One of the most important objectives for the Digital by Default Service Standard project was setting out a consistent way of measuring service performance. Why? Because all too often, there has been no shared understanding of how concepts like ‘customer satisfaction’ or even ‘cost per transaction’ are measured in government - which makes data-driven decision making difficult.
We wanted to create a set of measures that would help service managers to monitor and improve the performance of government services over time. Specifically, service managers need to be able to measure progress in three areas: improving the user’s experience of the service, reducing running costs, and shifting people towards using the digital channel.
The GDS design principles provided us with a starting point. They say that key performance indicators (KPIs) should define measures that are simple, require data that is easily collectable and generate actionable metrics.
We settled on four KPIs that met these requirements:
- Digital take-up: how many transactions are completed online?
- Cost per transaction: how much does it cost to provide each transaction?
- User satisfaction: how highly do users rate a service?
- Completion rate: how many people start a transaction and then drop out?
The Government Service Design Manual provides more detail about how each of these is defined. To meet the service standard, all new and redesigned services must measure these four KPIs. But in terms of performance measurement, these are only the tip of the iceberg. Service managers will almost certainly want to add other KPIs to measure their more specific requirements.
For each of the KPIs, GDS will work with the teams building the exemplar services (23 transactions picked by departments as priorities for new or redesigned digital services). They'll set sensible goals for ‘what good looks like’, with interim milestones on the way towards meeting them. The goals set for the exemplars will then be applied to other, similar service transformations. After a service goes live on GOV.UK, this performance data will be regularly collected and made publicly available.
We’d really like to hear your views on the KPI guidance we’ve written, so please use the feedback option on the Government Service Design Manual and let us know what you think.