The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), is a policy agency within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Its purpose is to position the Australian Public Service workforce for the future to ensure it meets the demands and expectations of the Australian Government and people. It aims to continuously improve people management, manager capability and professional development across the APS.
Morpht was engaged in 2020 to upgrade four of the APSC’s sites from GovCMS 7 to GovCMS 9, and also introduce improvements as part of the re-architecting process.
The APSC had four websites that required upgrading onto the GovCMS 8 platform to prepare for the migration to GovCMS 9 platform:
- The Australian Public Service Commission
- The Remuneration Tribunal
- The Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal
- The Merit Protection Commission (to be launched pre June 2021)
The vision for these site was to:
- Deliver fresh new visual designs or improve on existing styles
- align their design with The Australian Government Design System (AGDS) and ensure compliance with web accessibility standards
- Improve the content model
- rebuild the sites onto the GovCMS 8/9 SaaS platform
To handle the build of the four sites, we created a cost-effective efficient solution. We created a white-label site using our starter site Convivial for GovCMS (link). Convivial for GovCMS is a distribution created by Morpht which provides feature rich components right out-of-the-box.
The built the white-label site to carry standardised content types and functionality commonly used across all the four sites. With this base site in play, we saved time and effort when creating each of the four sites.
Re-architecting the content model
Morpht met the project challenge by ensuring that the APSC Product Owner was involved every step of the way. With a deadline that all websites needed to be ready for APSC stakeholders by 30 March 2021, Morpht established the project by immediately diving in with Discovery sessions for each of the websites.
Working with this strategy, Morpht could:
- Identify the commonalities between each website which was used to inform the white label starter-kit.
- Inspect the content model and suggest improvements/enhancements which were factored into the DNA of each project.
- Develop design alignment recommendations and work with APSC to ensure that this would meet stakeholder requirements.
On a mission to improve the user experience, we
- Improved the discoverability and user flow through the content
- Delivered different navigation models
- Created a few new content types to surface information across different page types
- Pooled together disparate publications and tools into a resource library categorised by audience group, topics and year.
From the start we had a lot to coordinate. Four websites with different needs - some needing content model improvements, others needing IA improvements, and some needing minor design improvements while others a complete redesign.
The APSC were invested in the project and keen to contribute their skills and expertise - being in the box seat with the key stakeholders this was an ideal scenario. We supported them by aligning some of their outputs with our methodologies and tested them against accessibility standards.
Morpht established an integrated team of key Morpht staff (Project manager, developers, UX Designer) and key APSC staff (Product Owner, UX Designer, Site administrator ). We facilitated the key communication points through direct access to our project management tool to maintain transparent communication streams between all members of the integrated team. Daily scrum meetings ensured we identified blockers early and kept them front and centre in everyone's mind to resolve. We steered the overall project through weekly WIP meetings.
Working this way ensured that the project ran smoothly to schedule and was able to be agile and respond to any late modifications and adjustments as required.
Fostering a team spirit, clearly articulated shared project goals, facilitated an open and friendly work space which supported the development of a new relationship we’re proud of.
Within 6 months Morpht produced all 4 sites for the APSC. Three have launched and the fourth one is not far behind. Morpht delivered the project 30 days early, as a result providing much needed time for the APSC to work on perfecting content on the sites prior to launch.
Convivial for GovCMS provided the framework needed to deliver the project on time, within budget and adding more value than expected. The project fostered a great working relationship which opened the door for further collaboration with the APSC on new projects for the rest of 2021.