Discovery: Changes needed to enable digital transformation of government
This report sets out the findings from a series of discovery workshops held in 2017 on how we might change the way the State sector works to better meet the needs of New Zealanders in a digital world.
In August 2017, a series of 9 discovery workshops were held in Wellington with over 100 leaders from the State sector.
The sessions were known as the System Settings workshops, and were facilitated by the Digital Government Transformation project team at the Department of Internal Affairs.
Workshop participants were from the Partnership Framework (now known as the Digital Government Partnership) and senior all-of-government practitioners.
Aim of the workshops
The workshops aimed to gather participants' insights about what changes we need to make to how the State sector works so we can achieve our vision for digital government.
The vision for digital government
The vision State sector leaders have for digital government is that all New Zealanders are thriving in a digital world.
This means making sure people can:
- access well-designed, personalised services when and where they need them
- engage with issues they care about
- maintain trust in an open, transparent and inclusive government.
To meet these needs we will need to make changes to government culture and skills—as well as to policy, funding models, incentives, and leadership styles and accountabilities.
This diagram was used as a discussion document in the workshops.
> Detailed description of diagram
This diagram shows the elements in the system that involve how government works. It defines these elements as the 'settings' that might enable digital transformation of government.
There are five key settings in the system:
- authorising environment
- capability and capacity
Each setting has a different colour.
The setting for incentives is placed at the centre, with the other four settings positioned around it.
Positioned between the settings are 9 change themes suggesting changes that might be needed in the system.
The nine change themes are all the same colour.
Arrows between the system settings and the change themes are labelled to show interconnecting factors.
The system settings and the change themes are set inside an ellipse that is labelled ‘Culture change’. This is to show that culture change will result from getting the overall environment right.
As a result of the workshops, the diagram in the discussion document was updated to a more complex one. It now includes what participants thought was missing from it, as well as their insights about possible changes to the way the State sector works.
> Detailed description of diagram
This diagram is a high-level picture of the changes we might need to make to how the State sector works in order to enable digital transformation of government.
It was updated to capture insights and common themes that came out of the workshops.
What remains the same in the diagram:
- The updated diagram still has the same 5 key system settings (showing the elements in the system that involve how government works) – governance, authorising environment, capability and capacity, funding, and incentives.
- The 5 settings are still in the same position, set inside an ellipse to show that culture change will result from getting the overall environment right.
- The original 9 change themes remain positioned between the system settings, with arrows to show interconnections.
What has changed in the diagram:
- 25 insights common to all the workshops have been added into the diagram, giving additional ideas of what might be needed to improve the system.
- Additionally, 4 linked themes have been added to the diagram:
- The theme “System-wide prioritisation and alignment” is linked to the Governance setting.
- The theme “Change Ministerial mindsets to a system view” is linked to the Authorising Environment setting.
- The theme “Shared evidence base for decision making: research, performance, analytics, insights, data” is linked to the Capability and Capacity setting.
- The theme “Fund prioritised system outcomes” is linked to the Funding setting.
Insights from the workshops
The report groups the insights from the workshops into 4 key themes that would support changes to the system and enable digital transformation of government:
- Set a clear direction and get buy-in from government, third parties and the public to deliver on Ministers' priorities
- Prioritise and align work across the State sector to enable a coherent approach to transforming the operating model of government
- Drive change through strong governance and leadership
- Enable and support system change through building digital capability and capacity
Read the full report
Data from the workshops
If you would like to see detailed data from the workshops, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Related strategic work
The insights in the System Settings report have fed into the development of the digital government strategy and proposed reforms to the way the State Sector works.
Government Strategy Discovery report
The workshop insights were included in the discovery phase of the Digital Government Strategy.
The Digital Government Strategy Discovery report identifies 5 focus areas for digital change that build on the insights from the System Settings workshops:
- Reimagine experiences collectively
- Uplift workforce skills and culture
- Embrace new leadership models
- Redesign system settings
- Establish solid digital foundations
Proposed reforms to the State Sector Act 1988
Reforms have been proposed to the State Sector Act 1988 to address improvements needed to the areas of Governance, Incentives, and Capability and Capacity - 3 of the themes that were also identified in the System Settings workshops.
Recent background to digital transformation work
Digital Transformation is one of a number of workstreams looking at State sector reform in what is now known as the Unified Public Service programme.
The Digital Transformation workstream is led by the Government Chief Digital Officer.
The Unified Public Service programme used to be called the Better Public Services 2 (BPS2) programme.
The BPS2 programme aimed to get improved outcomes and results for New Zealanders by creating an agile public service that put people at the centre of service design and decision making. It was led by the State Services Commissioner.