Official website of the U.S. government

Skip to main content

Government-wide CX Efforts

Improving service delivery requires understanding experiences
from the customer’s point of view

Life Experiences

Designated for collective government-wide improvement efforts

Life experiences are significant events or transitions that often require interactions and touchpoints with multiple Federal agencies and even levels of government. Too often, people have to navigate a tangled web of government websites, offices, and phone numbers to access the services they depend on. Government needs to better meet people where they are and be responsive to how they navigate these moments.

The Life Experience organizing framework requires a new model of the Federal delivery system working together—within agencies, across agencies, even across levels of government — driven by customer (“human-centered design”) research, rather than within bureaucratic silos and pre-conceived solutions, to solve problems.

2022 Cycle

Having a Child and Early Childhood

There were 3,605,201 births in the United States in 2020. 42 percent of these were covered by Medicaid. With almost a quarter of all workers having a child under five, this life experience impacts millions of Americans.

2022 Cycle

Facing a Financial Shock

Because of complex and burdensome application and payment systems, millions of American families miss out on help getting food, health insurance, and other supports to build better lives for themselves and their children when facing a financial shock like an unexpected medical bill, the loss of income, raise in rent or loans coming out of deferment.

2022 Cycle

Recovering from a Disaster

Those who have lived through a natural disaster are facing one of the most difficult experiences they’ve ever encountered: attending to their families’ most basic needs while experiencing trauma, stress, and multiple bureaucratic processes. In these most vulnerable moments, survivors expect the government to step up.

2022 Cycle

Navigating Transition to Civilian Life

Separating service members face reorienting their civilian lives around key domains, including: education, employment, health, finance, housing and social relationships, but quantitative and qualitative data suggests that around half of all recently separated Veterans may not connect with available resources, benefits, services and tools for several years.

2022 Cycle

Approaching Retirement

Social Security benefits and Medicare are two of the bedrock Federal programs in the United States, almost universally enrolled. Yet, irrespective of income, education level, and race, navigating retirement claiming timing and Medicare enrollment processes are time consuming, confusing, complex, and often require back-and-forth with these two programs.

More about Life Experiences

Designated for the 2022 cycle

In the Summer of 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration’s first update to A-11 Section 280 included a new role for the President’s Management Council (PMC) to identify a limited number of cross-agency life experiences for collective effort. Building on this, the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Vision released in November 2021 identified the improved management of cross-agency life experiences as a strategy to improve Federal service delivery and customer experience. Executive Order 14058 on Transforming the Customer Experience and Federal Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government provided additional details on the role of Executive Office of the President leadership, an accountability structure, and ongoing cadence to support the management of designated cross-agency life experiences.

Federal Government leaders worked with President’s Management Council (PMC) to select priority life experiences for the 2022 designation cycle (announced in April 2022). These include: Approaching retirement, Birth and early childhood for low-income mothers and children, Facing a financial shock and becoming newly eligible for critical supports, Navigating transition to civilian life, Recovering from a disaster.

Each Life Experience team and agency collaborators engaged in a process to learn how people interact with government during these moments in their lives. The research involved learning from and speaking directly to a diverse representation of members of the public. Multi-disciplinary teams, including service designers, evaluation professionals, policy experts, program staff, external experts on detail to the teams, led the application of methods such as collecting post-transaction feedback, first-person qualitative research, quantitative data analysis, and other approaches to generate insights and identify trends across real customer experiences. Agency leaders and stakeholders across government participated throughout the process, including in bi-weekly sprint share-outs, to encourage ongoing reflection, iteration, and identifying areas to dive deeper. Customer stories and journey maps are the centerpieces of each summary.

Past work

2020 Cycle

Recovering from a Disaster

Those who have lived through a natural disaster are facing one of the most difficult experiences they’ve ever encountered: attending to their families’ most basic needs while experiencing trauma, stress, and multiple bureaucratic processes. In these most vulnerable moments, survivors expect the government to step up.

2020 Cycle

Transitioning to Adulthood

People with an intellectual disability and their families interact with agencies and organizations at the Federal, state, and local level year after year. It can be incredibly difficult to understand the full scope of what programs are available, who to go to for what, and to weave together the right supports; all at different life stages.

2018 Cycle

Seeking Employment after Service

Each year, approximately 200,000 service members leave the military. Employment statistics have continued to improve, but there is more to understand to improve the rates of those that find a career that is satisfying, has potential for development and higher wages, and recognizes valuable skills veterans have.

Additional CX Efforts

The public’s experience interacting with government is the collective responsibility of a broad network of partners across government. The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) CX team is part of an ecosystem that includes the work of High Impact Services Providers (HISPs), Agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Customer Experience teams, the United States Digital Service (USDS), and the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) at the General Services Administration (GSA). The team may highlight select government projects here.

2022 Discovery Project

Understanding Tribal Nations Experiences Accessing Federal Grants

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tribal Nations organized to rebuild communities, jobs, and infrastructure. 2021 brought about the largest Federal investment in Native communities in the history of the country. While the investments were historic, the sudden influx of funds also presented access challenges.