Sapient Consulting Public Sector

The Art & Science of Creating the
Next Gen Public Sector

Transform to build connected experiences

We are firmly in the second decade of the digital revolution. In the blink of an eye, the third decade will be knocking. Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprise without interacting with a human.

Society has forever changed, necessitating a shift in the way the public sector connects to the people it serves. Keeping up - or catching up - with this transformation is not just a matter of "going digital." The bigger shift remains in creating a new understanding of the public sector's role, and in transforming the entire experience, both internally and externally, for organizations and those they serve. This is hard and requires a constant commitment to challenging status-quo thinking beyond traditional working models. In this series, we'll take a look at how this fundamental transformation works to build connected experiences by:

  • Creating progress through purpose
  • Fostering innovation and bold thinking through a shift in organizational culture
  • Putting the people first
  • Designing digital strategies that actually work
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Agile from the Inside, Out.

The adoption of agile project delivery is one way public sector organizations can keep up with the pace of change, but doing this as a project management solution alone won't work. In order for the true potential of agile to be realized, it must be employed as an approach for thinking about, well - everything. Elements that were part of the plan initially may become outdated, or even irrelevant. Employing an agile philosophy prevents the frustrating repetition of starting over because you’ve built something on an outdated foundation.

The Art

Think of agile as a philosophy, not a tool. It should be integrated as a holistic solution that touches all aspects of an organization.

The Science

Put "transformation" at the core of the process. Learn, test, evolve... repeat. Running progressive, simultaneous initiatives enables flexible course correction when the need arises, allowing for optimal efficiency and connection to the overall mission at hand.

The Takeaway

Stay focused on the problem you're trying to solve, but be flexible while finding solutions. Your vision of success can evolve as the project evolves, resulting in a take-away that meets the most current needs.

"In order for the true potential of agile to be realized, it must be employed as an approach for thinking about, well - everything."

Redefine how thinking is developed

Be the first to stop saying the public sector moves slower than the private sector. Challenge yourself and your teams, when frustrated by the pace of change, to find new solutions. Make ideation and creativity tangible, engrained parts of the process. Test out small shifts in culture at the team and project level, then integrate them into your organization as you find what works for you. Understand this effort should be a "walk, run, sprint" scenario, or you may risk losing people in the process by trying to change too much, too soon.

The Art

Inspired and empowered workplaces will create inspired and empowered outcomes. Provide the resources and incentives for workers to create change by leading with an inspired purpose.

The Science

The nature of the competitive commercial market drives progressive innovations quickly. Without this innate competition, public sector organizations must use public-facing interactions to drive mission result, foster innovation and create change.

The Takeaway

Your audience's perception of your organization is directly driven by the culture, values, and purpose reflected in the products and experiences you provide. Improve your outcomes by shaping your internal mindset so that it is in keeping with the evolving needs of society.

"Inspired and empowered workplaces will create inspired and empowered outcomes."

People-centric design matters. A lot.

You only get one chance to make a first digital impression. A new twist on an old adage, but it’s more true now than ever before. The expectation of having access to information 24/7, presented in an intuitive, efficient way applies as much to the public sector as it does to any major brand in the world. Because consumer-facing brands have set the bar so high, the stakes are much greater across the board.

Thoughtful design makes people happy, takes the pain out of the process and creates a positive citizen experience. Happy users lead to fewer complaints, a more satisfied work force, a more effective work flow and operational efficiency.

The Art

Putting yourself in someone else's shoes, so to speak, isn't enough anymore. You must put yourself into their life - their fears, emotions, their wants of today - and be predictive of their needs for the future.

The Science

If your interactions are truly and thoughtfully designed for the people they serve, they will more effectively accomplish your mission.

The Takeaway

All the time, money, and effort invested in your organization's technical and outreach projects are only worthwhile if the user's experience is prioritized within the design process.

"Thoughtful design makes people happy, takes the pain out of the process and creates a positive citizen experience."
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Don't get lost in what's trendy.

As quickly as you can implement new technologies and take advantage of new opportunities, even newer innovations will emerge. Citizen needs evolve continually. It’s easier to iterate than to start from scratch when you’re working toward a moving target.

The Art

Digital offers a wealth of opportunities to reach your audience more effectively. Build interactions upon the value of human connection. The best digital experiences are created with purpose instead of flare.

The Science

Leverage digital to redefine your success scenario rather than digitize outdated manual processes. If digital solutions are being used to achieve business goals, your organization will benefit twofold over initiatives designed strictly to modernize transactional issues.

The Takeaway

Define the end goal, assess what is best for the task at hand, and keep that idea at the core of the mission.

"It's easier to iterate than to start from scratch when you're working toward a moving target."

The public sector cannot evolve through technology alone. Understanding the art behind the science driving change within government, health, nonprofit, and education organizations goes further with bold thinking.

Connect with us to get started on your transformation story.