Tag: white collar work
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.
The discussion about how we define Enterprise 2.0 is still going on in some great blogs and the general business media months after the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston in June 2009.
Having spent the last few weeks in Europe and observed the discussion about the use of social media inside public and private organizations I am beginning to get a clearer picture of how the new media tools might evolve – with some serious help from my colleagues and some major ongoing KM projects within public and private organizations here in Scandinavia.
First a little background – I and several of my colleagues were involved in the upstart of a company (www.maconomy.com) developing ERP software solutions in the early 1990s.
We competed head-on with other ERP providers – SAP, Oracle Financial, PeopleSoft, Lawson, Navision, Great Plains, etc. – and evolved into specializing in “ERP for the service industries” – Consulting firms, PR firms, Engineering firms, Advertising firms, Media Communication firms and similar project based organizations where knowledge workers collaborated around projects.
ERP systems evolved into integrated suites handling the mundane – blue collar - tasks of Finance (G/L), Budgeting, Receivables (A/R), Payables (A/P), Inventory, Time & Expense, Distribution, Invoicing, Purchasing, etc. all in one integrated package or suite, replacing best-of-breed point solutions.
Integration provided a “blue collar” productivity improvement that made ERP the superior offering.
Knowledge workers in the creative part of the service industries did not see the same “white collar” productivity improvement. Yes, they captured time and expenses more accurately and got more control of the financial part of budgeting for projects – in other words all the structured information.
Unstructured information – i.e. project scope changes, contract amendments and the like – and necessary collaboration between corporate silos were lacking, too formal and not timely. AND lacking not just because of culture differences between the corporate silos of Finance, Legal and Creative groups but because available tools were cumbersome, inadequate and non-intuitive.
Enterprise 2.0 is addressing this gap trying to gain some control and structure to the social media tools that people knew from their private lives and just started using social media tools in a corporate environment because they addressed a basic need for collaboration and interaction.
Bill Ives has a post about “management lurking and monitoring” and Patti Anklam is writing about organizational shifts that must occur in order to get an organization to a state in which “knowledge is fresh and findable and represents the best thinking in an organization”. Nick Milton is describing KM managers final weapon – Stakeholder Mapping, i.e. relationships of power and influence (or power and impact). Carl Frappaolo is writing about not confusing Enterprise 2.0 with WEB 2.0.
All are great reads and I encourage everybody interested in Enterprise 2.0 to visit these blogs.
This leads me to “white collar” productivity and what we at cBrain are beginning to call the Knowledge Worker Desktop.
I feel that we are at the beginning of “white collar” productivity improvements that parallel the “blue collar” productivity improvements we witnessed from integrated ERP in the 1990s.
“Integration”, I believe will become the key driver for white collar productivity improvements using Enterprise 2.0 tools.
I my next posting I will address how I see Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management evolve and possibly merge into one concept (?) and how we at cBrain use “The Innovative Room” as a methodology to arrive at solutions.
During the last few weeks I have been engaged in a number of discussions about different aspects of the concept of Enterprise 2.0 in the aftermath of the June 2009 Enterprise 2.0 conference here in Boston.
People are coming at this from all kinds of angles and I assume that reflect their professional experiences within areas like Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Knowledge Management (KM), Business Process Management (BPM), Project Portfolio Management, (PPM), Innovation Management (IM) and other such classifications of different aspects of what makes an organization function. AND now we have a new classification with Enterprise 2.0 that we are trying to define.
Each one of these classifications or disciplines has its own set of “magic quadrant” constructed by research firms to assess vendor solutions and “hall of fame” defined by (vendor) associations and Enterprise 2.0 is probably not far behind.
Much discussion was about breaking down the corporate silos to further adoptions of social media tools to improve overall communication. But to quote Paula Thornton – “there is an issue greater than adoption at play here: hesitation to recognize the breadth and depth of adaptation that needs to occur across the entire enterprise and every aspect of the business model.”
Similarly Fred Zimny states: “many business decision makers who decide to dive into the E2.0 sea, often come back more confused than they were before taking that dive. AIIM’s year-old survey, which found that 74% of surveyed organizations had no idea what E2.0 meant or how it could be meaningfully applied, likely would’ve come back with a similar numbers today.”
