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This case study assesses the innovative approach taken by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to rapidly implement a single online Victorian Housing Register Application (VHRA).


  • Citizens generally do not know or care which part of government provides a service – they simply want it delivered fast, effectively, and with the minimum of fuss.
  • Citizen authentication is key to the seamless delivery of digital government services, and users want to minimize the proliferation of online credentials. Reusing existing services from other jurisdictions can significantly reduce complexity, cost, and end-user frustration.

Features and Benefits

  • Agile development methodologies can substantially improve the quality and speed of delivery with strong and consistent commitment by both business owners and technical developers.
  • Increased speed through agile development requires associated DevOps capabilities to ensure that deployment capacity is not a limiting factor.

Key questions answered

  • Agencies should prioritize their business processes for improvement in order of maximizing citizen impact. Using co-design strategies can help produce solutions that are mobile-native, adjust to individual circumstances, and provide submission tracking.
  • Agencies across all Australian jurisdictions should investigate where they can integrate with the national myGov authentication system to reduce their own management overheads and frustration for their constituents.

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations for agencies

  • Use consumer-grade solutions to improve citizen interactions
  • Pair agile and DevOps to reduce time to delivery
  • Integrate existing services to reduce complexity for citizens

Background and challenges

  • Multiple registers for social housing
  • Citizens and politicians want to see quick results
  • National, state, or local government – citizens do not care
  • Authentication is the key to digital citizen services
  • Ubiquity trumps technical elegance

Building a new solution

  • Adopting an agile approach
  • Reusing existing services
  • Designing flexibility from an end-user perspective
  • You are not really agile without DevOps
  • Improved citizen outcomes

Lessons learned

  • Agile is intense – and downtime is important
  • Integrating with other jurisdictions requires understanding their business cycles


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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