Helping ARENA to streamline its processes and improve grants administration efficiencies.

An abstract image illustrating the grants improvement process


Australian Renewable Energy Agency


Process Optimisation
User Research
Service Design



Putting the design thinking caps on

ARENA identified a need for the agency to streamline its processes and improve administrative inefficiencies to support the volume of future activity required to meet its funding and resourcing mandate. 

In order to achieve this, ARENA first needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the existing processes and procedures for delivery of its services, and then identify opportunities to streamline administration, reduce regulation and implement digital technologies to automate actions required of delivery staff and customers. 

Pragma undertook to define ARENA’s current sequence of activities for end-to-end delivery of its services, categorising processes by the involvement of ARENA delivery staff, its Advisory Panel and program participant interactions.

An abstract image illustrating the grants process

Pragma's work delivered

Working closely with ARENA teams to understand the characteristics of clients/customers and internal users, Pragma undertook a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) estimate of both effort, and elapsed time, for each process and procedure identified through the mapping exercise. This included a baseline analysis of the regulation cost to program participants.

Our consultants used their design-thinking capability to develop a set of project briefs to improve the efficiency of processes and create better user experiences. This involved recommending improved processes and artefacts for the management of grant funding; risk-balanced decisions on applications for funding; governance and decision processes; and the calculation and transparency of milestone payment processes.

The mapping and improvement planning of the grants management process was a key piece of work that ensured that efforts towards transformation were undertaken in areas that would reap the most benefit including: 

  • A standard, easy to read definition of the processes undertaken throughout ARENA’s grants delivery service. 
  • Key findings mapped against related impact; recommendation for improvement; anticipated benefit; and, suggested next steps. 
  • Backlog items captured for capability improvement as part of service enhancement project. 
  • A co-delivery partnership with ARENA to implement the recommendations developed in the initial planning stages of the project. 

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