CX at GSA | Agile UDSA | OMB/OPM Partnership


Redefining Government Services: Laurie MacNamara on Elevating Customer Experience at TTS

A reorg is complete inside the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration. The Commissioner of FAS, Sonny Hashmi, told you about it on the Nov. 1st Fed Gov Today podcast. At ELC 2023, Laurie MacNamara, Chief Customer Officer at TTS within FAS, says the position TTS has, and she has within it, are unique.

In the interview, she emphasizes the importance of customer experience in government services. She discusses the role of TTS in both providing and advising on best customer experience practices, highlighting the integration of service improvement as a foundational principle. MacNamara stresses the significance of holistic approaches, encompassing technology, people, and processes, and underlines the necessity of embedding customer experience into the culture and strategic planning of government agencies.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Service Improvement as a Foundation: Service delivery should be ingrained in the culture of government agencies, not just added as an afterthought.
  2. Holistic Approach to Customer Experience: Success in customer experience requires a combination of technology, human-centered design, and effective measurement of both quantitative and qualitative customer feedback.
  3. Institutionalizing Customer Experience: Customer experience should be integrated into strategic plans, capacity assessments, and performance incentives, moving beyond appointing a CX officer to making it a pervasive aspect of an agency's operations.
Embracing a User-First Culture: Arianne Gallagher-Welcher on Transforming USDA's Digital Services

Arianne Gallagher-Welcher, Executive Director for the Department of Agriculture Digital Service, discusses the USDA Digital Service's approach to integrating user-centric perspectives in technology and policy implementation. She emphasizes the importance of diversity in bringing different viewpoints to the policy table, understanding the end-users' needs, and engaging in human-centered design. The focus is on making services as accessible as an ATM visit, embedding customer-first thinking into organizational culture, and recognizing the broader spectrum of users, from internal staff to the ultimate beneficiaries of the services.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Importance of Diversity and User-Centric Design: Emphasizing a diverse range of perspectives, especially from early career talent and technologists, is vital in developing user-centric policies and products.
  2. Cultural Shift Towards User First Approach: Efforts are being made to instill a mindset shift within USDA, moving towards a user-first approach in service delivery and policy implementation.
  3. Broadening the Understanding of 'User': It's essential to expand the perception of who the user is, recognizing that it extends beyond immediate recipients to the end beneficiaries of USDA services, like farmers and small business owners.
Transforming the Government IT Workforce: An Interview with Kiran Ahuja, OPM Director

The Federal CIO, Clare Martorana, says the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management are partnering to stock federal agencies with the people they need. At ELC 2023, I asked the Director of OPM, Kiran Ahuja, about OPM’s role in that partnership.

Director Ahuja also discusses the strategic initiatives and challenges in recruiting cyber IT talent within the federal government. The conversation revolves around innovative approaches to hiring, emphasizing collaboration with various federal agencies and the importance of effectively communicating the government's mission to prospective employees. She also delves into the critical role of data in workforce management, highlighting the need for improved data quality, standardization, and automation to enhance the government's cyber workforce capabilities..

Key Takeaways:

  1. Innovative Hiring Strategies: The conversation highlights creative, scalable hiring actions being employed to attract digital specialists and experts to the federal government, including cross-agency job announcements and the use of an agency talent portal.
  2. Data-Driven Workforce Management: Emphasis is placed on the generation and utilization of comprehensive data for agencies, including cyber workforce and attrition data, to aid in strategic workforce planning and decision-making.
  3. Focus on Data Quality and Automation: There is a strong focus on improving data quality and standardization, as well as automating data processes to alleviate the burden on agencies, ultimately leading towards the vision of a digital employee record.


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