Like many complex organisations, Brussels-Capital Region has developed a complex and fragmented landscape of no fewer than 200 different websites. Behind these websites are dozens of different administrations, each with their own objectives and strategies, leading to lots of inconsistencies and wayfinding problems for citizens and business. To pave the way forward, Easy.brussels asked Internet Architects to develop a new regional web strategy with a focus on user-friendliness, a coherent visual identity, cost efficiency and standardisation.
The transition from organization-driven to customer-driven thinking within government is in full swing. Concepts such as “Citizen at the center”, “No wrong door”, “Once Only”, “Digital by default” and “Interoperability” are becoming increasingly popular, and are also increasingly imposed by law, such as recently via the European Single Digital Gateway regulation.
With this evolution in mind, we invested in extensive preliminary research with more than 2,000 citizens and companies, and with more than 300 internal employees, to come up with a strategy that groups the many websites into a limited number of “families” based on user needs such as “Work”, “Housing ”, “Mobility”, “Health”, “Urban Life”, “Leisure and Tourism” and “Government Administration”.
These families and their underlying administrations will be asked to work together in order to transform their family into a harmonious whole for citizens and businesses. But they are not alone. The strategy also proposes the creation of a new Digital Competence Center that will support the different families with digital expertise, common building blocks and platforms, governance, training and more. In addition, for the practical roll-out of the strategy, a phased approach was chosen in which each website family will be able to gradually grow in maturity: starting with rationalization and cost savings, moving on to harmonization and integration, and finally going all the way for transformative digitization.
During the project, Internet Architects worked closely with the task force that reports directly to the Minister for the Digital Transition in Brussels. Following the delivery of the strategy at the end of 2020, and its presentation to the Minister, we are still working closely with Easy.brussels to define a first operational implementation and a roll-out plan that ensures compatibility with the Easy Way vision from the cabinet.
A strategy built on facts and stakeholder involvement
In the first phase, we conducted an extensive satisfaction survey on dozens of different websites, in which users could also leave qualitative feedback. We received a total of 2,336 answers. In addition, an internal co-creation process was completed in the form of key stakeholder interviews, a SWOT workshop and a general survey of the entire organization. We received a total of 318 responses to this survey. Finally, a more limited survey was used to ask about the currently available budgets, processes, organizational structures and tools. We received a total of 20 answers.
A brand new value proposition and operating model
The preliminary research translated into a value proposition aimed at defragmentation and increased findability for citizens, in which the more than 200 websites are bundled into eight families. To support this proposition, we developed a new service delivery model based on mutual consultation and coordination, which also includes the establishment of a brand new digital expertise center. Finally, we also formulated 7 strategic objectives and more than 20 key missions to help realize this model.