Carl Frappaolo has weight in on the discussion about the use of collaborative social technologies in an Enterprise 2.0 setting and if such information will be considered subject to legal discovery – “a class action suit regarding patient/individual privacy rights, the courts ruled that content in “FaceBook, MySpace, instant-messaging threads, blog posts and whatever else the plaintiffs might have done online” was discoverable. The plaintiffs’ objection that this violated the plaintiffs’ privacy was shot down. These tools and their content were viewed as public, not on a private network, but the public world wide web.” And later “You should not have a different management policy for e-mail, or blogs, or microblogs. The medium or format should not dictate policy (other than acceptable use of the tool of course). It is the content that matters no matter what format or tool it was created in.”
I could not agree more – all content is legally material, so you better find a way to manage the exchanges of information regardless of the medium!
This leads me to what I see as the essence of Enterprise 2.0: We are looking for a way to manage the unstructured information that flow along a time-line for projects and business processes alike.
To me most business processes have the same issues as projects except they do not have a final end date. Projects and processes deal with people collaboration along a time-line with milestones and deadlines towards a measurable goal.
This information exchange is happening within teams, between corporate silos and often includes vendors, sub-contractors and customers.
ERP, CRM and other legacy systems have evolved over the last 20-30 years to manage an organization’s structured information – General Ledger, Receivables, Payables, Budgeting, Billing, Inventory Control, Distribution, Purchasing, Time Sheets and Expense Reports, Support, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources and other classifications depending on industry.
Corporate silos have evolved to provide specialized knowledge and accountability for different aspects of what makes an organization function.
Take the case of a project based organization like an advertising agency or similar consulting firm – they make money or lose money depending on how well they manage the scope definition of their projects (assuming they are competitive in the market place).
The scope definition is tied to a contract describing the products and services to be delivered to a client over a time period with given assumptions. Scope definition and assumptions most often changes as the project progresses and thus the need for efficient communication between all stakeholders to amend projects and contracts.
Corporate silos in larger organizations will be re-invented to take advantage of Enterprise 2.0 and it is OK!
The CFO (Finance Department) will still exist and wanting to control (credit check at a minimum) when a prospect presented by Sales and Marketing can be defined as a potential customer and pre-sales team members can start reporting time and expenses toward that “customer”.
For advertising agencies up to 10% of total cost is often pre-sale cost. Once a customer contract is signed and budgets for cost and resources are approved the CFO will then approve the project for the project team to start reporting billable time and expenses to that account.
Changes to project scope will be reflected in changes to project timeline (most often) as well as resources (people, material, sub-contractors, etc.) required.
This will involve the legal department for amendments to the contract as well as Finance and potentially Human Resources.
Enterprise 2.0 done right will help provide better scope management by organizing the flow of unstructured information between stakeholders. In other words “getting the job done” and at the same time facilitate that possible regulatory compliance is adhered to and eDiscovery can be achieved at reasonable cost.
In a legal sense ALL project information exchange is material and we better plan for that without creating new barriers for “getting the work done” – that is the challenge for Enterprise 2.0 as the concept evolves.
At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston last week there was an impressive representation of actual practitioners of “enterprise social software” from major corporations like BofA, Raytheon, Alcatel-Lucent, Allstate, Humana, Jet Blue, M&M Mars, Eli Lilly, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and many others.
Many participants have blogged about the conference and I will refer to Bill Ives, Larry Hawes and Gil Yehuda and their summaries from the conference for a balanced view of the state of Enterprise 2.0. All have many references to other much respected bloggers and their conference take away and I encourage you to check them out.
Paula Thornton has an interesting post today – in reference to the conference – about “reinventing silos” that I find thought provoking. I have been in the trenches implementing solutions that would only succeed if company culture somehow could change/evolve/adapt. Paula is quoting Ben Foster from Allstate for saying “Enterprises and practitioners are often guilty of using Social Media as a cure chasing a disease.” I agree and will post about the role of organizational silos in my next post – stay tuned.
My own bottom line about the Boston conference is that there is a long way to go before Enterprise 2.0 “grows up” to be “WEB 2.0 for the enterprise” (or “Facebook and Twitter inside the firewall”). Integration with existing legacy systems, including general access control, logging of information exchanges in the context of a project or process combined with an upfront approach to industry specific compliance issues, FRCP and eDiscovery was rarely discussed during the sessions.
