3 Reasons to Throwaway the Tech Specs and Start with User Needs

Ditching tech-spec documents and scoping out user needs should be where all government procurement processes begin - and here's 3 reasons why.

3 Reasons to Throwaway the Tech Specs and Start with User Needs

Technology is soon becoming an essential element to providing an excellent citizen experience. CRM or CMS - whatever it may be - technology is a significant (and expensive) investment in the citizen experience that whole careers can depend on the success of.

Because of this, and processes set by the status quo, it may be tempting to lead a technology procurement with a technology-spec. However, in an age where citizen needs are more important than ever, this is simply the wrong route to take and could derail your digital journey before it has even begun.

Here are three simple reasons why you should go against convention and start with the user-needs:

1. Technology is not a great citizen-experience, but the means to achieving it.

It may be tempting to assume that purchasing an expensive piece of technology is going to solve all your problems and effortlessly deliver an excellent citizen experience, but it’s not the case. Behind every successful technology investment is a thoughtful and informed plan as to how this will benefit the user. Starting with a technology-spec sets the precedent that the user-needs are, literally, a second thought.

2. Starting with a technology forces you down a set path before you have even begun.

Starting with a piece of technology in mind prevents any project from effectively taking into account and responding flexibly to user-needs, as well as what else is possibly available. A huge investment later, and all you have is a piece of technology that looks exactly like you thought it would, but does nothing to improve the citizen-experience.

3. User needs weed out the technology suppliers from the digital partners.

A technology supplier will tell you what they think you want to hear: that their technology will solve all your problems. They will push for a tech-spec and budget because they can then quickly deliver what you think you want. In contrast, understanding your user’s needs is priority number one for digital partners, who will actively want to work with you to develop a solution that best serves your citizens.

It’s time for Government to step out of their comfort zone, ditch the tech-specs (at least for the early stages) and put the citizen at the heart what they do. Starting with the user-needs is step in the right direction to achieving great citizen-experiences.