Defining how the agency will provide public value sets the foundation for the customer outcomes. The public value perspective describes the outcomes the agency will deliver to the people of NSW. These outcomes are customer focused, and represent the overarching value the agency intends to provide to its end users, stakeholders and community groups. Defining how the agency will add value for its customers sets the foundation for the customer outcomes.
Public value is customer focused. It requires a deep understanding of the needs and requirements of the users of government services (business and consumers), the community being served and the stakeholders. As agencies can have multiple customers, it is important to understand different customer types and their needs.
To articulate public value, review the agency’s customers and determine how the agency will add value for them.
Who is the customer? A vexed question but the simple answer is that every agency has a customer. Although, the customer base can be varied in terms of customer type and need. Accordingly, it is important to understand some of the different customer types and how their needs might vary:
- End users are those who use and receive direct value from the services provided by the agency
- Community groups are those who may be affected by the operations of the agency. For regulators, a key consideration is how to make it easy for community members to comply with regulations and achieve a positive outcome for the community/industry
- Key stakeholders are those who benefit from the delivery of successful outcomes, such as the legitimising authority (e.g. the minister), as well as those who interact with the agency
- In some cases, agencies might have other agencies or jurisdictions as their core customer. In these situations, the agency delivering a service to another agency should consider the customer base of that agency.
Where relevant, it may be appropriate to segment/differentiate customers and prioritise to ensure the agency adds value where required.
Customer outcomes drive public value
The needs and requirements of the agency’s end users, community groups and key stakeholders are articulated in its customer outcomes. There should be between 3-5 customer outcomes which, when achieved, contribute to the agency delivering value for the people of NSW.
It is critical the agency understands the needs of its customers to ensure delivery of products and services that are useful. An agency should never assume understanding customer needs. Instead, it should take steps to engage with these groups directly to confirm understanding.
To articulate the customer outcomes, review the agency’s customers and determine how the agency will add value for each group. Consider their needs, what they value and how the agency can deliver this value. Formulate strategies to ensure each customer group receives value from the agency. These strategies underpin the agency’s ability to provide public value and will be included in the strategy map as customer outcomes. In articulating customer outcomes, consider:
- The agency’s assets, including people, processes, systems and other enablers to ensure the agency can deliver the outcomes
- How a focus on one area may create an inherent weakness elsewhere and the potential impact (e.g. cost reduction may impact customer experience, a focus on innovation may require large increases in headcount or the technology budget)
- Timing and whether the value for the short or long term: assess any impacts from this (cost out as short term but may impact community in the long term).
The public value outcomes are the overarching goals of the perspective, and represent the common theme amongst the requirements of the agency’s end user, stakeholder and community groups. The public value outcomes must align with and contribute to the agency’s purpose statement. If there is divergence between the two, review both the purpose statement and the public value outcomes to ensure convergence.