Coaching the Australian Bureau of Statistics to deliver digital services

    Australian Bureau of Statistics is on a journey to become a human-centred organisation, with the aim of delivering better services for the people of Australia. Meld Studios is supporting ABS with this ambition. It is a multi-year journey that has started with building in-house design skills and coaching teams as they navigate a range of projects.

    Why choose Meld Studios for this?

    Like many public and private organisations around the world, the ABS understands the power that a human-centred approach brings to everything from designing a new website or physical space to designing how entire organisations work.

    UK Government research shows that “for every £1 spent on design, businesses saw a £4 increase in net operating profit”.

    ABS chose Meld Studios as its training and transformation partner because we are recognised as industry leaders and have a proven track record in using human-centred design – a contemporary philosophy and methodology – to transform how people work in complex organisational environments.

    What we are doing


    We are guiding the ABS through a multi-year organisational transformation. This involves training, mentoring and coaching staff across all levels as they practise new ways of working with each other and their customers.

    We do this within the context of various projects including a new customer-facing website and the high-profile 2021 Census.

    Sometimes we meet face-to-face in Canberra and sometimes we use online tools, it depends on the complexity of each challenge and location of the teams involved.

    Below are some specific things we have done so far.

    Mentoring and coaching

    We are guiding how teams work rather than designing services and tools ourselves. We are helping teams to navigate common questions and challenges, progressively introducing them to relevant tools and tactics.

    Unpacking the Australian Government’s design process

    We are helping teams to understand and use the “Digital Service Standard” – a human-centred design process created by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) for whole-of-government.

    Influencing beyond initial projects

    We are helping leaders and their teams to extend their influence and apply their new skills in different contexts. For example, for the new website project, we have helped leaders to influence content strategy, content design and operational processes.


    Key achievements so far:

    • Trained, mentored and coached at least 100 staff from senior executives to graduates
    • Another 100 staff exposed to new ways of working
    • Staff better understand the people who use ABS data
    • Staff know how to use the Australian Government’s Digital Service Standard
    • Customer perspectives incorporated into processes and decisions
    • Increased the likelihood of delivering a relevant, easy to understand, digital-first services.

    Interested in something like this?

    Let’s chat.

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    Curious how we can help? Lets chat.