Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation

Digital services, optimized processes are first steps on client-centric path

Deputy head of the Analytical Center Anastasia Permyakova has spoken about the development of the client-centric approach in the public sector at the 32nd IPMA World Congress.

The Analytical Center launched the Project Olympus project management contest in 2014, Permyakova said. “We view this contest as a platform for verifying theories of using project management techniques in the public center. For instance, we have been actively attracting participants with lean management projects since 2018. This year, we organized the client-centric approach nomination together with colleagues from the Economic Development Ministry,” she said.

Entities that provide services to the population and deal with large client flows applied for the experimental nomination, the expert said. “These are regional branches of the Pension Fund, educational establishments, schools, multifunctional public service centers, and healthcare institutions,” she said.

Speaking of regional specific features, Permyakova said that regions with developed management instruments of other kinds, such as project and lean management, are the first to take the client-centric path. “In those regions, the client-centric approach is the next, logical step in the effort to accommodate client needs,” she said.

The expert mentioned common features of projects submitted for the contest. “Entities are really trying to make life of their clients better: they reduce the service provision period, the number of mistakes and the number of documents a client is supposed to submit,” the expert said. “This is how we meet client needs by altering internal processes,” she said. The client-centric approach is frequently understood as digital transformation, the expert continued. However, this is sufficient only at the initial stage, before basic needs of clients are met. Later on, it will be necessary to involve clients in the development of products to accommodate their particular needs, she said. “As long as we, an entity, believe that we know better, the client-centric approach will be incomplete. We need to put ourselves in client shoes and ask what exactly they would want. However, an entity needs to reach a certain level of maturity before this happens,” Permyakova said.

At this point, all regions and entities that are taking the client-centric approach independently develop their own methods, principles and standards of work, the expert said. The availability of a common knowledge database for all regions could give a strong impetus to the development of client-centric products and services across the country. “We are hopeful that Project Olympus will become the venue where regional and federal levels will communicate and discuss all those standards and principles,” Permyakova said.

The Analytical Center is a co-organizer of the 32nd IPMA World Congress, the biggest professional project management event in Russia.