I also came away with the sense that a major driving force behind Enterprise 2.0 is a desire to get people to collaborate by other means than email. In essence that Enterprise 2.0 becomes a central repository for the exchange of messages and documents for a team of knowledge workers that need to collaborate in an easy and transparent way towards a common goal – sounds simple enough BUT it is not!
According to a recent AIIM report, there has been a dramatic increase in the understanding of how Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs, forums, and social networks can be used to improve business collaboration and knowledge sharing, with over half of organizations now considering Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success. Only 17% admitted that they have no idea what it is, compared to 40% at the start of 2008. However, only 25% of organizations are actually doing anything about it – but that is up from 12% in the previous survey.
AIIM does a lot of research and some of the findings are quite scary:
- 34% of organizations never delete emails, 31% have no policy, 8% delete when running out of storage space, 27% delete after 1- 24 months
- Some 45% of organizations do not have a policy on Outlook “Archive settings” so most users will likely create .pst archive files on local drives
- 33% of organizations have no policy to deal with legal discovery, 40% would likely have to search back-up tapes, and 23% feel they would have gaps from deleted emails.
- 18% had been exposed to a legal challenge in the last 12 months and a further 15% in the last 3 years – a one-in-three chance.
Old habits and deep-seated corporate culture will be difficult to change without the chief change agents being senior management backed by a concerted effort to communicate to employees why this will benefit the overall organization and not threaten the individual. Knowledge is often perceived as power/job security and a difficult thing to share without getting something in return.
Government agility is one of the headlines that caught my attention concerning the government information forum to be held in Hong Kong on August 19-21, 2009.
It is a conference with an IT focus but many of the sections are very relevant for senior governmental executives wanting to get an understanding of new opportunities for improvements in how government and citizens interact.
Most of the speakers are from Asia – China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia among others.
Bill Schrier, the CTO from the City of Seattle is the only speaker not from the ASIA region. He is widely regarded as a thought leader in the use of social media and other tools to create a translucent government. His blog http://schrier.wordpress.com/ is worth a read.
I like his recent quote: “Making government “transparent” is in vogue in 2009, whether by doing map mashups of crimes or twittering by Mayors and public agencies. But I often wonder if we’re exposing the trees, without showing the forest or illuminating the true ecosystems of governing.” And he goes on ” So I’d say we’re starting to get adept at exposing the trees – or maybe the branches, twigs, leaves, owls, squirrels, nuts and bark of government operations. But what does all this data mean, and how can it influence government behavior, budgeting and public policy choices?”
Seattle is at the forefront of making the public aware of the goings-on in government and I assume that is why he was invited to speak.
Other topics covered at the Hong Kong conference – to name a few that caught my eye:
NOT AN OXYMORON: GOVERNMENT & BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE.
• Responsive, agile policy-making calls for real time insight into the operations of the government machine. In a data rich environment, public sector is well placed to see a quick return from tools that deliver actionable intelligence to government decision-makers.
VIP Address – TRANSFORMING GOVERNMENT OPERATION THROUGH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
• Exploring the networks and internet technologies for the delivery of government information, services and processes
• Using technology to provide user-centered information and services and achieve joint outcomes
BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT FOR OPERATIONAL BEST PRACTICE
Mapped and monitored processes drive effective BPM strategies, enabling public sector organizations to embrace operational best practice.
• Compliance & improvement initiatives driving public sector BPM
• More than workflow automation: process-centric government
• Process visibility enables process agility
So often at these events the focus is on technical stuff like portals and databases and not so much on better tools for the governmental knowledge worker. This conference seems different in the topics it covers.
Government transformation requires that citizens, politicians and senior governmental knowledge workers (or as Gartner calls them “Officer 2.0”) work towards a common goal.
It seems to me that too often the governmental employees’ pivotal role in this transformation is ignored and better tools are not addressed – it is refreshing to see a change of attitude coming from ASIA.
The Obama administration has embarked on several bold initiatives in how it interacts with the public.
Less than a week ago it launched data.gov described this way: “The purpose of www.data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable data sets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.
What seems unique to the approach is to ask the public to participate in the development of the site and engage in the evolution of the site – in other words launching a governmental site that will be very dynamic in nature and acknowledging that not all information is available from day one – see the tutorial here.
