Final | October 2018 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL-Public | QGCDG


This guideline describes how to confirm or establish the service vision for the organisation. This guideline encourages working with the agency and service planners and other stakeholders including business representatives, customers, service partners and staff to define a compelling vision that will inspire or motivate the desire for change.

The techniques in this guideline with assist the practitioner to advocate for the implementation of new opportunities identified during horizon scanning and the identification of technology trends, placing them in the context of how services could be conducted.

Buy-in is achieved when new ideas and new ways of doing things are co-created and designed with others to make innovative or novel ideas stronger. Many of the techniques outlined in this guideline place people at the centre of the change and enables stakeholders to understand both the current state and target provision of services from different perspectives (e.g. customers, staff and service partners).

To develop a strategy that is co-designed and co-created, practitioners should be willing to:

  • Provide contextual awareness
  • Become more experimental and listen to different points of view
  • Be willing to interpret situations in innovative ways
  • Freely offer newfound insight and experience.

The service vision draws on information from the Discover workstream relating to the business strategic direction of the organisation and well as information gathered from horizon scanning and identification technology trends.

Concepts such as design thinking and user centred design are incorporated into this guideline. Whilst not explained in detail the broad techniques and application are described so practitioners can understand how the techniques can be used to articulate the service vision.

Several organisations offer these techniques as a facilitation service and these options should be explored before deciding possible approaches and resources for a visioning workshop.


A practitioner in the context of this guideline can include one or more of the following roles:

  • Digital or ICT strategic planners
  • Agency and service strategic planners
  • Workforce planners
  • Business analysts
  • Information managers

Service vision

The information gathered in this activity may already exist and can be documented or generated from other planning related activities. Practitioners should investigate possible sources of information that may assist in establishing the service vision. These documents may include but are not limited to:

  • Strategic planning documents
  • Information gathered during horizon scanning
  • Information gathered as part of investigating technology trends
  • Business related value chains or even business process maps that may exist within the agency
  • Existing service blueprints or journey mapping information that may already exist in the organisation
  • Industry patterns or generic examples that may be openly available for the specific policy domains (e.g. Health, Education, Transport, Horizon etc).

It is not expected practitioners be experts in applying the techniques in this guideline, but instead gain an appreciation for how a collective understanding of service related drivers, problems, opportunities, stakeholders as well as what is important to them, can be quickly identified and understood.

An underpinning principle of the digital or ICT planning framework is the concept of co-design. The activities in this guideline should be conducted in collaboration with the stakeholders identified in the Initiate workstream.

Another principle to be apply in these activities is that of creativity. Practitioners should investigate new and creative ways of applying tools and approaches to enrich the overall planning experience with stakeholders.

Strategic drivers

The first step in building the motivation for change is to understand the strategic drivers. There are several models that can assist in identifying and classifying strategic drivers. These models include but are not limited to:

  • Porter’s Five Forces Model
  • PESTEL Framework.

It may also be useful to consider conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) assessment as part of visioning co-design workshops.

Porter’s five forces model

The five forces model is a framework for understanding the competitive forces at work in an industry or policy domain and how they influence the value to stakeholders as well as how those stakeholders may present an opportunity or threat. These forces are represented in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1 - Porter's Five Forces Model

PESTEL framework

PESTEL is a strategic planning tool to help practitioners and other stakeholders understand the external influences on the organisation or its services.

The elements to PESTEL include:

  • Political – Government bureaucracy, political advocacy and lobby groups, labour movements.
  • Economic – Exchange rates, business cycles, local, national and global growth rates
  • Social – Demographic impacts, social movements and trends
  • Technological – Mobile and connecting technologies, new products and materials.
  • Environmental – Climate concerns and impacts, pollution, recycling
  • Legal – Laws, regulations, taxes, borders, jurisdictions

There are numerous resources available online that explain PESTEL as a framework.

PESTEL may be a better framework to use in some circumstances as the types of drivers considered are typically more relevant to a public-sector environment.

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is probably the most commonly used framework for understanding the influences on an organisation. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The advantage of using a SWOT based approach is it not only looks at the threats and weaknesses but also the opportunities and current strengths.

This information can be useful in visioning activities as stakeholders may begin to identify their expectations and potential opportunities. It also provides the opportunity for stakeholders to identify what is currently working well within the current environment.

