This story first appeared on the Code for Australia blog.

How to Increase Digital Maturity in Government: Lara Stephenson at Code for Australia Talks to the CivicTech.Chat Podcast

Recently, we at Code for Australia were featured on the awesome podcast, CivicTech.Chat. In this episode Ryan Koch talked to researcher Lara Stephenson about our program for enhancing digital maturity in government, the Digital Maturity Indicator.

If you’re keen to listen right away, be our guest 👇

The DMI is a tool Code for Australia developed from a model made by the Harvard Kennedy School in the US, which leverages research and expertise in digital government from around the world and applies it to an Australian context.

We measure government agencies’ current levels of digital maturity across six markers, and then we co-design and prioritise actions to help government improve their digital maturity over time. Read more below if you want to get into the nitty-gritty👇.

“Small changes that you could do next week can set you up for a big change in six months, rather than trying to tackle that big change… Sometimes in the middle of a problem, it’s so hard to see the way out. But you can get out with some really small, actionable steps that build on each other and grow.”
— DMI CivicTech.Chats episode

To see some of our recommendations to improve digital maturity from the first six months of the DMI head here 👇

In digital maturity terms, sharing is definitely caring.


Our conversation touches on what we did to make the model more suited to the Australian context, and about the what, why and how of the DMI. Ryan opened up topics with us including:


  • the importance of executive support
  • how to embed learning from specialist contractors on projects
  • getting clarity on the meaning of digital terms across an agency
  • what are the biggest challenges running the DMI
  • handling difficult conversations around digital maturity
  • the future of the DMI in Australia, and
  • how to make the DMI work in other countries

“In the future, we would love to keep running the DMI with more and more departments, and have state-wide benchmarks of agencies, to help agencies see where they’re at …It’s all about sharing ways that work for a more efficient, effective government.”
– DMI CivicTech.Chats episode

Head to the Digital Maturity Indicator page where you can get in touch and request examples of assessments.

Social Good Outpost Co-Founder Lara Stephenson wrote this article for Code for Australia, where she works as a researcher and co-creator of the Digital Maturity Indicator.

Read more

Social Good Outpost acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters where we live.

Read our Privacy Policy
ABN 88 633 779 450

Copyright 2023