by Poul J. Hebsgaard on Apr.15, 2011, under Digital government, e-government, enterprise 2.0, government 2.0, innovation, Paperless administration, Paperless government, software for the knowledge worker
Danish Ministries awarded the prize for digitizing all work processes and implementing the solution in a very short time frame resulting in significant efficiency gains.
- Nomination called “little beauty” by Journalist Peter Mogensen when he summarized the winning project.
The Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy and the Ministry of Transportation have received the Digitalization Award 2011 for their implementation of a new IT-system, called “cBrain F2”, that facilitates the elimination of paper-based work processing, collaboration and record management and incorporates social media tools (chat, stick-on notes,..) in the execution of governmental case management.
This is the first true government 2.0 solution that incorporates all work done within a governmental department entirely eliminating the use of paper to transfer information.
Now all personnel groups work digitally, from the youngest employee to the Permanent Secretary. Paper is no longer used to move and process governmental data and work information as governmental knowledge workers carries out their duties. All case management processing, knowledge sharing, collaboration as well as archiving and journalizing (record management), is managed within the cBrain F2 system.
The Ministries were presented the award by the Danish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, at a yearly digitalization conference in April 2011 arranged by the national IT and Telecom Agency under the Ministry.
The digital approach has led to significant efficiency gains, increased security as well as higher employee satisfaction. Reports from the Danish Ministries includes an average reduction of case processing time by 1/3, time savings of 30-45 minutes per employees per day and a user survey reporting that 37% of employees are now happier for their work.
At the award ceremony it was stated:
- “The Ministries have shown how we can still achieve major efficiency within the area of public administration. Their new integrated case processing and document management solution is ground-breaking in the way it connects and integrates political case processing and traditional journalizing practices. As an example, now registration and journalizing is “just” a fully automated side effect of sending an email and NOT a separate activity.
- It is also pioneering thinking that the solution offers built-in social media technologies where any document is tightly integrated with Chat functionality.
- Furthermore, it is outstanding how fast the Ministries have been able to implement and roll-out their new system. The complete project took only six months at the Ministry of Transportation followed by only 8 weeks at the Ministry of Climate and Energy.”
Permanent Secretary Thomas Egebo, the Ministry of Climate and Energy:
- “If I put a mark on the F2 system and the implementation process we have been through there is no doubt that this is a straight A.”
- “I expect that I personally have saved more than half an hour every day as a result of implementing the cBrain F2 solution. And 2.5 hours extra Permanent-Secretary-time a week… that is a lot!”
Permanent Secretary Jacob Heinsen, the Ministry of Transportation:
- “The F2 solution is a solution that has helped us improve our productivity significantly and it has moved our organization into the 21st century.”
- “You would think it was a lie… but employees say they are actually happier at work now after the introduction of the new IT-system. This may be the first time in world history that a large number of employees are happier for their work 2 months after the introduction of a new Case Processing and Document Management system”.
About cBrain and the F2 solution:
cBrain is a software company listed on NASDAQ-OMX. cBrain challenges the traditional IT approach by applying an innovative design and development methodology, where the solution is designed with business processes as the starting point and built from cBrain’s software component library of SOA modules.
The cBrain F2 solution is a comprehensive and fully integrated case management platform for all governmental knowledge workers, from the youngest employee to the head of the Ministry.
cBrain F2 replaces existing stand-alone applications by integrating the necessary work functionality into an all-in-one application, supporting both PC/net-based users as well as mobile users, and it enables organizations to work “paperless” using digital workflows.
cBrain F2 is not only a great new government 2.0 work tool that automates and eliminates many routine tasks. It might also change governmental work culture and transform how future public leaders will lead and manage their organizations in order to serve the public, politicians and the political environment.
For more information, contact
At cBrain we have been involved in the development of a new “all-in-one software solution for paperless governmental departments” as we describe it. For white paper on this solution click here.
The following is a translation of a news release from the Danish Ministry of Transport – click here.
The 4th of January 2010, the central department within the Ministry of Transport implemented a complete digitization of internal workflows. Already – after nearly three months – there is reason for saying that the project has been a success.