The other advantage of SWOT analysis is it examines both internal and external influences. Generally, strengths and weaknesses tend to be internally focused, whilst opportunities and threats are typically initiated from outside the organisation.

SWOT analysis is also useful in assisting to identify potential strategies by considering:

  • How to build on strengths
  • Address the weaknesses
  • Capitalise or invest in the opportunities and
  • Mitigate the impact of threats.

Vision statement

Most strategic documents will contain a vision statement. The vision statement may already be defined in the strategic plan. In some circumstances however, the vision statement may represent a corporate or executive level view of the agency rather than a statement about the service delivery aspirations of the agency.

In these circumstances, it may be necessary to define a digital or ICT vision statement that reflects both the service and technology aspirations of the agency.

A good vision statement should be:

  • Short – no longer than two sentences at a maximum.
  • Future focused - written as a future state.
  • Specific to the business – describe the unique outcome the digital transformation will achieve in relation to the services and customers of the agency.
  • Compelling – describe a compelling future that engages the heart as well as the head
  • Simple – easily understood by people both inside and outside the organisation.
  • Ambitious – ambitious enough to be exciting but not unachievable.
  • Aligned to values – of the customer and people who deliver services.

In developing a vision statement the following process may be of value:

  • Define the primary output
  • Define the unique twist or provocative proposition that will potentially inspire change.
  • Apply a level of quantification to the statement. It does not have be to a percentage or dollar figure but it might refer to a segment of the population that will be primarily affected by the change (e.g. all Queenslanders in need of healthcare, all children in both primary and secondary public school education, people in rural and remote communities).
  • Add relatable human ‘real world’ aspects (e.g. are not disadvantaged by distance, no longer need to stand in line, can access services in one place).

Developing a vision statement will help anchor future work in relation to the strategy including understanding customer expectations, defining objectives and defining business outcomes.

Understanding stakeholder expectations

There are several methods of confirming how stakeholders perceive the organisation, whether services are truly customer centric, what opportunities exist and what are the expectations and desires of customers, staff and service partners so digital experiences can be articulated to meet or exceed those expectations.

Often it usual to represent opportunities or convey complex situations, problems or solutions pictorially or using some form of graphic method.

This is also a creative way of engaging stakeholders in visioning exercise. All the following methods described in this guideline help to facilitate the art of the storytelling and put customers and other stakeholders at the centre of the story rather than focusing in the digital capability or technology.

It is also not about the quality of the drawing or the skills of the participant. In fact, these techniques often work best when everyone gets the opportunity to draw to convey their ideas, even when a group of participants are working on the same drawing.

Rich pictures

Rich pictures are so called because they capture the richness of the problem or situation. The aim is to capture the complexity of the problem situation so the interrelationships and connections can be easily identified. Rich pictures build the level of collective understanding between stakeholders.

Innovative ways to move forward as well as themes, issues, linkages, culture, climate and even value judgements can be captured in a rich picture. They are usually very fluid and should attempt to assemble everything that might be relevant to a problem or situation.

Rich pictures strongly use images to convey thoughts and meaning. Words are generally only used as part of the overall imagery or where participants fail to accurately convey the meaning and ideas in imagery.

If participants don’t know where to begin:

  • First look for the elements of structure or stakeholders in the situation.
  • Next look for elements of process within the situation.
  • Then incorporate the ways in which the structure and the processes interact.
  • Include social roles or attitudes of those involved within the situation and the kinds of behaviour of stakeholders in a situation.

Journey maps

Journey mapping is a way of uncovering and understanding how your customers are experiencing your services and building empathy around the customer.

A journey can tell a rich story about what happens to a customer that is hard to capture without turning it into a narrative. Narratives and story-telling in this way are a powerful tool to achieve collective thinking around human-centred design.

A journey map captures customer experiences from their point of view. In creating a journey map, you use customer narratives and customer data to plot their experience over time, mapping what they are doing, thinking, and feeling, and what and who they are interacting with along the way.

Journey maps are best created by interviewing customers to capture their insights, and then map them against each other to find commonalities, patterns, and trends. It may be an iterative process or it may be possible to map several journeys in a single workshop working in groups. In addition, it may be possible to piece together a customer journey map from data that has already being collected on the customer experience. This information should however be validated.

