A senior Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer experience (CX) official said last week that the value of taking a deliberate approach in the process for generating CX improvements can generate better understanding of the problems trying to be solved, and ultimately the way that the agency may go about making improvements.

Barbara Morton, deputy chief veterans experience officer with the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) at the VA, explained why it’s essential to sometimes slow down the process at a June 1 event organized by GovExec.

“I think there’s more of an openness and a willingness to kind of slow down a minute and say ‘well, let’s have a series of focus groups before we decide on this policy issue. Let’s pull some data from our survey data from these signals, let’s do some human-centered design research’,” said Morton.

She explained that the need for speed in creating CX improvements still has its place, but also said there are times when taking a more deliberate approach is also makes sense.

“There’s a mindset of wanting to verify how veterans and their families that we serve might feel with any possible change or service delivery,” then taking the time to make sure the result is delivering a “dynamite product or service,” said Morton.

Morton said that type of cultural changes at the VA has been driven by the Biden Administration’s December 2021 executive order to reshape and improve how the Federal government delivers its services.

“We’ve been on this journey for a number of years and the executive order specifically calls out the digital experience, designating va.gov as VA’s…strategic digital front door, requiring us to continue to integrate different capabilities and web properties,” Morton said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.