A nation-wide redesign for permit applications.

The past years, a set of 26 Dutch laws concerning physical planning, flood protection and environmental planning have been rewritten into one new law: the Environmental Planning Act. Our client aims at offering all information through one digital portal and by doing so, simplifying the process of applying for (environmental) permits at local governments, for activities from simple home expansions to building complex factories. In 2018, the project has shown great impact in the application proces of permits, as well as the adoption of user-centered thinking in local governments and is selected Service Design Award Finalist 2018.


Rijkswaterstaat (6 months)


Simplifying the process of applying for (environmental) permits at local governments

Award nomination

Service Design Award Finalist 2018

How to make it count?

To enable the national government to implement the results broadly and create support amongst all stakeholders, more than 25 multidisciplinary sessions with internal users took place. In these sessions, we teamed up with internal users from each governmental level (national, provincial, municipal and local water management institutes). Together with them, we created solutions for their clients.

In order to create a consistent experience for the customer, a selection of 27 service innovations was made. The innovations that were selected create a seamless connection between digital and physical services. Subsequently a list of requirements and several implementation strategies were developed, to ensure that all stakeholders and clients can easily implement the results. The Customer Journeys, innovations and implementation strategies were used as input for the development of the new digital platform for the Environmental Planning Act. Moreover, municipalities all over the Netherlands are currently using the results to improve their local service delivery.

Koos is a creative agency, that pushes the limits to co-create the best service possible, together with their client. A result that works for the customer and that benefits the client.

— Inge Kure Senior Advisor Environmental Act and Customer Journeys at Rijkswaterstaat

Getting results on multiple levels.

Slicing and clustering through hundreds of ideas, we’ve ended up with twenty seven service innovations. They were mapped out in a strategic roadmap based on the ideal Customer Journeys for each Persona, describing impact on digital and local service delivery, as well as organisational capabilities.

Originally the Dutch government is working very process minded. This project was one of the first to implement a customer-centric mindset. During the process we’ve seen many sceptics being turned. Through their managers we heard back their enthusiastic stories. This resulted in a nation-wide implementation program, based on the customer-centric deliverables, such as personas and journeys.

Koos is an agency with enthusiastic, solid and reliable people with expertise. They have distinguishing ideas and take a new perspective on the world that we live in. Lovely people to work with.

— Ivo Been Environmental Advisor at Rijkswaterstaat

The impact that has been made:

  • €360.000.000 worth of construction legs being applied through the new service program. In 2017, 80% of the 150.000 permit applications (worth 449 million euro in building leges) came through the new program. Experience principles and Customer Journeys are used as a framework for local policy and implementation of the new Environmental Planning Act.
  • 390 Municipalities got introduced to Service Design thinking and the project deliverables. The project is introduced to all Dutch municipalities, provinces, environmental services and water management bodies. 2000 municipality workers have been involved in a range of nation-wide roadshows. Moreover, the project resulted in new employee function profiles, of which the first have been fulfilled.
  • The application time for a permit is expected to be reduced from 26 to just 8 weeks. Both better informed civilians and a better internal decision making process is make the application procedure much more efficient. This was the first time that a user-centric process was implemented on such scale.