At a glance

2 to 4 months
State government
Discovery & strategy, Design & user research, Build & migration
GovTech, Whole of government, Civic tech, Web development, Drupal Planet
User needs, Multidisciplinary teams, Agile delivery, Tools & systems, Security, Design

WA Government’s challenge

As more agencies onboard to, limitations in the platform’s ability to manage data at scale were uncovered, and DPC was getting more requests for additional features. WA DPC’s challenge is to provide a scalable solution and triage feature requests to provide the most engaging experience for citizens.

WA Government’s transformation

WA DPC had a backlog of feature requests from participating agencies and internal platform stakeholders. WA DPC identified the top eight areas to deliver a more scalable platform for agencies and provide richer citizen experiences. Salsa worked with WA DPC to scope and validate these areas using a series of rapid prototypes. With concepts validated, we moved to developing production versions of the enhancements, with core features delivered prior to June 2021 and further enhancements planned post 30 June 2021.

The outcomes

While the project is still in progress, the outcomes delivered, and/or planned to be delivered, include:

  • A more coherent model to manage document access and versioning

  • The ability to manage content across agency boundaries without system-imposed technical constraints

  • Rollout of high priority functional enhancements

  • Rollout of editorial enhancements for easier content management

"Salsa Digital is a pleasure to work with. They’re engaging, collaborative, transparent, well organised and deliver value in every interaction."

Bill Bell, Director | Digital Services and Policy
WA Department of Premier and Cabinet

WA Government’s challenge — agency ramp-up identifies new requirements

The Office of Digital Government (DGov) within WA DPC works with WA Government agencies to support and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. A key DGov focus is whole-of-government digital strategies. DGov established in 2018 as a platform to consolidate WA agency information. As with any platform, there’s an ongoing need to continually develop capability.

Onboarding more and more agencies to the platform:

  • Exposed limitations to manage agency information at scale

  • Led to a wider cross-section of enhancement requests

  • Required more consideration of data access controls between agencies and within the editors of agencies

The WA DPC team compiled a product roadmap and needed a partner to deliver. 

A further project constraint was the availability of WA DPC stakeholders to the project. Access to the WA DPC team was limited, partly due to a prioritised focus on COVID and partly due to the volume of project work leading to the end of financial year. 

WA PDC’s trusted digital partner

WA DPC’s challenges were significant. Complex functionality needed to be taken from high level requirement to solution. Access to WA subject expertise was limited. Fortunately Salsa has proven to be WA DPC’s trusted digital partner through previous engagements. We were also able to inject experience and skills delivering services for other whole-of-government platforms such as GovCMS, Victoria’s SDP and NSW Customer Service. 

This Drupal extension project is the 5th engagement in a series of projects Salsa has executed for WA DPC. Details of the first three projects are below

WA Government — pandemic alerts

WA Alerts module
Delivering critical information to WA citizens — Salsa built an API-driven Drupal alerts module for the WA Government so it could consolidate alert messages and automate banner notifications for its suite of websites. View case study

WA Government — public consultations

Centralising WA’s public consultation feature using APIs

Centrally managing public consultations for WA citizens — Salsa built a public consultation solution to capture and manage consultations along with a consultation listing feature on, with API capability for new consultations from external sources.

View case study

WA Government — service centre locator

WA whole-of-government service centre locator

Enabling citizens to locate service centres through Western Australia — Salsa built WA’s service centre location feature to create a personalised, location-based experience for WA citizens.

View case study

WA DPC’s transformation — uplift user and editorial experiences

Working hyper-agile and being ultra pragmatic

WA DPC and Salsa agreed that access to WA DPC subject experts for the project would be limited. While Salsa had previously worked through heavy discovery sessions with WA DPC, this project could not afford such luxury. We needed to design hyper-nimble execution methods. We decided to break each of the eight feature areas into separate proof-of-concepts (PoCs). After an initial lightweight scoping session per requirement, and armed with some functional definition per requirement from the project backlog, Salsa created rapid PoCs. Salsa recorded walkthroughs of each PoC to allow WA DPC to provide considered feedback in their own time. Some structured sessions to walkthrough requirements were still required, however contact time with WA DPC staff was optimised.

Areas of focus for initial release

WA DPC and Salsa settled on the following eight features to tackle as a priority:

  • Document management — Provision for making agency documents private, better managing document versions and hiding unpublished documents. This feature provides more editorial control and avoids citizen confusion due to outdated documents.

  • Group security — Update the security model to provide more flexibility when content, and content management, is shared across agencies. The present model was very rigid with technical limitations exposing inflexible methods of handling user groups and agencies/organisations.

  • Public service taxonomy — The provision of content models to enable tagging of content by public service reference models such as the Australian Government Architecture Reference Model (AGA) - Business Reference Model (BRM). The present site had this standard partially modelled. The requirement was to further encode the standard into and present information aligned to the standard’s categories.

  • Page index — Uplift pages to replace a manual method of creating page index quick links with an automated method, and improve UX on mobile.

  • Document collection —Enhanced support for collections of documents with editor control of information about the collection possible.

  • Quick exit —Implement a quick exit function, common on websites that contain sensitive content. Salsa was able to borrow from previous quick exit functionality we’ve built and re-use/share in the WA context.

  • CMS layouts — Audit all editorial screens and update layouts across content types to be more consistent and logical. Employ the use of tabs and consistent labelling to create a more seamless editor experience.

  • Annual report — Provide dedicated support for annual reports and instead of using the more general publication type. Provide a multi-page structure appropriate for complex/large documents.

Enhancements still to come

Salsa worked with the WA DPC team to ensure MVP versions of each requirement can be rolled out prior to 30 June 2021. The team has also planned enhancements to each feature post June 2021. Budget has been set aside for these enhancements. The WA DPC and Salsa team will work together to ensure the highest value is delivered with the remaining budget.

The outcomes — delivering enhancements

While the project is still in progress, the outcomes delivered, and/or planned to be delivered, include:

  • A more coherent model to manage document access and versioning

  • Ability to manage content across agency boundaries and not be limited to inflexible, system-imposed technical constraints, but rather present content to citizens in more unified ways

  • Rollout of high priority functional enhancements such as quick exit, document collections and automation of related links

  • Rollout of editorial enhancements such as more logical and consistent content management screen layouts, and an ability to present annual reports

  • A richer more immersive platform for WA citizens

  • A platform with more scalable support for collaboration to content editors as more agencies onboard

About WA DPC Office of Digital Government

The WA DPC Office of Digital Government (DGov) within WA DPC leads and coordinates digital transformation across government to improve service delivery and reduce regulatory burden for Western Australian people and businesses.