The full digitization involves casework, knowledge sharing, communication and archiving/journalizing done electronically in a single system, the electronic document and records management system, cBrain F2.
cBrain F2 was developed in collaboration between the IT company cBrain and the Ministry of Social Affairs, but the central Department within the Ministry of Transport is the first place where cBrain F2 is implemented throughout the entire organization.
Head of the Department, Jacob Heinsen explains it this way: “We have – like most others – through a number of years had an electronic document management system, but it was just not generating the desired benefits because the system was not integrated, and because the cases were still moving around the house on paper. With the new system, we have not banned the use of paper in the proceedings, but paper has simply been outperformed. The employees are experiencing that it now is easier to handle cases and submit them to management electronically. They will no longer need to make a lot of paper copies, and they can also continuously follow how the cases progresses in F2. With the new system electronic document and records management is no longer an additional task, but a real reduction in work.”
A user survey conducted after two months of operation confirm this impression. By switching from the existing electronic document and records management system to cBrain F2, employee satisfaction with the system went from “poor” to “satisfactory”. “You would think it was a lie, but employees say they were actually excited about work after the introduction of the new IT system,” says Jacob Heinsen.
Project leader Thomas Ginnerup-Nielsen says about his experiences with the project: “It’s been hard work, but actually we have not had any crises in the process. It is in itself unusual for a government IT project. But the ultimate test is, of course, the results living up to – well, actually exceeding – the objectives of the project.”
See a showcase of user survey and results here.
Questions can be directed to contacts mentioned in the news release.
What if employees in a government ministry were not allowed to move information on paper between desks any more, but were only allowed to move documents in digital form.
Well, this is happening in Europe where Denmark and Spain seem to be leading the way.
It has been a long time coming with many legal and bureaucratic barriers to be removed, i.e. requirements of formal signature, filling out of paper-based forms, etc.
Since January 2002 all Danish ministries have analyzed thousands of laws and regulations for barriers to e-government and a 2002/2003 analysis revealed 453 necessary changes in legislation and regulations. A deadline of the summer 2003 was established for the removal of these barriers and for the most part this was achieved successfully.
Obviously this was a major cultural change in the way governmental knowledge workers perform their jobs and a number of initiatives were started and new guidelines issued.
Since September 1, 2003 all government authorities have had the right to send documents to other authorities electronically and the right to demand that documents from other authorities be sent electronically.
The 2003 initiative aimed at promoting the use of e-mail and Internet communication in the public sector and reorganize work processes towards paperless administration, making government more efficient.
A major next step was that from February 1, 2005 all government authorities had the right to send documents containing personal and sensitive information electronically and the right to demand that the same documents from other authorities be sent electronically using secure e-mail (digital signature).
From the same date citizens and business had the opportunity to communicate with the public sector using secure e-mail (digital signature).
This was made possible by providing citizen and businesses with tools and extensive instructive information to make the transition easier.
• Free digital signature to all Danish citizens.
• Legally binding signature for all interactions on the Internet.
• Authenticity – certainty of the identity of citizens, businesses and government authorities.
• Integrity – certainty that the contents of the message have not been changed.
• Privacy – no-one can listen in on the communication.
Obviously culture changes of this nature – well, indeed major behavioral modifications in how “white collar” work is performed – are not easy for people to make.
However the Danish government is pushing forward towards the goal of “full electronic communication by 2012”.
The Ministry of the Interior and Social Affairs as one of the leaders in this drive towards paperless public administration has piloted the “cBrain F2” case management system since June 2009 with success.
In the coming weeks I will be covering aspects of the cBrain F2 system and discuss some of the implications of this new integrated concept where social media tools are combined with case management, record management, archiving and more.
Further information in English about the Danish Governments drive towards paperless administration is available here:
• http://www.modernisering.dk/da/english — including a summary of the Danish Government’s plan for digital administration (e-Government Strategy) 2007 – 2010.
• http://www.virk.dk/English;jsessionid=ED260572073B396430E739F06924A5A2 – Central government to business portal for everything digital.
• http://english.ism.dk/Further-development/digitalisation/Sider/Start.aspx — The Ministry of the Interior and Social Affairs is one of the leading advocates for the move towards paperless administration by 2012.