Process-Oriented Reorganization Projects in Electronic Government
Jörg Becker (University of Münster, Germany), Lars Algermissen (University of Münster, Germany) and Björn Niehaves (University of Münster, Germany)
Copyright: © 2006
From the beginning of the 90s, public administration has been confronted by a series of new demands. Society has been transformed by the influence of new technologies. There is a strong trend towards growing individualization, whereby there are increasing demands by individuals on the state. Simultaneously, in the context of national and international competition, efficient and effective state activity and support for entrepreneurial activities in a region or country are becoming an increasingly decisive factor in location decisions. No one has yet succeeded in improving the performance capability of the state, in a manner and degree that is commensurate with the increasing number of responsibilities. According to Budäus and Schwiering (1999) a modernization and performance gap has arisen because of the difference between the volume of work and performance. For some years, the term electronic government, coined from e-business, has been universally proposed as a way of closing this gap. The core of e-government as well as e-business is the execution of administrative processes (Langkabel, 2000, p. 6). In recent years, businesses have already initiated and successfully undertaken measures to strengthen the organization of business processes. At the same time, the academic disciplines of business management studies and business information technology have taken up this issue (Davenport, 1993; Earl, 1994; Hammer 1990; Hammer & Champy, 1993). Commensurately, fields such as process modeling, workflow management or process cost calculation demonstrate a deep understanding of theory and have consequently attained a high standard of development. However, the practical application of this knowledge, acquired in the domain of public administrations, has only occurred to a limited degree. Alongside an insufficient translation of theoretical knowledge into practice, the urgent practical challenges of process management, for example, and the design of procedure models for specific domains, have not so far been adequately taken up by the relevant academic disciplines and conceptualized soundly. The purpose of this article is to stimulate an improvement in the situation outlined above. The objective is the presentation of a systematic approach how to prepare process oriented e-government projects. As a rule, comprehensive preparation is essential for process modeling, because, on the one hand, the model design is characterized by a high degree of process complexity and on the other hand, the information model is characterized by a high degree of object complexity. When considering the aim of the modeling, it is necessary to determine both the object of modeling, and the modeling methods and tools. As an introduction we first provide an overview of related work. In section one we briefly describe different modeling objectives and explain, why organizational design is one of the most important aims of process modeling in the context of e-government (“why” should be modeled). In section two we identify requirements for a modeling method based on the domain e-government and the modeling objective organizational design. The requirements lead to the selection of event-driven process chains (EPC) (“how” should be modeled). In section three we show how the target environments for modeling projects can be identified. Based on a public service classification scheme we therefore introduce a two-phase procedure comprising the successive application of the portfolio analysis and the profile method (“what” should be modeled).