Pre-mobilisation phase

Pre-mobilisation is the first of two planning phases and the start of the process.

Why do we need pre-mobilisation?

It ensures the right problem is being addressed. This phase highlights whether this process is suitable for the problem, and whether your agency is ready to start.

What happens in the pre-mobilisation phase?

A digital/business transformation manager needs to be assigned as they will be responsible for taking the team through this process. Pre-mobilisation is a series of workshops, meetings and conversations to:

  • define or refine the problem statement
  • assess the benefits to users and government
  • identify if there is funding (usually for resources) available
  • determine if there is executive support.

How long does pre-mobilisation last?

There is no recommended set time for this phase as it depends on how long it takes to define your problem, resource your team, and obtain approvals to proceed.

Creating a ‘problem statement’

The pre-cursor to UCD is defining a problem as a statement. A problem statement is a description of the issue that needs to be addressed.

Running a workshop with key stakeholders across the business is a good way to reveal problems. Each stakeholder should present one or more problems in their space explaining why it is a problem. The group will then rationalise using 'complexity vs public value' to determine which problem(s) are good candidates for this process. Subsequent meetings and workshops may be required to refine this further.

Problem statement example:

‘The need to reduce the number of patients that do not show up to appointments.’
(as opposed to) 
Solution: ‘We need an online booking system.’

In this example there is no guarantee that a booking system will reduce the number of patients who do not attend their appointment.

Does it offer meaningful, measurable benefits?

Once a problem has been identified it is important to understand the benefits that could be realised from both the customers’ and government’s perspective. To do this we use a variety of measurements:

  • Will the outcomes be tangible, visible and communicable?
  • What are the hard benefits in terms of volumes?
  • Is there a political benefit?
  • How do we know that the benefits matter?
  • Is it an enabler for something else?
  • Does it align to the strategic plan?

Identify your team

A multi-disciplinary, co-located team is essential to successfully ensure the right thing will be built in the right way. Each phase of the process requires a different mix of disciplines, constructing a multi-disciplinary, balanced team. If the roles cannot be filled internally they may need to be sourced from another agency or recruited. For example, there might be the requirement to engage a user research recruitment company.


  • Has a problem statement been identified?
  • Does it offer meaningful, measurable benefits?
  • Has a multi-disciplinary team been identified and booked in?
  • Have any additional roles been recruited?
  • Has approval to proceed been obtained (if required)?
  • Is the agency ready to begin?

Next phase

The next phase is Mobilisation.