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Customer 31 min

Paul Shetler: “Transformation” is not a goal. Get on with delivering brilliant customer services


  • To deliver value to your customers, you need to create ease of access to your services
  • Speedy delivery and testing are more productive than design contemplation
  • Centralise your strategy platform into a single department
  • Don’t focus on cultural change. Focus on optimising funding, governance, procurement and IT.

Paul Shetler has delivered some of the world’s largest IT integration programs and organisational change programs. He was Chief Digital Officer for the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency and is now Partner at AccelerateHQ.

Shetler challenged Australia’s top leaders at Digital Edge to not be so distracted with digital transformation that delivering customer experience becomes a lesser priority.

If you think about which digital services on your phone are most useful, it’s the ones that put the least amount of friction between you and getting what you want.”

He believes delivery beats design contemplation. Design with customer experience in mind, then test. Shetler said this is the only way to know you’re building the right thing.

Speed in bringing products to life rather than making constant iterations is the best way forward to become more competitive, he advised.

Shetler shared some guaranteed ways to help your experiments succeed:

  • Hire product managers to act as ‘CEO of a product’
  • Use open source software
  • “If there’s no value in having somebody do the work, automate it.”
  • Don’t outsource risk to a third party. Your brand will suffer when things break.
  • You don’t need to build data centres
  • Centralise your strategy platform into a single department. Have rigid standards that will allow creativity.
  • Secure political goodwill from the executive board to push through necessary change

He also challenged the trend of believing in the need for cultural change. “It is funding, governance, procurement and IT processes that need fixing. If employees violate those processes, they’ll be reprimanded.”

This is part of Paul Shetler’s keynote he delivered at Digital Edge. Only ADAPT Research and Advisory clients can access the full video, become one today.

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