Australian Taxation Office / Doctoral Candidate, UNSW Australia
Researchers and practitioners alike are in general agreement that the public sector is increasingly tasked with managing ‘complex problems’. Many authors have warned that the established practices in government are not sufficient to deal with such problems. The integration of systems thinking in design practice has been advocated as a promising approach to understand and more effectively deal with the increasing complexity of societal challenges. However, the literature on systemic design largely remains in the academic and theoretical discussions. In 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has pioneered the development and implementation of systemic design as an enterprise design approach. This article outlines practice insights into the ATO’s systemic design framework, including its applications to a range of initiatives, including the stimulus measures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It discusses early insights into considerations of implementing systemic design at scale. Future research should focus on the implementation factors that may enable or inhibit its successful adoption.