One strategy for understanding the needs of applicants and program staff in more detail is journey mapping. Journey mapping is a way of documenting and understanding the end-to-end experience of applicants and program staff as they engage with the program. A journey map can give a high-level overview of key interactions, challenges, and opportunities for improvement for different stakeholders throughout their experience with the program.
The first step to improving residents' experience with programs is understanding their current experience in detail. Working with each program to answer the questions in Program Assessment can help give a clear picture of each program's user journey across different phases, including discovery, eligibility screening, application submission and processing, determination, delivery, and renewal. A detailed journey map will include touchpoints between residents and staff, tools, processes, timelines, and pain points. In addition to working closely with program staff, conducting reserach with residents is a key part of understanding existing challenges and opportunities for improvement.
Once you have a journey map of what exists, you can better understand what improvements are possible across the resident journey. Whether it involves simplyifying application forms, consolidating many applications into one, or just making a paper application accessible digitally, work with your stakeholders to craft a new journey map that represents a better experience for program staff and residents.