Australian Government Organization

                How a process-driven service empowers choice for those with disabilities

                Meet our customer hero

In 2011 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reformed the provision of disability services across Australia. The resulting initiative now supports almost 467,000 affected people across two territories and six states with personalized services. Behind its success is a high-performing organization with the right capabilities, people and processes visibility to deliver on operational goals. Most importantly—in a uniquely client-centric way. This is their story.


  • Lack of digitalized process documentation
  • Multiple processes—different across all six states
  • Pressure on IT to have process architecture fit for “new” purpose
  • Need to improve and scale process efficiency
  • Inability to define future state due to lack of “as is” visibility
  • Focus on business need for better client experience


  • Configured solution in just 3 weeks
  • Increased unique visitor users from 10 to 70 p/w in a year
  • Flexibility to adopt simple EPC notation
  • Accessibility features with WCAG 2 standards
  • Mapped 300 key operational processes

                    “In just 17 months, we’ve gone from poor process maturity to process standardization and increasingly excellence. This equates to faster onboarding, more choice and improved client intimacy.”

Alan, Director of Process Capability, and Improvement

                A model that changes the world of disability

Since 2011, the social landscape in Australia for those with disabilities has changed massively. Prior to that date those in need could expect to be allocated a provider, given whatever they got, and left to it. This has recently been flipped on its head. Now “participants” receive funding proportionate to their disabilities and can select how to spend it. It’s all about choice and empowerment. But for the Organization servicing it, it’s been about huge growth since 2018. Accompanied by the rollout of a process-driven culture.

The Organization isn’t new to what it does. But it is new to automating the processes that support it. In 2020, for example, it had no digitalized process documentation. It had different process protocols across different geographical states. And clients in the western territories received a different experience to those on the eastern side. Overall, the Organization’s process maturity was surprisingly poor.

“When we started this project, we wanted to achieve something great. This required bringing far greater awareness of processes, synergizing people, and improving processes across the continent. We knew we needed a tool that would help us create, manage, analyze, improve, and govern our business processes centrally,” says Alan, Director of Process Capability and Improvement.

When the team looked at ARIS, the advantages started to set it out from the rest. The Organization had several special requirements: It wanted to start very small but needed a powerful system to help it scale very fast. It wanted accessibility features to ensure everyone could interact with the tool. It wanted a flexible solution that could start “on prem” and move to the Cloud as developed. And the tool needed to be intuitive and exceptionally user-friendly as there were 5,000 operations staff with no prior experience who needed to use it.

From poor to excellent in just 17 months
ARIS  was configured in just 3 weeks and deployment and training was underway within 5 months. Next, the Organization standardized all documents and started to capture its current process state. In just 12 months, it had mapped all the processes associated with onboarding a participant and building a care plan for them. With 150 active process modelers, it also had a visual understanding of these processes.

It was also able to be flexible with the notation language it used. For the Organization, going down the event-driven process chain (EPC) rather business process modelling notation (BPMN) language path was less complex and ensured far greater user acceptance. At the beginning of the project, for example, it was registering 10 unique users a week. Now that’s up to 70. A quick upgrade to the latest version of ARIS also meant the tool was accessible according to WCAG 2 standards. More than 80 users benefit from this daily.

Transform. Optimize. Control.
With the transformation done or “a solid baseline in place” as Alan recalls, things have started to get very exciting. “We have a situation now when we can start to improve our processes and deliver real outcomes” he explains. “Naturally, I see all the huge potential, but I really appreciate having our Software AG Customer Success Manager—at our side. They’ve gone through the journey with us and have helped me position process excellence and make it top of mind across our organization. Now we’re ready to execute.”

Take the recent project to map the Organization’s future state. Surprisingly, this led to another big IT decision—to switch to a new operating system. “We needed hard data on how people were actually using our processes. Data that our old operating system couldn’t provide” says Alan. “Our BPM is truly amazing at combining multiple views so you can actually understand the reality of your processes.” Now the Organization can see how staff are really using the processes and compare that to what they are supposed to be doing at any given point. Combined with data from the new operating system (time stamps, system triggers, trigger points, case opens, closes and pauses) and its BPM tool, the Organization can overlay 2 views and convert it into a picture that will shape the future of process management.

It can also identify strategic KPIs that would have been unthinkable before. Alan explains, “It can take up to 100 days to onboard and serve our clients. We want to almost half that and believe we can. But we need to see the process metrics to understand why some processes take longer than others. This will soon be possible.” What matters now, though, is that the answers clients receive to enquiries are more accurate, relevant, and consistent. In fact, process efficiency has reduced the time it takes staff to manage applications which means they have more time to check in, personally, with participants. This is great for customer intimacy.

And it doesn’t stop there: Deploying process mining capabilities is big on the agenda. Currently, for example, the Organization exists as part of a complex matrix of mixed stakeholder groups. While as yet there aren’t plans to collaborate, there are process insights that will be able to show which partners are a good fit—enabling the Organization to reach out proactively. Right now, though, the process team are concentrating on process governance and risk management. The idea is to tackle a huge issue in Australia to do with fraudulent treatment of those with a disability and their funding. As well as build risk and fraud assessment capabilities into their processes. Not bad going for an organization that 17 months ago didn’t have a digital process to speak of.

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