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Why are We Sharing a Competitor's Success Story?

By Alannah Dragonetti
 

Online publication, GovTech, (you may recall that GovTech named GovPilot one of the top government technology companies in its annual list) recently posted an article detailing the positive impact Michigan’s newly abridged public assistance application form has had on state agencies’ efficiency. What does this have to do with GovPilot? Keep reading to find out!

 


A (Moderate) Success Story

 


In 2015, the Great Lakes State enlisted Detroit-based design firm, Civilla, to help revamp government services. After questioning constituents as well as state employees about their challenges, Civilla determined that Michigan’s 40 page paper state assistance application form proved a major obstacle to residents in need obtaining food stamps, state emergency relief and health care.


Civilla worked for three years to whittle the lengthy application form to just 18 pages, without sacrificing its function as a data aggregation tool. Michigan introduced the new form within the last few weeks and the state is pleased with the results.Streamlined application has led to a 42 percent decrease in processing time—a change that Civilla estimates can translate to over 218 hours saved over the course of one year. Government agencies are directing employees to dedicate time saved to performing other critical duties. Next stop? Automation. Michigan is currently working with another outside vendor to create an online version of the form.

 

GovPilot government software

 In 2015, the state of Michigan enlisted Detroit-based design firm, Civilla, to help revamp government services. 

 

GovPilot is not involved with this project, so why are we sharing the details on our blog? Because if we had been, Michigan’s efficiency initiative would be even more successful.


The GovPilot Difference


There is no doubt that Civilla conducted thorough research. The firm interviewed real applicants and real government employees—a method that we use to develop government software that garners near-perfect customer satisfaction ratings. The issue lies in Civilla's execution. The firm prides itself on designing human-centered workflows that make institutions easy to navigate. What Civilla fails to realize is that, in 2018, human-centered design involves machines.


Michigan’s state assistance application form may be concise, but it is still paper. Antiquated paper-based processes are costly, convoluted, bad for the environment and pose unique problems for underserved citizens, like those applying for Michigan’s government aid.


Indeed, citizens seeking food stamps or emergency relief may not have access to a printer, scanner or fax machine. If they do, Michigan’s 18 page application form will certainly put a dent in their ream of computer paper and costly cartridge of ink.  Assuming that applicants clear all of the aforementioned hurdles, paper may still delay the issuance of desperately needed services.


The GovTech article notes that the old version of Michigan’s application form was, on average, only 72 percent complete upon submission. The streamlined version comes to government officials at an average of 94 percent complete. Even after a years-long mission to refine the process, government employees must still follow-up with most applicants to fill-in the blanks—a task that lengthens the stretch of time between citizens’ request for help and its arrival.

 

GovPilot government software

Even after a years-long mission to refine the process, Michigan state government employees must still follow-up with most applicants to fill-in the blanks.

 

If Michigan had turned to GovPilot instead of Civilla, the submitted form completion rate would be at 100 percent. GovPilot takes forms from paper to digital in one step. Our digital forms feature mandatory fields that ensure all applicant information is provided before continuing on to the processing phase.


While we commend Michigan for making great strides in the evolution of its constituent services, we maintain that the improvement would have come sooner and been even more dramatic had the state opted for GovPilot. (Hey Michigan, it isn’t too late!)


If your state, county, or municipal government is looking to upgrade its daily operations and overall efficiency, do yourself and your constituents a favor: schedule a demo of GovPilot.

 

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Tags: News, Government Efficiency