‘Service Australia’ is coming…

Shortly after the election, Scott Morrison announced the launch of Service Australia, a new front end for government services, based on the hugely successful Service NSW model.

Customer Science was born out of Service NSW so we are following developments with interest. As well as being part of the success, we also witnessed all the mistakes that were made along the way. This is our advice to the government:

Start up, not transformation.

Service NSW adopted a start up mentality before ‘Lean Startup’ was even fashionable. We built a new agency, with a clear vision and values, then brought government staff into it. ‘Service Australia’ appears to be targeting the massive Department of Human Services, including Centrelink. Building something new, proving its success and bringing people in will be much easier than trying to transform a huge, established department.

Don’t put turkeys in charge of Christmas.

The leadership team of Service NSW came from outside government. Leaders such as Glenn King brought a reputation for rapid, customer-led change from the banking sector, and applied it to NSW government. They were innovative, bold and asked forgiveness rather than seeking permission. When other areas of government were a roadblock, Service NSW focused on making the customer interaction great, then sorted out the integrations with other agencies later.

It’s the use case, stupid.

Service NSW started small, focusing on a small number of high volume transactions, that caused the most pain to customers. Rego renewals are 70%+ of transactions, so Service NSW focused on eliminating the painful, old RTA process and making it effortless. And the people of NSW love them for it.


Will Service Australia be able to overcome the huge task of putting aside legacy systems and processes and make government interactions easier for citizens? We certainly hope so and we are ready to help them learn from the mistakes made on the way to success for Service NSW. We await your call ScoMo!

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