Project Management for Transformational eGovernment

Project Management for Transformational eGovernment

Shauneen Furlong (University of Liverpool (LJMU), UK & University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5202-6.ch173

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Transformational eGovernment is the continuous innovation in the delivery of services, citizen participation, and governance through the transformation of external and internal relationships by the use of technology, especially on the Internet (Roy, 2006). When introduced, it offered the hope and promise to revitalize and modernize public services; reinvigorate and improve services to citizens, business, and governments; and create an exciting environment for employees to work and contribute. Countries world-wide are inexorably engaged and urged forward by both push-and-pull motivational pressures to use technology to improve democratic participation, social harmony, and economic sustainability.

While eGovernment’s first decade has been much more transactional than transformational, radical changes affecting eGovernment are needed in this decade: culture, different services and relationships with all stakeholders; organizational arrangements; business processes; and resource management. But progress thus far achieved was not without struggle and transformational eGovernment success is far to the deficit side of the performance measurement scale. The eGovernment project failure rate is so high that transformational eGovernment progress is stalling (Aikins, 2012).

The objective of this chapter is to highlight the role of project management in the failure of eGovernment, and the opportunity for an enhanced modernized project management discipline to support and drive the needs of a successful international transformational eGovernment. The project management discipline itself is becoming more difficult due to the collaborative and networked nature of present day complicated eGovernment projects and the overwhelming bombardment of information – both useful and irrelevant. The need to work across organizations and jurisdictions and create solutions that are a product of progressive elaboration and negotiation is a new dimension to project management that was not so pervasive until citizen-focused transformational and innovative solutions were being developed. Aikins’ 2012 text on Managing E-Government Projects: Concepts, Issues and Best Practices supports Roy’s 2006 text on Transformation for the Digital Age: E-Government in Canada that the unrealized hopes in transformational eGovernment still remain. Aikins (2012) also supports government documentation as far back as 2006 in Canada (Fraser, 2006) and 2004 in the United Kingdom (BCS, 2004) that eGovernment should adopt a more concrete project management methodology (Aikins, 2012), and that one of the best practices is rigorous application of its methodology (Aikins, 2012). And through the use and application of the repetitive processes afforded by the application of these methodologies, project management excellence is achieved (Kerzner, 2001).

Key Terms in this Chapter

eGovernment: Focuses on the use of new information and communication technologies by governments as applied to the full range of government function through the networking potential offered by the Internet, and related technologies have the potential to transform the structures and operation of government.

eGovernment projects: Refers to the initiatives of government using information technologies enterprise-wide that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These projects serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, and more efficient government management.

Public sector reform: Consists of deliberate changes to the structures and processes of public sector organizations with the objective of getting them to run better. Structural change may include merging or splitting public sector organizations while process change may include redesigning systems, setting quality standards, and focusing on capacity-building.

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies.

Project management system approach: This is a project management process focused approach as opposed to a results focused approach.

Project Management: The discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

Transformational eGovernment: The term used to describe computer-based information and communications technologies to enable radical improvement to the delivery of public services, and describes a government reform strategy which aims to avoid the limitations which have come to be seen as associated with a traditional eGovernment strategy.

Projects: An individual or collaborative enterprise planned and designed to achieve an aim.

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