LabPlus: Rates Rebates Discovery Report

Within​ ​the​ ​Service​ ​Innovation​ ​work​ ​program​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Internal​ ​Affairs​ ​(DIA),​ ​we​ ​have​ ​a range​ ​of​ ​service​ ​initiatives​ ​where​ ​we​ ​work​ ​collaboratively​ ​with​ ​other​ ​agencies,​ ​organisations​ ​and companies​ ​in​ ​our​ ​Lab​ ​to​ ​design,​ ​prototype​ ​and​ ​build​ ​better​ ​public​ ​services.​ ​This​ ​helps​ ​us​ ​identify user​ ​needs​ ​without​ ​a​ ​specific​ ​agency​ ​or​ ​government​ ​view,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​identify​ ​reusable​ ​components that​ ​could​ ​support​ ​multiple​ ​services​ ​(in​ ​public​ ​and​ ​private​ ​sectors).

In​ ​September​ ​our​ ​team​ ​kicked​ ​off​ ​a​ ​three-week​ ​discovery​ ​sprint​ ​exploring​ ​how​ ​subsidies​ ​are provided​ ​to​ ​New​ ​Zealanders​ ​and​ ​what​ ​this​ ​could​ ​that​ ​look​ ​like​ ​in​ ​the​ ​future,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​Rates Rebates.​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​are​ ​an​ ​entitlement​ ​that​ ​has​ ​been​ ​identified​ ​as​ ​a​ ​key​ ​pain​ ​point​ ​for​ ​applicants (low​ ​income​ ​property​ ​owners​ ​for​ ​primary​ ​residences),​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​for​ ​Local​ ​and​ ​Central​ ​Government.

This​ ​blog​ ​post​ ​is​ ​the​ ​final​ ​report​ ​from​ ​that​ ​discovery​ ​and​ ​will​ ​form​ ​the​ ​basis​ ​for​ ​any​ ​future​ ​work​ ​or Minimum​ ​Viable​ ​Product​ (MVP) ​development​ ​in​ ​Alpha.​ ​You​ ​can​ ​browse​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​report​ ​as​ ​HTML​ ​​​or PDF​ ​and​ ​a​ ​high​ ​level​ ​summary​ ​is​ ​below.​ ​Please find Rates Rebates related posts from LabPlus here. Our broad work program is outlined here, and we invite you to join our mailing list or follow our blog posts to keep up-to-date, and to visit us if you are in town at our OpenLab events each Friday from 4pm at the Todd Building, 95 Customhouse Quay in Wellington.

The​ ​summary​ ​of the​ ​discovery​ ​work​ ​is​ ​below. The​ ​discovery​ ​sprint​ ​included​ ​service​ ​designers,​ ​user​ ​researchers​ ​and​ ​subject​ ​matter​ ​experts​ ​from the​ ​DIA (the​ ​Service​ ​Innovation​ ​team​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​team), Auckland​ ​Council,​ ​Tauranga​ ​Council,​ ​Wellington​ ​City Council,​ ​the​ ​Ministry​ ​for​ ​Social​ ​Development​ ​and the​ ​Inland​ ​Revenue​ ​Department​ ​with​ ​support​ ​from​ ​Assurity.

In​ ​three​ ​weeks​ ​the​ ​team​ ​did​ ​user​ ​research,​ ​comprehensively​ ​mapped​ ​the​ ​user​ ​journey​ ​and​ ​explored how​ ​the​ ​pain​ ​could​ ​be​ ​reduced​ ​for​ ​end​ ​users,​ ​for​ ​Councils​ ​and​ ​for​ ​Central​ ​Government.​ ​Three concepts​ ​were​ ​developed​ ​to​ ​address​ ​the​ ​challenges​ ​and​ ​tested​ ​with​ ​end​ ​users​ ​across​ ​the​ ​three cities,​ ​with​ ​some​ ​interesting​ ​results​ ​that​ ​will​ ​inform​ ​next​ ​steps.​ ​We​ ​also​ ​looked​ ​at​ ​what​ ​had​ ​been done​ ​before,​ ​and​ ​analysed​ ​the​ ​user​ ​research​ ​and​ ​work​ ​done​ ​by​ ​agencies​ ​and​ ​Councils. Some​ ​work​ ​had​ ​been​ ​done​ ​by​ ​Central​ ​and​ ​Local​ ​Governments​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​user​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​the government​ ​challenges​ ​around​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​however,​ ​this​ ​had​ ​not​ ​yet​ ​resulted​ ​in​ ​meaningful prototyping​ ​or​ ​a​ ​tangible​ ​solution,​ ​so​ ​needed​ ​further​ ​exploration.​ ​Our​ ​team​ ​works​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​and utilise​ ​the​ ​efforts​ ​of​ ​previous​ ​groups,​ ​add​ ​value​ ​and​ ​be​ ​a​ ​catalyst​ ​to​ ​a​ ​high​ ​value​ ​solution​ ​for​ ​the whole​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​process.

The​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​Process​ ​touches​ ​many​ ​agencies.​ ​We​ ​mapped​ ​the​ ​journey​ ​(available here in Google Draw with the alternative text here) to​ ​see​ ​touch​ ​points​ ​for rebates​ ​customers,​ ​front​ ​stage​ ​(agency​ ​work​ ​visible​ ​to​ ​the​ ​rebate​ ​customer),​ ​and​ ​backstage​ ​​ ​(agency work​ ​​not​ ​visible​ ​to​ ​the​ ​rebate​ ​customer).​ ​It​ ​showed​ ​a​ ​very​ ​complex​ ​picture​ ​with​ ​pain​ ​across​ ​users, Councils​ ​and​ ​Central​ ​government​ ​agencies.​ ​Considering​ ​this​ ​entitlement​ ​is​ ​a​ ​maximum​ ​of​ ​$620​ ​per year,​ ​it​ ​requires​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​cost​ ​and​ ​time​ ​from​ ​all​ ​participants​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process​ ​to​ ​administer.

Please see alternative text link above due to complex nature of diagram.

If​ ​your​ ​organisation​ ​(Councils​ ​in​ ​particular!)​ ​is​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​joining​ ​a​ ​Rates​ ​Rebates​ ​Alpha​ ​MVP team,​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​start​ ​in​ ​the​ ​new​ ​year,​ ​please​ ​contact​ ​us​ ​by leaving ​a​ ​comment​ ​below.​

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