Mapping the journey: Toward improved performance in human services

By following a structured three-step process – at a pace that suits their needs – agencies can improve their capacity to deliver efficient and effective services.


Human services agencies have a twin mandate: to help individuals in crisis while guiding families and communities into self-sufficient futures. Particularly in today’s turbulent economic and social environment, these are challenging goals. To achieve them, agencies must take action now to improve their capacity to deliver efficient and effective services over time.

We’ve developed our Capability Diagnostic and Improvement model to help human services leaders achieve this critical transformation. Our model enables them to understand their current business and operational capabilities. Next, it helps them determine where they’d like to perform better – and the changes that must be made before they can do so. The final step gives them a menu of options – or a roadmap – for change, tailored to their specific priorities, constraints and desired outcomes.

Once the agency has selected the path that suits its needs, it’s ready to begin a long-term transformation program. This will move it from “rescue and recovery” mode to preventive activities and, ultimately, to improved performance.

Why Accenture

The business of human services organizations is developing and delivering individualized solutions. To accomplish this, at scale, they need hundreds of processes, all with their own dependent and independent variables. It’s functionally complex, and hugely challenging. Accenture’s Human Services Capability and Diagnostic model provides a unique approach through which agency leaders can understand how their organization is performing, identify inefficiencies and highlight solutions across each of eight core domains. It’s a structured process for achieving results.

Our Human Services Capability and Diagnostic model is grounded in Accenture’s deep experience of human services administration, systems and technology, and powered by industry-leading technology tools. With almost 30 years of experience in helping human service agencies transform challenges into positive results for people, we’ve developed broad human services capabilities. From business process services, and change management to human services analytics and consulting, we focus on helping agencies to maximize resources, create efficiencies, improve customer service and reduce costs.

Specific Services

Accenture’s Human Services Capability and Diagnostic model is designed for ease of use. It’s also extremely flexible – agencies can use it to progress toward performance improvement at a speed, and in a direction, that matches their particular needs.

Divided into three discrete stages, it begins with a Diagnostic phase. Taking around six weeks to complete, this identifies where the agency stands against key business and operational domains. To do this, we draw on a unique resource: the Human Services Value Curve, a framework for mapping the journey through transformation to maturity.

Next, we define a Transition Plan for each of the agency’s business and operational domains. Highlighting what the organization needs to do to move toward maturity, this pinpoints the actions that will be needed to accomplish this journey.

Once that phase is completed, generally another four weeks, we help the agency develop a transformation Roadmap, taking into account operational constraints such as impact, immediacy of need and available resources. From end-to-end, it’s a four-month process from initial engagement to execution. At its conclusion, agencies have a framework for change with one focused goal – improving the lives of children and making their families more independent.