The future of tax collection
- Silja Nyhus
- Partner, Design Director
- Send an email
As a long-term partner of the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten), we’re working on one of the largest digitalisation projects in Norway, transforming tax collection into a seamless and holistic experience – and integrating it into the users’ ecosystem
In recent years, the Norwegian Tax Administration (“Skatteetaten”) has been entrusted with more complex responsibilities nationally. To tackle the challenges in this new reality, they’ve embarked on an ambitious journey: A large-scale digital transformation of all their services – with the goal of providing coherent experiences to both internal and external users. The financial benefits are estimated at over NOK 12 billion.
Mapping out the entire tax system, we realised that for one specific user group, entrepreneurs, issues start soon after establishing their business – ultimately resulting in 70% of them not lasting longer than five years, despite sleepless nights worrying and frustratingly trying to understand what’s required of them. Reducing the risk of them giving up or underpaying tax, and consequently the risk of bankruptcy, became one of our key focus areas because of its impact on Norwegian value creation.
Introducing mindsets over segments as a method to span out different needs and behaviours to create future user journeys.
Having mapped out the big picture, we then defined future scenarios addressing the biggest challenges and opportunities we had identified and used this to align on future ambitions.
When we knew where we were going, we dove deep into the lifecycle of small businesses in different industries. From idea and registration, through to operations – and, for too many, bankruptcy. Co-designing with a wide group of internal and external stakeholders, we explored value adding systemic connections, unearthed new possible solutions, and reconfigured existing ones
Combining qualitative and quantitative data helped the team gain deep insight into the problems. Involving other public authorities, banks and system providers, we used methodology from research and design to define user journeys and develop concepts — with the shared overarching goal of going from a reactive to a proactive mindset.
Future user journeys empowering users to do the right thing in various situations, addressing main pain-points and opportunities.
Skatteetaten realised they needed to empower entrepreneurs with real-time data, simpler language, and nudges that help them to make sound choices, of course without compromising privacy and GDPR concerns. A key enabler of this was maturing from working with traditional user segmentation, to identifying different behaviours and mindsets, and corresponding needs.
Combining qualitative insights with trends, signals and quantitative data, we also worked closely with economists, business developers and analysts to estimate the financial effects and benefits of different measures to entrepreneurs, citizens and society at large.
To validate our concepts, we prototyped the digital tools central to the future entrepreneur experience. The team created and tested new, coherent services across old silos and systems, giving taxpayers new tools and features in Skatteetaten’s existing interfaces — as well as introducing new functionality within their external everyday tools, like their bank, accounting, and salary systems. This work is still ongoing.
Facilitating and managing stakeholders and sponsors in the ecosystem is challenging but crucial to break down barriers and succeed in establishing common goals to create coherent services.
This meant diving even deeper into the sea of taxes to understand how to realise the full potential of the interlinked architecture across the tax ecosystem, and redesign its processes, interfaces, and systems. The team also looked at what laws and regulations needed to change or adapt, as well as business rules, change management initiatives and value mapping — all with the aim of enabling the desired future user experience.
The partnership between The Norwegian Tax Administration and Manyone has been instrumental in driving a highly ambitious digital transformation, addressing the organisation's complex challenges. Embracing design-driven innovation practices, Skatteetaten is taking a bold leap in enhancing the experience of tax collection in Norway.
Key activities and deliverables:
Phase 1: Innovation-led ways of working
Coaching and facilitating teams in Design Thinking and processes
Problem definition through data analysis, trends and user insights
Identifying opportunity spaces
Principles for the future experience
Documentation through giga-maps, reports and visualisations
Future vision and storytelling
Phase 2: Co-creating concepts
In-depth qualitative insights, data analysis and documentation
As-is user journeys
Facilitating a co-creative process involving ecosystem stakeholders
Ideation, concept development and definition of principles
Future user journeys
Testing and validation with end users
Phase 3: Product and service innovation
Detailed future process definition
Prototype and user tests
Overall concept for nudging
Documentation through user journeys and maps
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