Our government experience
Government agencies have intensive information management needs. They typically have large, information-rich websites, along with extensive intranets. There is also a strong focus on content management, information management and records management.
We have a huge depth of experience in the public sector, having worked at every level of government and throughout Australia. Early on we were recognised as the “public-sector intranet gurus”, and have provided support to many agencies in this area. We have also published a number of whole-of-government resources which cover best practices across a range of related fields.
Better practice checklists
Step Two Designs was appointed onto a panel of providers to assist AGIMO in the development of new Better Practice Checklists. This resulted in us writing or revising the following checklists:
- Designing and Managing an Intranet
- Selecting a Content Management System
- Implementing a Content Management System
- Information Architecture
- Managing Online Content
- Improving Search Engine Design
These Checklists are concise summaries of best practice for government agencies, and they demonstrate our knowledge in these areas.
Whole of government work and panels
We were commissioned by OICT to develop the whole-of-government Review of Content Management for the NSW Government. This investigated the current adoption of content management with NSW agencies, as well as conducting research into current issues and best-practice approaches.
We also assisted in the development of an ACT all-of-Government policy on content management systems. In this project, our role was to provide specialist (vendor-neutral) marketplace knowledge.
Over the years, we have been appointed onto a number of panels for Australian Government agencies, including:
- Department of Immigration
Intranet strategy and redesign
Step Two Designs are the world’s leading experts on intranets. We’ve published What every intranet team should know, the Intranet Roadmap, 200+ articles, and a range of other reports and resources for intranet teams. We run the global Intranet Innovation Awards, and keynote conferences throughout the world.
Government agencies tend to have large intranets, consisting of policies, procedures, forms and much more. Growing organically over time, we are often called in to develop an intranet strategy, and to assist with the redesign. We have worked with many government agencies on these types of projects, and have an unrivalled experience within the public sector environment.
The user-centred redesign of the FaCS intranet case study provides a good overview of our approach, and the outcomes that are delivered. The case study five intranet reviews, five different results also covers a number of our public-sector intranet projects.
We have conducted countless government agency intranet projects, including:
- Conducting a comprehensive review of the current intranet at DAFF, including delivering short-term and long-term recommendations.
- Spending time in the two Department of Immigration call centres to identify opportunities to improve the call centre intranet.
- Building a clear understanding of current operations in the Family Court call centre, leading to a range of strategic and tactical recommendations for future IM activities and solutions.
- Conducted an intranet review involving staff from offices around Australia for National Native Title Tribunal, identifying usability issues with the current intranet and providing recommendations for immediate improvements and strategic directions.
- Worked with the newly-appointed intranet manager at NSW Department of Education and Training to develop a strategy for the redevelopment of the whole corporate intranet, including documenting a governance model and recommending short-term activities.
(Read more about our intranet services.)
Our work with the Commonwealth Ombudsman provides a good example of the type of projects we’re involved in. In addition to developing an intranet strategy for the agency, we also conducted a user-centred redesign of the main public website. Most interesting was the opportunity to rework the pivotal online complaints form, delivering a rich design that dramatically improved the user experience while streamlining the data capture process.
Other website projects include:
- Conducting a website review for ACT Health, benchmarking the site against best practices and other similar agencies.
- Reviewing the Child Support Agency public website, as well as CSAOnline (client extranet).
- Conducting an expert review of the Queensland Health public website.
- Supporting the Geoscience Australia project team through a substantial website redevelopment.
(Read more about our usability and information architecture services.)
Selecting a CMS
Government websites and intranets are typically large and information rich. With many different audiences, the challenge is to manage content in a way that keeps it up-to-date and relevant. Like so many other organisations, resources are limited, so technology needs to make managing these sites easy.
Public sector agencies need to follow due process when selecting a new content management system (CMS). There also needs to be confidence that the solution is value for money, and that it will work well for authors and site administrators.
We have worked with many public-sector agencies to help them select a CMS, working within procurement guidelines to deliver a robust but accelerated process.
Some of the agencies we have helped to select a CMS:
- Australian Federal Police
- Australian Film Commission
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
- Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)
- Department of Human Services
- Department of Immigration (DIAC)
- Department of Primary Industries (Victoria)
- Hunter New England Health
- National Prescribing Service
- Sydney Opera House
- Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- Transport Ticketing Authority
- Victorian Department of Education & Training
For most of these projects, we defined the scope of the project, often aligning stakeholder expectations in the process. We documented effective and human-readable CMS requirements, and assisted in the creation of a tender or RFP document. We then provided a short-list of potentially suitable products, and in many cases facilitated the vendor demonstrates to ensure they provided the needed information. Throughout the evaluation process we offered expert support and guidance.
(Read more about our content management services.)
In-house training and mentoring
Intranets and websites cannot be fully outsourced. Instead, organisations benefit from building up in-house knowledge and expertise, allowing them to deliver ever more effective solutions.
In addition to our steady stream of public workshops, we also run in-house workshops. These are either based one of our standard offerings, or tailored to fit.
We have run in-house workshops for a range of government agencies, including:
- ACT Chief Minister’s Department
- Australian Tax Office (ATO)
- CRS Australia
- Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC)
- Department of Defence
- Department of Immigration (DIAC)
- Department of Primary Industries
- Geoscience Australia
(Read more about our in-house workshops, including planning details and pricing.)
Supporting the public-sector community
In 2002, we founded the Intranet-peers in Government mailing list. With over 500 members, this is the single largest discussion group for public-sector intranet teams in the world.
Our Intranet Leadership Forum has a very active chapter in Canberra, and public-sector members throughout Australia. Current members include:
- ACT Health
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
- Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
- Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)
- NSW Dept of Aging, Disability and Home Care
- NSW Department of Water & Energy
- NSW Office of Fair Trading
- Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
- Victorian Department of Transport
We have also presented at countless public-sector conferences, including those organised by IIM, ActKM and RMAA. Our talks have covered intranet strategy, management and design, along with CMS selection, search engine design, and usability.
Local government work
In addition to our work with state and federal government, we also have extensive local government experience, working with councils throughout Australia.
Obtain some assistance
Our services are entirely vendor-neutral, and we target our assistance from a brief engagement through to a full strategic project. We can assist with:
- reviewing a current intranet or website
- developing an intranet and website strategy
- redesigning an intranet or website
- selecting a suitable CMS
- reviewing information management practices
- developing a collaboration strategy
Please contact us for more information.