We recognised that one of the key changes we needed to make was to make more intelligent use of the information we hold to improve outcomes for customers. We aimed to significantly improve the way we collect, store and analyse data and information and make it readily available when it is needed.
An incremental approach
The analytical capabilities in both the data and intelligence platform (DIP) and our new system START are making it easier for customers to comply and harder not to. We now have a real-time view of issues customers are struggling with, and areas that might require closer investigation. We delivered incrementally, allowing people to learn on the job and understand the opportunities. It is important to emphasize and be comfortable with an incremental approach, as benefits in this area build over time.
Better decision making
One of the best practices we adopted was the agile quarterly planning approach which was designed to better inform decision making and deliver better outcomes for customers. It involved people from across Inland Revenue coming together to work collaboratively to align and sequence analytics work.
We implemented new information and knowledge management systems, a powerful search engine and replaced our intranet to ensure that our people could easily find and access the information they needed to do their jobs. We found that a combination of systems was best, rather than one repository for everything. This meant we had to understand the minimum mandatory common metadata for all content to enable cross-system searchability.
A search first experience is reliant on content that is written with the person who needs it in mind, not how the author thinks about it. The language needs to make sense to the search terms used, so the onus is on the content writers to know their audience.
Available by default
It was important not to underestimate the change management effort required. Available by default is a challenging concept for our people, as it is a big shift from how we have traditionally worked and thought about information.
In addition, having an enterprise content model for your information and knowledge systems before implementing them is important so that people know when and how to use each system. Information clean-up was treated as a priority and it is important not to underestimate the effort and time required to do this. Leave enough time in your schedule for content owners to clean up their content.