Blog: Unveiling a New Era of Public Service in the APS

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Jane Murugan 6 February 2023
Blog: Unveiling a New Era of Public Service in the APS

Where Public Sector Meets to Pioneer Progress

What has been achieved over the last couple of years is nothing short of revolutionary – and an incredible effort from the Australian public sector on behalf of citizens.  


With the momentous acceleration and shift in demands finally slowing to a manageable pace, it is time to come out of survival mode and ground the innovation leaps we have accomplished to usher in the new era of public service ready to blossom in 2023. 


Last August, the difficulties were still very much present – this March, we are bringing everyone back together to celebrate the wins, take stock of what is working well from a more holistic ‘rear mirror’ view, and continue to build on the success.  


From this new vantage point, how do we best decipher and navigate the next frontier of emerging innovation and strategic direction within the APS? What are the critical tools, technology and requirements at the forefront of public service progression and how can we collectively drive powerful next steps in accelerating operational advancement, CX revolution and public trust to unveil a new era of public service?  


The following focuses are critical.  


Next-Gen Citizen Service – Exploring the Evolving Requirements to Tackle the New Frontier

Simple, useable, trustable, and transparent services is the aspiration - sense-checking the requirements to become a world-leading digital government and painting the picture to unpack what ‘user driven’ and ‘connected’ looks like today is key to navigating the path of embodying these within public service. We have got to build on 2020-22 headway and progress successful elements into 2023 and beyond – by assessing the tools, strategies, and approaches at the forefront of innovation.

The People Piece’ to Progressive Public Service - What It Means for Embarking on the Next Phase of the Change Agenda and How to Curate Culture

Promoting creativity in a virtual world, creating culture in remote and hybrid work, and assessing what is not working in the way we work has been a big shift to harness. As has taking an honest look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, and how we can most effectively reform public service culture to foster enthusiasm among employees, while understanding and meeting their desires – that next level employee experience tools to attract, retain and engage targeted talent is key. 

Anticipating the change trajectory and where we are we headed into 2023 and beyond, while understanding the intricacies of change and the key practical requirements to progress your agenda are crucial to creating the foundation for relevant and worthwhile transformation. Solving the skills shortage equation is also fundamental to this - what do 2023’s employees want from a career – and how can we make public sector more appealing and competitive, while empowering people to create a public sector powerhouse and better using the existing specialist skills we have to deliver what we need? 


Unleashing a Connected Service – Exploring the Emerging Realm of CX Possibility and New Era of Digital Revolution

Potentially the most critical aspect underpinning the CX and service of tomorrow – ‘pioneering’ balanced with ‘practical’ vision. Understanding the emerging realm of digital capability and CX, where they intersect, and how they can best serve the public sector will be the driving force behind any progression in this space. Collaboration and a whole of government approach is the web that create the power behind the execution of the vision and help avoid the misuse of current technologies and common pitfalls. So how can we collectively work through the individual challenges? Especially in terms of overcoming barriers when innovating within government, which can often prove difficult. As can overcoming innovation inertia! 

It starts with taking a comprehensive stock-take on the existing digital capabilities we have, and deciphering where to next, whilst facing the not so convenient realities about navigating the constantly evolving CX and digital paradigm head on. Mapping the 2023-24 trajectory and keeping up with citizen and macro demands, while sense checking opportunities, requirements, and tools to pave a pioneering path are all crucial at such a pivotal time as we currently find ourselves in.  


The Integration Illusion – Have You Truly Embedded Your Data? Digging Deeper

Uplifting data capabilities at enterprise scale and ushering in useable insights can do wonders in supporting the pressure of critical decisions – but do you deeply trust your own data? And if so, is it delivering what you need it to in each situation? Adopting reliable integration hacks for lasting impact and assessing the next frontier of tools, technology and strategies emerging within this space will boost not only efficiency and accuracy, but citizen centricity and foresight – helping drive a relevant, connected and impressive next-gen public service. So how can we better unpack and dig out these insights- whilst making this [practice sustainable across the entire Agency, and APS? A great progressive agenda to further navigate in 2023-24…


Part of this progression could be culture – and the myths about data culture curation. How do you cut through the noise to adopt a method that resonates uniquely within your Agency, and critically assess whether focusing on culture is creating value in ushering in the next phase of utilisation across your Agency – or if there is a better approach for improving skills, understanding and uptake.

Turbo-Charging the Technology Agenda – Unpacking the Successes and Lessons Learnt in Acceleration Since 2020 and Traversing Transformation – Unveiling Successful Approaches, Blind Spots, And Integral Learnings 

Navigating the next frontier of innovation and approaching the emerging realm of technology with tactical insight is far from straightforward. Legacy systems merged with new demands are often like oil and water. If there is one lesson in technology that I am sure we’ve all learnt by now – all that glistens is not gold! If it is not possible to uproot your technology platforms/infrastructure and bring in the latest features, getting to know your technology more intimately to enable its full potential can be just as effective. Working innovatively around this can often reap even greater ROI (and satisfaction)! With technology, comes transformation – and understanding which initiatives to progress for the most impact, and which to ditch is critical following the past two years’ acceleration and fast-tracking of tech upgrades. It is time to unpack the powerful, practical and realistic opportunities of 2023 – where should the focus for progression lie?

We appreciated having you join us in 2022 for critical conversations around public service innovation – we would be delighted to see you again at our 8th annual edition of Innovate Australia in collaboration with EY - to contribute to the collaborative effort helping drive that momentum forward into the promising vision of 2023-24! 

Digital Government & CX
People & Culture
Technology & Transformation
Australia Australia

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Jane Murugan MM, Public Sector Network