Journey mapping helps the practitioner to map the end-to-end experience a customer has. It is comprised of all the interactions a customer has and how they interface with the services of the agency.

Journey mapping can also be used to imagine a future state, using the format as a tool to speculate on what a customer might see and do if services were transformed. It may be possible in a co-design environment to conduct journey mapping on both a current state as well as a target state experience.

Like rich pictures, journey mapping uses both graphic methods as well as words to help build a narrative.

The first step is to understand the scenario and identify the points in the journey that represent a significant positive or negative experience for the customer. These represent points of pain or gain. Other elements to capture at the points of interaction include but are not limited to:

  • What the customer is thinking
  • How they are feeling and
  • What they are doing

If you already have a good understanding of your customer experience or identified a particular pain point for the customer or the agency, then blueprinting should be your next step.

Service blueprints

If the customer experience and perceptions are already known then it might be more practical to develop a service blueprint. Service blueprinting demonstrates not only what happens along a journey, but also how the agency works to produce the services and customer experience. The process of blueprinting requires the collaboration of cross-functional groups in the organisation to document the events that happen not only in the interaction with customers but also the interactions that happen behind the scenes to deliver the service.

The first step to service blueprinting is to identify the end to end journeys or scenarios. Service blueprints should show the physical evidence of the service, front line staff actions, behind the scene staff actions, and support systems. They are completed using an iterative process – taking a first pass that considers findings from customer journey maps for example and then refining the blueprint over time or through consultation.

The type of information captured in Service Blueprints typically includes:

  • Physical evidence – All of the tangible things that the customer experiences during a journey (e.g. application form, invoice, license).
  • Customer actions – The steps, choices, interactions or activities the customer experiences while purchasing or evaluating a service.
  • On-stage contact – Staff interactions that are visible to the customer.
  • Back-stage contact – Staff interactions or steps that are invisible to the customer.
  • Support Processes – Systems that support the actions of the customers and staff.
  • Moments of truth – Each time the line of interaction is crossed via a link from the customer to a staff member, or agency in the case of self-service technologies.
  • External Pain Points – Gaps that lead the customer to think the service may be of poorer quality.
  • Internal Pain Points – Gaps the customer may not see but makes it harder to deliver the service.

Practices involved in service blueprinting include:

  • Identify the service to be blueprinted, for planning purposes it may be necessary to adopt a more generalised view of the services.
  • Identify the customer or customer segments.
  • Map the journey from the customer’s perspective.
  • Map the on-stage and back-stage interactions.
  • Link the customers, contact people and activities to the support systems required.
  • Add the evidence of service delivery at reach point along the customer journey.
  • Identify the moments of truth and the internal and external pain points.

Brainstorming and creative thinking

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique where participants seek to find a creative solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of spontaneous ideas.

Information gathered as part of the SWOT or PESTEL analysis as well as issues identified in horizon scanning can be used to frame the problem or problems.

Brainstorming provides a free and open environment that encourages everyone to participate. Unconventional ideas are welcomed and built upon through groups thinking. All participants are encouraged to contribute, helping them develop a rich list of ideas and expectations. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can spark even more ideas.

During brainstorming sessions, people should avoid criticising or rewarding ideas. Practitioners should try to open up possibilities and break down incorrect assumptions about the problem's limits.

Remember people have different thinking styles and may be reluctant to think out loud in a group. Because the objective is to get creative ideas from all participants, it may be worthwhile to allow participants to have some individual time to think and record their thoughts on cards or post it notes before putting forward ideas and discussing as a group.

The following practices will assist the practitioner to conduct a brainstorming session.

  • Clearly define the problem that needs to be solved. When conducted as part of a greater workshop, it may be necessary for a group to define the problem they are going to solve based on the work they did as part of defining the drivers or vision statement.
  • Try to include people from a wide range of disciplines as well as customer experiences. Like-minded people are unlikely to generate as many creative ideas as a group with diverse backgrounds.
  • Appoint one person to record the ideas that come from the session and present back to the workshop. When using post-it notes or cards, this person may take on the role of grouping or theming similar or related ideas.
  • Provide participants with some individual thinking time.
  • Initiate a group discussion that enables participants to build on ideas and generate innovative ideas.
  • Encourage everyone to contribute and to develop ideas, including the quietest people, and discourage anyone from criticising ideas.
  • As the group facilitator spend your time and energy supporting and motivating the groups and guiding the discussion. Stick to one conversation at a time, and refocus the group if people become side tracked.
  • Include a report back session where groups get the opportunity to present ideas to other groups participating in the workshop.