Terms such as “Government 2.0” and “Context-driven Governmental Services” has been introduced by the administration using layman’s term and with refreshingly straight forward guidelines and tutorials.
Another initiative is http://usaspending.gov (a re-launch of www.fedspending.org) which is described as allowing citizen to verify “when, with whom, and on what the US Government is spending taxpayer funds”. Data will be made available in such a way that users will be able to “combine them into different data sets, conduct analysis and research, or power new information-based products and businesses”.
The third one is www.recovery.gov, which applies the same principles as usaspending.gov to the tracking of funds coming from the Stimulus Package.
The White House document issued together with FY 2010 budget request says that “the Federal IT agenda is focused on helping agencies use developing technologies to inform the work of Government” and “Agencies will be called upon to take creative action in developing new approaches to citizen involvement, including the utilization of social and visual technologies, such as Web 2.0 tools”.
Very little information has been revealed about the tools available to the governmental white collar workers. They will need superior tools to help them live up to the public service expectations created.
We believe that our proven “Knowledge Worker Desktop” concept could be a big help in delivering that public service. We believe our concept can empower the governmental employees to be at the center of this government transformation and make them an active part of the innovation process needed.
Stay tuned for more information about this in future postings on this blog.
In my last post I mentioned that over the last four short months the Obama Administration has attracted a lot of attention through a number of WEB initiatives embracing “Government 2.0” as a concept for providing better two-way communication with the public. All this is explained by the Obama Administration in fairly easy to understand layman’s terms.
Europe’s initiatives are a bit more difficult to decipher and clearly written by bureaucrats with a mix of bureaucratic speak and IT speak.
Nevertheless it is worth a read and it will clearly affect e-government initiatives for all countries within the European Union. Below are selected excerpts from several sources.
The European initiatives seem to still be focused on coordinating standards between countries rather than any bold initiatives from the EU commission for a centralized approach for how to improve servicing the public and provide a two-way communication with the private sector and ordinary citizens.
Some European countries are certainly looking into how to optimize their IT infrastructure across agencies and departments. Denmark is often singled out by several analysts as having the boldest approach, driven by the Danish Ministry of Finance.
From 2005-2009 the European Commission have funded a program called IDABC.
IDABC stands for Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Business and Citizens.
It was formed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies:
- to encourage and support the delivery of cross-border public sector services to citizens and enterprises in Europe,
- to improve efficiency and collaboration between European public administrations and,
- to contribute to making Europe an attractive place to live, work and invest.
To achieve its objectives, IDABC issues recommendations, develops solutions and provides services that enable national and European administrations to communicate electronically while offering modern public services to businesses and citizens in Europe.
The program also provides financing to projects addressing European policy requirements, thus improving cooperation between administrations across Europe.
National public sector policy-makers are represented in the IDABC program’s management committee and in many expert groups. This makes the program a unique forum for the coordination of national e-government policies.
On 30 April 2009, the European Commission adopted the sixth revision of the IDABC Work Program. The IDABC work program is scheduled to come to an end on 31 December 2009.
As one of the outcomes of this effort the European Commission in Sept. 2008 published a Draft Document as the basis for the European Interoperability Framework Version 2. This document, which was debated extensively by EU member states, introduced a number of concepts that complement the interoperability framework, such as the interoperability strategy, the interoperability architectural guidelines and the European Infrastructure Interoperability Services (or EIIS).
On 29 September 2008, the European Commission approved a proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on a new program for the period 2010–15 “Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations”, to be known as ISA.
This program is the follow-on of IDABC which will come to an end on 31 December 2009.
The ISA program is focusing on back-office solutions supporting the interaction between European public administrations and the implementation of Community policies and activities.
The adopted text is available here in Part 2 from p.280 to 293.
The Council of Ministers is expected to vote on the compromise proposal in June 2009.
The Obama Administration has taken a number of initiatives to deliver on the campaign promise to bring more transparency and openness to government.
One of the latest initiatives receiving a lot of attention is described below. It encourages all stakeholders to participate in shaping the way government communicates about its work and outlines how the private sector and ordinary citizens can provide input to the process.
