Improving Multi-Channel Communications for Veterans

Offering clarity of available benefits to Service Members integrating into civilian life

CASE STUDY

How might we minimize the internal complexity across VA stakeholder teams to create a better first impression on our newest customers – transitioning Service Members?

Established in 1930, the VA provides a comprehensive range of healthcare, educational, financial and family services to military Veterans. The VA’s ecosystem of communications and outreach is complex: 516 websites, 532 forms, and 10,000 letters to the 200,000 service members transitioning out of military service each year. It is wrought with complex processes, fragmented resources, and red-tape which become barriers to access for many eligible Veterans. Focused on the transition when active service members become Veterans, the VA sought expertise from MO Studio to identify how it could improve the omnichannel communication experience of veterans during this time of transition.

The project focused on taking a human-centered approach to understanding what the VA refers to as their “backstage” internal processes, in relation to their “front stage” interactions with Veterans. The team began the project with in-depth interviews of VA stakeholders representing all key departments, as well as service members and veterans at different stages of their transition from the military to civilian life.
 
Qualitative insights were combined with extensive secondary research to develop a set of opportunity areas that were then prioritized during an intensive cross-functional workshop. The final concepts centered around new models of internal collaboration that would help the VA stay in constant touch with the needs of front line staff, partners, and Veterans.
 
One of the most powerful tools generated during the project, was a comprehensive journey map of the current outreach experience, detailing all components of communication sent by different VA business units to the veteran from the moment of transition to the approval for VA benefits. The project also resulted in the design of a new governance board to break down organizational silos, visualized workflows, action plans to guide implementation, and KPIs to track the effectiveness and progress.
 
“The Organization is ready for this.”
–  VA Employee with 20+ Years Experience