from the New Zealand Government, who shared their experience with life journey mapping. 

We welcomed Darryl Carpenter, Manager of Integrated Services, who works across government and runs the Service Innovation Lab in NZ (https://www.theta.co.nz/solutions/innovation-lab), which seeks to enhance cross-agency capability. We were also joined by Clare Toufexis, Manager of Customer Design who has led the design of two successful life journey services, SmartStart and End of Life, for the NZ community.

What are ‘life journey services’ and why are we focusing on it?

We were interested in learning about life journey services from our NZ colleagues because it’s an area of focus for NSW Government. The overarching aim of life journey services is to improve citizens’ experience by providing unique and tailored access to all the service-related interactions they have at points in their life journey, whether that is having a baby or grieving for a loved one.

By focusing on these service transformations, we can deliver true value and support to citizens at critical life moments that can have a significant emotional toll, even without the need to navigate requirements and support services across various government and non-government organisations.

Our work begins with mapping all the relevant services in the government, non-government and private sectors that individuals may have contact with as part of a life journey event.

So what makes a successful life journey service?

Designing a successful life journey service requires leadership and collaboration between the government and non-government sectors to test new ideas with open minds. It means removing barriers to connectivity and incorporating innovations and learnings from the way services are currently delivered.

What is an example of a life journey service?

SmartStart is a responsive website for new parents that makes entitlements and information clear and accessing services easy, by sourcing information from across approximately 100 different websites. It is personalised and structured so that it aligns with particular life events, and it has helpful to-do lists. 

For more information on SmartStart and End of Life journey services see  https://smartstart.services.govt.nz/ and https://endoflife.services.govt.nz/welcome

What are the key lessons from the NZ experience?

  • Put the citizen at the centre of the design approach and the service experience
  • Start small and build / improve continuously
  • Communicate extensively – put your vision, approach and work program on one page
  • Design for all citizens, including those from other cultures and Aboriginal nations
  • Build relationships - recognise that this work requires true collaboration and open mindsets, not necessarily a lot of money
  • Join things up - recognise that most of the information and individual services are already there, albeit in isolated parts so it doesn’t require a lot of new design or build
  • Showcase your applications – promote and be transparent about progress and learnings

Link to video transcript