Workforce considerations

It is important to consider what workforce will be needed to deliver the agency’s future vision. The first step in forecasting future workforce needs is to understand the future work requirements of the organisation. Techniques such as service journey mapping and service blueprinting may have identified the type of work that needs to be undertaken to support the agency’s vision. This may include working remotely or increased work mobility because of evolving technology, different models of customer engagement, increased use of technology and information or working more closely with service partners or other organisations for example.

Forecasting the future workforce needs is required so specific objectives and strategies required to address skills gaps can be identified.

The Forecast future needs guideline of the Queensland Government ICT workforce planning methodology, sets out the activities for determining the workforce capabilities required to support an agencies vision.

It is recommended practitioners familiarise themselves with the techniques in this guideline and determine the most appropriate approach to incorporate workforce planning activities into the broader digital and ICT planning activities. Where techniques such as focus groups, force field analysis or scenario planning are used, it may be practical to include these activities as part of digital and ICT vision activities with stakeholders. Other techniques may require dedicated workshops or additional engagement with stakeholders to determine a future state.

Questions to consider when identifying future competencies include:

  • What new skills are needed for future business and work requirements?
  • What are the critical core organisational competencies that will be required to support the organisation’s future vision and culture?
  • What new knowledge, skills and abilities do specific positions/job groups/work areas need to perform in the future?
  • What are the key differences in the current and future workforce competencies?

Next steps

Rich pictures, customer journey maps, service blueprints, brainstorming and workforce considerations all assist the practitioner and other stakeholders to visualise what the end state of services could look like and the impact on the users of services and the workforce.

These are all rich sources of information that help build a narrative for the digital or ICT strategy or plan.

This narrative may include details relating to

  • contemporary ways of marketing services or conducting campaigns
  • contemporary ways for people access services and products (e.g. online)
  • innovative ways for people to work and connect (e.g. social media, telecommuting and virtual meetings or consultations)
  • contemporary ways for people to access, provide, use or receive information
  • new technology capability to store, secure and share information
  • new partnerships involved in the delivery of services.
  • changes to the skills and capabilities of the agency’s workforce, including new digital roles and the digital worker

It is likely more than one visualisation of service delivery will be required to help build the narrative. It is not necessary to undertake visualisations of every service in the agency that is offered both internally and externally. Focus on the core services and raise the level at which the service is described to convey a general idea of what the experience for customers, staff and service partners might be.

The methods outlined in this guideline are also iterative. It might take several workshops with several diverse groups of people to articulate what services might look like.

It is important to ‘play back’ the outputs of workshops to participants within a short timeframe from the workshop. This will maintain interest and ensure the participants feel like their time to participate was worthwhile.

It may be necessary to refine the outputs in terms of presentation to assist with the process of socialisation and consultation. Work with marketing and communications specialists in your agency to assist you in preparing a vibrant and engaging presentation of the workshop outputs.

Practitioners could also consider running brief roadshows or ‘drop-in’ events to allow larger groups of stakeholders and other interested parties to provide input into the service vision as well.




Service blueprint template


Service blueprint techniques

Video - Developing a service blueprint 1

Video - Developing a service blueprint 2

Free - Practical blueprinting guide

Service blueprint samples


Human-centred designQueensland Government Human centred design resources

Customer journey maps

Video - 7 Steps to mapping a customer journey map

Video – How to create a customer journey map

Free - Adaptive path's guide to experience mapping

Customer journey map sample


Rich picture techniques

Video – What is a rich picture

Video - Six tips to get started with rich pictures

Rich picture sample


Porter’s five forces model

Harvard business school - Porter's five forces model

PESTEL analysis

Free PESTEL analysis eBook

SWOT analysis

Video - What is SWOT analysis

Queensland Government ICT workforce planning methodology



Last Reviewed: 24 October 2018