The methodology of Agile software development was born in the United States twenty years ago and was a revolution in the way large software and digital transformation projects are set up: instead of planning a long-term approach and a series of phases and intermediate steps, the agile method involves a less structured approach and more focused on the goal of designing and delivering working prototypes to the customer quickly and frequently.
The centrality of the user
Inps is making a change of mentality that is revolutionary for it: the explicit objective now is the centrality of the user. “We no longer take a procedure that arises from a law, transform it into digital and then check whether it works with users – says Grassi -. Instead, let’s start by confronting the user right away, on his needs and ways of interaction. Because our purpose as a social security institution is to provide services to citizens and improve their lives“.
Inps today does not mean only pensions: if on the one hand there are 16 million pensioners, on the other there are 25.7 million policyholders, 1.8 million companies. There are direct pensions, survivors, disability benefits, citizenship income, unemployment. And then there areor support bonuses and refreshments, which are also received by non-members. The institute plays a central role in the life of the country. Its services are used by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people.
For example, the access to the delegation of the Spidthe service that allows another person to log in online instead of an elderly person or of a person unable to log in via Spid autonomously: almost 320 thousand proxies. Or the universal single check service, active from 1 January 2022, which brings together support for families with children in a single procedure, and which includes and replaces, enriching them, seven or eight previous instruments. It is an important reform that it is part of the Family act and it is the highest paid benefit after pensions: compared to 15.5 million pensioners, there are 6 million applications for almost ten million children (with 50,000 applications from adult children up to 21 years of age). Finally, the issuance of the disability cardthe European disability card, a service whose user experience was built from scratch in just a few months.
The pact with users
A final element of this process of transformation of the interfaces and paths within the INPS site is the creation of the Agreement with users, a section of the site in which citizens will be explained what the institution’s commitments are: the charter of services for the transparency, timing and correctness of the disbursementsthe feedback part that allows you to evaluate the work done, e the area for superusers, that is, users who make themselves available to participate in the planning of services with the institute. Finally, the delivery times of the various types of services, which until now were internal indicators and will instead be made public.
“The user experience evolution project started a year and a half ago, after the need created by the pandemic – says Grassi – because volumes have increased and user needs too. The site is no longer used by professionals and geeks, today it is a tool for everyone. The digital strategic plan it transforms the way in which users access services and in the meantime allows to free up internal resources, which instead follow the other objective of the institute, that is to advise citizens. To do this, there is an ongoing change management project: currently 8,500 officials are being trained in the new digital and consulting skills“.