Federal Agencies Need to Understand All the Ways They Interact with Citizens

In elementary school, we learned how to look at the dimensions of things. If we wanted to find the volume of a rectangular object (say, a brick), we needed to know the length of the side, the width of the second side and its depth.

We multiply them together and — presto — we have the volume of the object. So how can we use this example as a metaphor to think about citizen experiences? Working with citizen experiences requires a multidimensional, holistic and organic way of thinking rather than the sequential, logical and analytic approach that is typically applied using metrics and statistics. So what if we look at citizens as three-dimensional, with length, width and depth? How would this reframe them and their experiences?

It is important to look at citizens’ journeys. To truly understand what they experience, we follow them through time, through the ups and downs they have as they interact with agencies. The “length” of citizens is their sequential experiences and how they unfold over time. We look at causes, one event leading to another, and how actions taken impact citizen satisfaction and resolution of their issues. To understand this journey, we use journey mapping, a process of making visual representations of these holistic experiences. Read more.