DG.O 2004: BPC in eGovernment


Jochen Scholl discusses business process change in eGovernment and the DG.O 2004 conference.

Jochen Scholl from the Univ. of Washington is speaking about his research in Current Practices in eGovernment-induced Business Process Change. The primary question of the research is:

How does eGovernment affect government business processes and how do business processes change in government differently from those in business.

Layne and Lee framework of eGovernment (PDF). The focus of this study is on vertical and horizontal integration phases of eGovernment, not information cataloges or transactions.

The study did a survey of senior public managers in New York State in 2003. The practices from private-sector Business Process Change theory that were ranked the highest (in order):

  1. Stakeholders - eGovernment project success depended on stakeholder inclusion
  2. Senior leadership support. Necessary to obtain funding and compete for scare resources. Necessary for multi-agency projects. Senior executives lose interest after a while.
  3. Workflow analysis. This ranked fairly high even though its more detailed than typical BPC work. "Detailed knowledge leads to better conflict resolution." Workflow analysis is more important in phase III and IV of the Layne and Lee model than in phase I and II.
  4. Cultural change readiness - education needed to overcome resistance. Some people felt that certain people may need to be removed from their positions in order to make the necessary changes.
  5. Process and resource inventory - provoked the most comments. This is instrumental in creating a shared vision. Very time consuming and so many projects are launched without doing this.
  6. Internal competency and Learning. This ranked fairly low. People thought domain knowledge was much more important than technical knowledge. This reflects a government culture that "government is fundamentally different than the private-sector." External experts have long learning curves.
  7. Consensus among citizens and officials. Broad consensus is obtainable, but not necessary. "That's what elections are for." Agencies should retain the discretion for directing the eGovernment projects.

Some summary ideas:

  • Government agencies do not feel that seeking citizen consensus is important.
  • Attention to stakeholder involvement appears as more pronounced and consensus seeking more frequent than in private-sector BPC.
  • Longer project durations are OK
  • Failure is not tolerated as frequently.