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How to Use Journey Mapping to Build Modern Digital Government

A modern digital government is one that provides consistent, transparent and secure experiences for citizens. While many organizations have taken great steps toward a citizen-centric approach to delivering their programs and services, there’s plenty of room for improvement. One way to do that is through journey mapping.

It’s important first to explain what journey mapping is and why it’s important: Journey mapping is the process of revealing the full story of the citizen experience from beginning it end. By developing a framework for this, an organization can determine the motivations and needs of those they serve. For example, imagine someone’s driver’s license is about to expire. How do they determine it’s time to renew? Where do they go to get more information? What steps do they follow to actually renew? Are there pinch points in the process? All of these questions and more are asked when building a map.

So why is this important for government? The answer is simple. Identifying where and how an audience interacts with an organization helps it identify more opportunities to enhance the experience – increasing loyalty and satisfaction.

We explore how to build a journey map in our Strategic Workbook for Modern Government. Here’s what’s needed to get started on building a better government organization through journey mapping:

Build the right team

People involved in journey mapping should come from all facets of the organization, but it’s especially important to get the front-line folks who deal with citizen-customers on a daily basis. Does the organization have customer service reps or an office assistant who fields phone calls? It’s critical that they are on the team, as they already have insight into what information and services people are seeking—and where those people are running into issues.

Trust your data

Having the right team can point you in the right direction, but their input is based in anecdotes and colored by their own experiences. So it’s important to verify strengths and weaknesses using data – after all, data doesn’t lie.

  • Check out where visitors are coming to your website – are there a lot of people looking to pay their water bill online? Then it probably makes sense to see if that process works smoothly (if there are a lot of people whose exit page is halfway through the bill-paying process then there’s an issue!).
  • Social media is also a great place to look for feedback, as people often vent their frustrations there. If there are a lot of negative messages, it might merit further investigation.
  • Focus groups and surveys, if conducted properly, allow an organization to dig in to specific pain points and get honest opinions.
  • Finally, journey mapping team members should put themselves in citizens’ shoes. Try walking through different processes (paying bills, finding information, registering for events) and see what sticks out. Citizens aren’t often well acquainted with a government website, so they may not know they have to dig through several menus to find what they need.

Flesh out personas

As insights from the data become more clear, common themes will emerge and one can start to build “personas.” For instance, a journey map could articulate a business owner applying for a business license. The map should lay out the typical, digital journey from start to finish. Perhaps it starts by Googling for business licenses in their given jurisdiction, looking through results, finding the local government site and navigating from there.

Present the findings of the journey mapping

This is a crucial part of the process. All too often, government creates reports, publishes the findings, and then lets it gather dust. Instead, the journey mapping exercise should be presented to key stakeholders in leadership who can ensure execution, as well as with other departments that might be needed for collaboration.

Journey mapping is a process that never ends. Because technology, people, and people’s needs change constantly, it’s important to revisit the work to see if there are new challenges.

Want to learn how to make journey mapping an integral part of your strategy toward modern digital government? Check out our full report, the Strategic Workbook for Modern Government.