I love the Plain Language Act. Especially the part concerning plain-language websites which gives me plenty of opportunities to advocate the merits of information architecture and user experience (IA and UX). But providing information is only part of what government agencies do.
Agencies also provide services. Services such as providing Social Security to licensing vehicles to regulating the stock market. I am not sure if a list of government services exist but I bet it is a massive list and demonstrates how almost every aspect of our lives relates to one or more government services. For the most part, government services are delivered effectively and efficiently.
And then there are service experiences like my last trip to the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles. It was during a conversation with a colleague when I was complaining about the DMV that I said I wished there was a “Plain Processes Act.” He then said, “what does that mean?”
“You know, where the process makes sense and you don’t spend all your time waiting, filling out forms, and being shuffled from one window to another where you have to repeat the same information. Like the way you can buy a book off Amazon in a few minutes.”
As luck would have it, I just received an article from the Business Process Institute on a government version of business process management. Interesting start but I wanted something more along the lines of the guidance found on PlainLanguage.Gov. So, I thought I would crowdsource this idea. Here are some questions for the GovLoop community:
1. Is there such a thing as plain processes?
2. Are any agencies practicing plain processes management? Any examples?
3. What are the principles of plain processes?
4. Are plain processes essentially just good customer service?
5. Anything I missed?
Thanks for reading and, as always, all opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of my employers or any groups I belong to.