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Case Study

New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment: Transforming a legacy planning system for a better customer experience

  • Processes 200,000 applications annually

  • Reduces application determination times by more than 50%

  • Driving 86% customer satisfaction

“With Pega, we were able to work efficiently together with small groups of stakeholders, including councils, state agencies, and industry, to design a fully integrated digital solution. Improving the customer experience was a top priority and central to our design methodology.”

The Business Issue

The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) provides Australia’s most populous state with a wide range of services related to planning, zoning, building, and conservation.  

With more than 200,000 applications submitted to New South Wales DPE annually, the department faced several challenges in its planning process. It used a significant number of bespoke applications internally and across various councils. Not only were these applications costly to run, they also demanded a high level of effort and resources to stay fully operational. Additionally, there was a high reliance on a number of cumbersome paper-based processes and face-to-face interactions. 

To improve its user experience, New South Wales DPE needed to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and increase transparency – all while adapting to legislative changes and constituent needs. 

The Solution

New South Wales DPE used the Pega Government PlatformTM on Pega Cloud® to create the NSW Planning Portal, a single digital platform that replaces multiple bespoke applications and manual processes. The portal enables citizens, property developers, local councils, and professional bodies to submit applications and interact with the planning system 24/7 from the comfort of their homes or offices. 

The application process has been digitized and integrated into a single digital platform – a seamless alternative to what was previously a disparate range of manual processes that could only be conducted in person and during business hours. 

The NSW Planning Portal offers a transparent and simplified application process, helping applicants understand requirements and improve the quality of applications lodged. The Pega Platform allowed for an agile and collaborative approach, facilitating the involvement of local councils in the design and build process. In fact, all 128 New South Wales councils adopted the digital planning services, with quick onboarding and training completed in hours –rather than days or weeks. 

The Results

New South Wales DPE has seen significant results after implementing the NSW Planning Portal, including: 

  • A streamlined and transparent application process that eliminated the need for face-to-face interactions and inconvenient paper-based systems 
  • Average application completion time reduced from over 40 days to less than 20 days 
  • Application determination times reduced by more than 50% 
  • Increased department efficiency due to the continuous release and improvement of the digital services via rapid delivery within a 4–10 week release cycle  
  • Consistent customer satisfaction rates averaging 86% over the past year 

Read New South Wales DPE’s full article in Governments Building for Change

All text sourced directly from Governments Building for Change.

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Related Resources

Read the full article on NSW DPE in this report.

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Défi: Excellence opérationnelle Défi: Modernisation de l'entreprise Défi: Service client Groupe de produits: Plateforme Industry: Secteur public
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