Below are excerpts from the Office of Science and Technology Policy filed 5/20/09 (FR Doc. 2009-12026):
The White House is looking for help formulating a directive on open government:
Executive Office of the President
Office of Science and Technology Policy
SUMMARY: The President’s January 21, 2009, memorandum entitled, Transparency and Open Government, directed the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA), to develop a set of recommendations that will inform an Open Government Directive. This directive will be issued by OMB and will instruct executive departments and agencies on specific actions to implement the principles set forth in the Presidents memorandum. Members of the public are invited to participate in the process of developing recommendations via email or the White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open offering comments, ideas, and proposals about possible initiatives and about how to increase openness and transparency in government.
DATES: Comments must be received by June 19, 2009.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments by one of the following methods:
Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government
Recommendations, 725 17th Street, ATTN: Jim Wickliffe, Washington, DC 20502.
The President outlined three principles for promoting a transparent and open government:
- Transparency promotes accountability and provides information to citizens about what their Government is doing.
- Participation enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions by tapping knowledge that is widely dispersed in society.
- Collaboration harnesses innovative tools, methods, and systems to promote cooperation across all levels of Government and with the private sector.
The Presidential Memorandum requests recommendations to inform an OMB Directive that will instruct executive departments and agencies on specific actions to implement the three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.
The purpose of this Federal Register notice is to solicit public participation in the development of those recommendations. There is a great deal of dispersed information among the nation’s citizens.
With twenty-first century tools, the United States is in a unique position to take advantage of that dispersed information to inform the policymaking process. Our goal is to use the principles of open government to obtain fresh ideas about open government itself.
Comments on open government may relate to government-wide or agency-specific policy, project ideas, and relevant examples. Comments may address law, policy, technology, culture, and practice on issues such as:
- What government information should be more readily available on-line or more easily searched?
- How might the operations of government be made more transparent and accountable?
- How might federal advisory committees, rulemaking, or electronic rulemaking be better used to improve decision making?
- What alternative models exist to improve the quality of decision making and increase opportunities for citizen participation?
- What are the limitations to transparency?
- What strategies might be employed to adopt greater use of Web 2.0 in agencies?
- What policy impediments to innovation in government currently exist?
- What changes in training or hiring of personnel would enhance innovation?
- What performance measures are necessary to determine the effectiveness of open government policies?
This public process is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The full report can be found at http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-12026_PI.pdf
The FY 2010 budget request has in an accompanying document an entire section referring to “Government 2.0” – including transparency, participation and collaboration – see page 143 in this PDF version http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/crosscutting.pdf .
This debate will intensify and cBrain will certainly follow this closely and provide input based upon the experiences we have had with our “Knowledge Worker Desktop” concept implemented within several governmental agencies.
How do governmental agencies help the public locate relevant information online and make more informed decision about services available AND at the same time navigate the fine line between privacy and serving the public efficiently?
Vivek Kundra, Obama’s new federal CIO, in April 2009 moderated a panel discussion where one of the questions Kundra asked was how governmental agencies are helping the public make more informed decisions about public services based on information available online.
According to nextgov.com Kundra used the analogy of a grocery store where studies of consumers’ buying patterns have shown that consumers buying milk most often also buy bread. Therefore store shelves are arranged so these items are placed closely together.
For the public sector, Kundra referred to this kind of process as “context-driven government” where how citizens search and retrieve information about public services could be monitored and analyzed to drive better policies and improve the way information is made available.
Providing public service to citizens, almost anticipating their wishes would seem to be a major improvement of the online experience – that is what Amazon is famous for. BUT will people be happy to know that their behavior is being monitored, analyzed and profiled by the government just like Amazon does for people’s buying habits?
I think we can find the balance between privacy, transparency and public service to the citizens and the term “context-driven government” just might catch on as an important concept that can reduce cost and provide better service to the non-trivial cases.
This concept of “context-driven government” will also apply to governmental white collar workers dealing with these non-trivial cases and free up the time and resources for them to concentrate on the non-trivial cases of citizen’s requests and complains.
Our “Knowledge Worker Desktop” concept is context-driven by the nature of the cases presented to the case worker.
This will be discussed and described in this blog over the next few months and it appears to be very much in line with Vivek Kundra’s thinking as we interpret his words.
We could be in for a new phase of governmental productivity improvements that will leapfrog what we have seen of incremental improvements over the last 10-15 years.