Fix My Street has the reputation of being the black hole of ACT Government. When we want a problem fixed close to our home, TCCS tells us to log the problem in Fix My Street. Many have done this and complained of the lack of transparency how the issues are addressed. Did they hear me at all? Will anything be fixed?
Fix My Street is run by Access Canberra and it is their job to triage the jobs to the relevant are of TCCS (or other directorates). Our general experience of calling Access Canberra is they are good at the answer the easy questions but not the hard ones, which is unfortunate, as we really need help with the hard ones. Monica B of the Molonglo Valley Community Forum explained that calling TCCS directly makes little sense. TCCS is a labyrinth and in that sense Access Canberra efforts are most welcome. Further, even the community councils do not have a single contact person at TCCS – short of the Minister. If you have a problem and little time, Fix My Street is likely the best option.
Keeping the goal in mind
In the IT world, companies sign service level agreements and hire the service. Problems are lodged as jobs that then rattle through first level, second level support, etc until the problem is address. Lodging a fault creates a ticket for the job that can tracked and the customer (user) will get automatic notification of the progress of the job and when the problem is resolved – closing the job.
As this type of outsourcing of services is a common occurrence, they have a methodology (best practice) for it – ITIL. Large sales teams too need systems to coordinate the sales and service delivery which may involve hundreds of employees across many states or even countries – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. In the last 15 years, Salesforce has become popular for cloud base, scalable CRM. Other companies offer CRM platforms too but perhaps not out of the box.
The thing in common with outsourcing IT services and CRM is the idea that the customer will lodge requests and this job needs to be tracked until its resolution, whether that be selling house insurance policy, resolving an insurance claim, getting a computer working again, or fixing the path in front of your house.
Fix My Street is a way the TCCS logs jobs, and prioritise (triage) and distributes the work to those who can resolve it. As a customer we would expect to be informed not only that the request services but also able to track the progress of the work. TCCS employees and contractors may not be suited for manual updates. A bit like DHL courier, you would expect some solution that allows you as a customer to know where your package is and when it is likely to arrive (or be fixed in TCCS case).
TCCS is far from this. The backend of Fixed My Street is mostly paper and the employees are “good at doing the work but poor at communicating” (Ken Marshall, TCCS, March 2022). TCCS have decided to improve Fix My Street and this is how.
FOI 21-126 outlining the plans for Fix My Street
FOI are mixed bag of sweets and you never know exactly what is in the bag. This one is interesting as it outlines a meeting with Minister Chris Steel regarding the new and improved Fix My Street. For those that missed it, Access Canberra was upgraded last year to Salesforce – but at that time the functionality did not change. Salesforce is a CRM platform. The new, improved Fix My Street is coming next.
TCCS Customer Service Request Management project is responsible for the renewal of Fix My Street with the acronym CSRM. We hate acronyms but with FOI releases they are hard to avoid as the documents were not originally written for the public. The FOI allows insight into the internal process.
Subject: Fix My Street Refresh project
Critical Date: In the normal course of business
Director-General, TCCS: 09/07/2021
Chief Operating Officer, TCCS: 09/07/2021
CC: Bettina Konti, Chief Digital Officer
CC: David Pryce, Deputy Director-General, Access Canberra
Please provide an update on the improvements to Fix My Street.
- A meeting was held with both Minister Steel and Minister Cheyne Office on 4 February 2021 to establish the objectives of the Fix My Street redesign with TCCS, Access Canberra and the Office of The Chief Digital Officer (OCDO). This meeting highlighted the need for Fix My Street to be redesigned from a user perspective, with consideration also given to a ‘issue-based’ design rather than the existing ‘place-based’ design.
- Work on the Fix My Street redesign was put on hold pending the Access Canberra Client Relationship Management (CRM) system migration to Salesforce to enable resources across the directorates involved to focus on this release. The Access Canberra CRM was migrated to the Salesforce platform to sit alongside the Digital Account in May 2021.
- TCCS has now formally established a Fix My Street Refresh project which will bring TCCS, Access Canberra and OCDO together to improve the Fix My Street experience for citizens. The project will have significant interdependencies with the TCCS Customer Service Request Management (CSRM) project.
- Fix My Street Refresh will obtain citizen feedback, identify pain points and design issues, which will be incorporated into the citizen journey and business process mapping being undertaken as part of CSRM. It will also deliver minor enhancements, with moderate and complex enhancements delivered through CSRM.
