Where are we at today?

The Discovery Phase is about understanding the big picture around your service. This phase is key to improving services or even transforming entire systems by understanding a service from the citizen's perspective.


  • Understand the behaviours, needs and motivations of citizens and staff
  • Identify the objectives of the ministry and supporting ministries
  • Generate insights to innovate and improve the service
  • Find key points in the service to make the biggest difference
  • Identify areas that work well
  • Identify issues in the service that can be moved into the Opportunity Phase.


Start preparing for recruiting efforts from the very beginning of a project. Budget at least one full-time team member over two to three weeks to lead recruiting, whether they do it themselves or co-ordinate with a recruiting contractor.

Citizen experiences happen before, during, and after their interactions with a service. Understanding the whole experience will demonstrate better ways for the service area to improve their own part of it.

Experiencing a service first hand is the best way to truly understand a service. Teams need to get out of the office and away from boardroom meetings in order to see how a service works on the front-line and in people’s lives.

Designing for people can return good results, but designing with people gets even better results. Involving people in co-design workshops as co-creators of ideas and solutions will provide better outcomes and better buy-in for service transformation.

Capture the key moments of an experience and map them over time. Show how the experience works visually, especially at the defining moments that make or break a successful service.

Reframing or redefining the situation unlocks new opportunities. Often, the best way to come up with a winning solution is to see the problem or opportunity differently.

What gets measured gets managed, but make sure that what is being measured is what matters to people. Ensure that measures reflect needs and success in the service experience, not just the convenience of what can be easily measured.