The ultimate goal is what the customer wants most – it’s the reason they’re talking to you in the first place. It should be a single sentence which describes the overall aim of the project, followed by a series of quantifiable objectives.
For example: To provide an automated and seamless experience for parents who wish to check their entitlement to education welfare benefits
- Reduce letters sent by the service to confirm eligibility by 80%
- Decrease the amount of time it takes to determine eligibility by 50%
A good way of finding out the ultimate goal is to ask the customer to imagine a front page newspaper story about their service. What’s the story headline? If it says ‘Council saves £250k’ you know they are driven by savings. If they say ‘Customer satisfaction increases by 50%’ it’s a very different motivation.
Knowing the ultimate goal helps the design team to tackle the most important problem, and keeps people on track throughout the process.
Things you should capture:
- Prioritised list of problems to be solved (this might be challenged during the design phase)
- Definition of success and service priorities
Another way of understand the need, is simply to ask what the problems are with the existing situation/service. You might find that the customer gives you a long list of things they want to improve. This is fantastic and definitely worth taking a note of. However, you will find this even more valuable if you ask the customer to put their problems in order of priority – what is causing the most pain? What is the thing that is totally unacceptable?
Sometimes the customer isn’t sure what their ultimate goal is. This is fine too – but you should explain that you can’t move forwards until they know what they are trying to achieve.
Keep your ultimate goal in mind when researching and designing, to make sure your service improves as much as possible, and is relevant.
Review your ultimate goal at every demo to make sure you are on track.