- CSRM is about reducing the manual aspects in responding to citizen requests. It will move TCCS back of house from paper-based, manual processes to digital. Removing the paperwork orders from ‘hand to truck to hand’ will deliver improved efficiency and improved customer service by enabling automated status updates as the task progresses, staff in the field using mobile devices to transition the task from one step to the next. It will also deliver a faster response time to priority service requests by automatically allocating the job to the most appropriate, available resource/s. CSRM will also reduce technology risk by replacing 25 unsupported legacy systems. The first release under the CSRM project is schedule for November 2021. The project timeline has been provided at Attachment A.
- Governance for Fix My Street Refresh has been established including a Project Steering Committee and working group, both with representatives from TCCS, Access Canberra and DDTS. Terms of Reference are yet to be finalised.
- The Project Steering Committee will provide strategic direction and oversight for the project, sign off on each stage, agree the prioritisation, determine who will lead the various elements and approve the delivery program for enhancements. The committee
held their first meeting on 3 June 2021.
- The working group that was established as part of the Access Canberra CRM migration project will now transition to support the Fix My Street Refresh project.
- The Steering Committee agreed to the following principles:
• Customer-focused design (based on citizen journey mapping, citizen testing and citizen feedback)
• Simplicity (not building technical debt)
• Focus on quick wins before moving into the more complex and time-consuming enhancements
- The first (discovery) stage of the project is expected to take two months and will include:
• An internal discovery and stocktake of issues identified through CSRM Project Discovery, Access Canberra Migration project (CXS), Ministerial feedback and other known feedback.
• A citizen and stakeholder engagement exercise, that focuses on frequent users, to understand current pain points. Procurement to complete this task will commence shortly.
- The second (scoping) stage is expected to take one month and will categorise all the issues identified through discovery as:
• Minor – modification that can be addressed as a minor change with business-as-usual (BAU) resources.
• Moderate – change that can be addressed through one of the existing projects.
• Complex – change that requires an implementation plan and possibly engagement with external vendors.
- Based on what we already know, three areas of focus for enhancement are already under investigation:
• Managing customer expectations – providing more automated, request-specific, customer communication on the progress of requests; refining the queues and processes to avoid existing manual intervention; and improving the routing of jobs between Access Canberra, TCCS office staff and field-based workers.
• Categorization of service requests – enabling a better search function
• Consistency and clarity around ‘status’ – providing clarity around job status and improving integration of job status between the Access Canberra and TCCS Salesforce systems.
Issues that may impact delivery
- The full scope of the project will not be known until after the discovery stage. Once this is complete a timeline will be established for the implementation to address the issues that are deemed to be within scope.
- Improvements to Fix My Street will be delivered through regular enhancements to Fix My Street. This will reduce the risk of performance and load issues that would accompany a ‘big bang’ approach, it builds on recent technology investment, and will deliver benefits to citizens faster, in a gradual controlled manner.
- Citizen experience, performance, stability and security are significant factors for any changes to the ACT Government Salesforce platform, in particular those connected to the Digital Account which includes Fix My Street. TCCS is acutely aware of the importance of building community trust in the Digital Account. Additional precautions are currently being put in place to ensure these factors are not impacted by future changes and will be addressed by project planning, engaging Digital, Data and Technology Solutions (DDTS) and seeking guidance from the project board.
- The Fix My Street enhancements will be progressed partially as a by-product of the CSRM budget, partially as part of the roll out of the Digital Account and partially as part of business costs and collaboration between TCCS, Access Canberra and DDTS.
Where does cycle infrastructure fit?
The biggest problem with our cycle paths is the lack of regular and reliable maintenance. The next biggest concern is difficult to report it, and finally, the lengthy periods when nothing happens to fix it. We are left to wonder what has happened? Hopefully the new Fix My Street we make the process smoother, faster and more transparent.
From the TCCS- CSRM Implementation Plan (7 July 2021), it is not clear when the improvements for fixing footpath and cycle paths will be built into Fix My Street. Possibly under road maintenance? In that case, it should be finished (14 January 2022).
The Steering Committee agreed to the following principle of customer-focused design (based on citizen journey mapping, citizen testing and citizen feedback). It is not clear if this has been done with regard to fixing footpath and cycle paths and who provide the input. Chris Steel and Tara Cheyne note at the bottom the document similar concerns.