A toolkit for design innovation: Putting Veterans’ needs first


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Think it’s impossible to implement human-centered design in the public sector? VA is doing just that by putting Veterans’ feedback first. And what we’ve learned may help other public-sector agencies reach their customers.

VA’s Center for Innovation released a human-centered design toolkit to guide VA and other federal employees through the process of implementing this Veteran-centric methodology.

Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach to design in which the needs, behaviors and experiences of an organization’s customers drive product, service or technology development processes. It is a practice used heavily across the private sector to build a strong understanding of users, generate ideas for new products and services, test concepts with real people and ultimately deliver easy-to-use products and positive customer experiences

“HCD is one of the approaches that will help VA transform to best serve Veterans. It serves as a foundational approach in which Veterans’ needs are the main focus during all stages in the development of products, services and processes,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “VA will use HCD to improve our processes so that Veterans interact with VA in ways that are best suited to fulfill their needs and wants.”

VA’s toolkit is a resource that offers a strong foundation for learning by doing. It introduces the human-centered design process, goals,and activities so we can apply this technique with teams across VA and its public sector partners.

First step? Let’s get out and talk to our customers. We’ll see you out there!

Access the full Human-Centered Design Toolkit here.


About the author: VA Center for Innovation identifies, tests and evaluates new approaches to efficiently and effectively meet the current and future needs of Veterans through innovations rooted in data, design-thinking and agile development. Find out more at http://www.innovation.va.gov/.

Author

VA Center for Innovation

Comments

  1. Edmund Dorf    

    What a load of crap. In reality, VA employees are no different that other civil servants; they feel their job is their reward and actually working 8 hours for 8 hours pay is anathema to them.

  2. Bob K    

    Absolutely, that’s what bureaucrats do! What the VA needs is more staff so that they don’t have to switch people around from one job to another to deal with whatever crisis is in the media. It is my understanding that when “new claims” was the hot topic, they reassigned appeals folks to help get the workload figures up. How is it acceptable that the average appeals case takes 5 YEARS?

  3. DOYLE BOYD    

    THIS SOUNDS LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR: LISTENING TO THE VETERAN. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND SOMEONE IN THE VA WHO WOULD LISTEN TO ME. WHEN ONE DOES LISTSEN BRIEFLY, HE/SHE DISAPPEARS, AND IT DIFFICULT, AND AT TIMES IMPOSSIBLE TO RE-CONNECT. VA STAFF WHO DO LISTEN HAVE A WAY OF BEING RE-ASSIGNED, AND OUT OF REACH. WHAT DID I DO TO PUT A CHIP ON THE SHOULDER, HERE OR THERE?
    I HOPE TO FIND SOME WAY THAT I CAN HELP VA.

  4. DOYLE BOYD    

    THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RELIEVE SOME VA RELATED STRESS

  5. DOYLE BOYD    

    The above has a cherished paragraph:
    “First step? Let’s get out and talk to our customers. We’ll see you out there!”
    This has to do with HCD – Human Centered Design.
    I AM ENVITING TWO PEOPLE TO MY HOME:
    1.MR. BOB MCDONALD
    2.MS. MARY ALICE MORO

  6. DOYLE BOYD    

    this is an opportunity for VA to get out and talk to a customer.

  7. WAYNE HUNT    

    THE MARINE CORPS. POISONED ME AT CAMP LEJEUNE NC .CONTAMINATED WATER.AND THE VA. IS LETTING ME DIE!!!!

  8. Pete Perez    

    #When is the “Michael E. De Bakey,V.A.Medical Center”going to finish my First Dental Implant??They started over one year ago and still are Not finished!*

  9. DannyG    

    The Prescott VA has some of the most VETERAN-centered employees I have ever seen! There are a lot of them that are there JUST for the benefits & paycheck, but LOTS OF THEM really care abt us, & I proudly call them friends, & when I run into them at the clinic, I let others know that they are the BEST the VA can offer!

Comments are closed.