Are we ready?

Every project needs a strong foundation, and this is what we look to build during Alignment. We work with program areas to coordinate all the elements required to deliver better services, and as such there can be many risks to consider. These may include collective understanding of approach, expectations, communication, commitment, funding, change management, and team composition. It is critical to the success of the project to consider these variables before starting a service design project.


  • Buy-in and ownership from executive, other leadership and the organization as a whole 
  • Clear expectations and understanding of the project and the benefits of this approach 
  • Reduced project overhead and delays due to misaligned expectations
  • Clear commitment to the change effort required in order to invest in service innovation and implementation 
  • Increased capability for service design in the organization
  • Ongoing commitment and investment in change needed to create the most value from service innovation


Designing better services means changing how we work. Successful service design teams work to help the organization adapt to the changes needed for service transformation.

Projects are judged by how well they meet expectations for both the outcomes they create and the approach they use. Setting clear expectations early for executives, teams and the overall organization reduces the risk of misunderstanding later.

In setting expectations, the Strategic Design and Transformation Branch (SDTB) uses a “Show and Tell” approach to demonstrate how service design methods work. They will share stories and case studies of other projects and show deliverables, photos from past workshops and more, in order to prepare the team, sponsors, and others for what will come.

Recognize that a service design project often uncovers the need to do more work to support better service delivery.

Have an Assistant Deputy Minister or similar sponsor communicated to  the organization about the project, and outline its priority in the organization so that people clearly understand the opportunities and responsibility to support the work.

Work with partners that have service design expertise to help build internal capability. This partnership starts with the Strategic Design and Transformation Branch (at least for the first couple projects) but can also extend to vendors or people from other areas of government with service design experience.