| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Abu Dhabi City Guard implementation plan was anchored with a requirements gathering phase and design phase that ensured the program vision was clearly defined, its stakeholders are properly involved, and its implementation roadmap is adequately outlined.
As mentioned earlier, the Abu Dhabi CityGuard strategy was founded on a comprehensive understanding of Abu Dhabi Government e-participation channels landscape and maturity, and the requirements of the program stakeholders. Furthermore, the strategy identified international best practices to benchmark, such as New York, California and Boston, and others dealing with city image incidents and collaborating with the community for service modernization.
The CityGuard implementation plan included three main activity groups: Proper understanding of current situation, Full engagement with stakeholders, and Effective resolution of the problem.
Understanding the problem –In 2009-2010, a benchmark was performed by ADSIC identifying how worldwide leading cities deal with city image incidents and engage with community to improve their services. The study also analyzed the current landscape for e-participation channels available in Abu Dhabi Government and current challenges being faced by the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre and government departments dealing with incidents reporting.
Engagement with stakeholders– In 2010, based on the study performed, key stakeholders for the new channel have been identified & engaged in a requirement gathering phase:
Starting with the Emirate Executive Council as the main sponsor for the initiative providing necessary approvals, & fostering acceptance of departments of the new channel.
The government departments required to resolve feedback and incidents reported by the customers.
Finally, Customer inputs, where project team analyzed of incident types received through ADGCC channels and correlated description of incidents to identify accurate incident categorization in collaboration with concerned departments.
Effective resolution of the problem– In April 2011, and based on the requirements identified from stakeholder engagements, the design and development of CityGuard application started. Afterwards, Abu Dhabi CityGuard was released to the App stores (iPhone, Androids and Blackberry) in July 2011 as a soft launch.
Considering that the success of Abu Dhabi CityGuard relies on the successful resolution of reported incidents by the concerned Government departments, no marketing activities for the application have been done until readiness of these departments is ensured. Accordingly, parallel with the daily operations & quarterly CityGuard application enhancement releases; another program track for Business &Service Readiness has been launched.
Between August 2011 and June 2013, the Service and Business Readiness track, covered the direct engagements with around 10 key government departments responsible for the most number of incidents received through the ADGCC channels & CityGuard.
For each department, the program team directly engaged with business owners within the department to analyze their readiness for the new mobile channel,& confirm availability of necessary resources required to respond to received incidents within Government predefined SLAs.
The results of that phase for each department covered: Modifying service contracts with contractors to cover new geographical locations (e.g. Abu Dhabi Municipality); Reengineering of internal incident resolution processes (e.g. Center of Waste Management); Building capacity of field service workforce & inspectors; Development of advanced inspection systems to integrate with CityGuard processes (e.g. Department of Economic Development mobilizing inspectors with PDAs to validate CityGuard incidents reported); and Finally allocation of financial resources and securing Executive Council approvals.
After confirming readiness of government departments and maturity of their internal incident management processes, the Abu Dhabi CityGuard was then officially launched in July 2013 in a public event. By Dec 2013, there has been an increase of 460% in customers uptake reflected in the volume of incidents reported by Customers through CityGuard application compared to the same period in 2012.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Abu Dhabi City Guard relies upon several key and committed stakeholders to deliver high quality customer service to the Emirate Community
At the highest level, the Executive Council provides the necessary sponsorship that is so essential in securing engagement and commitment from government departments. Under the guidance of the Executive Council, ADSIC has led the incubation of the CityGuard e-participation iniative. from its launch, through the design, development, transitioning, and operations of Abu Dhabi CityGuard.
The Centralized ownership under ADSIC has been critical in ensuring sustained and steady development of the service. ADSIC also led the analysis of government departments’ readiness requirements based on joint estimation of the anticipated incident volumes. The identified departments’ requirements were presented by ADSIC to Executive Council for approval to ensure readiness of departments for the new service.
ADSIC has partnered with Musanada, the Abu Dhabi Government’ shared service company, who have provided service management capability in three key areas; Contact Centre Management, Entity Relationship Management and Technology Service Management. As well as managing service delivery by 3rd partiesoutsourced service providers domestically & internationally, the management of the relationship between the Contact Centre and 50 government departments which is critical for the success of the Abu Dhabi CityGuard.
Each of the Government Departments that subscribe to the Contact Centre and appoints a Channel Leader to act as the focal point for all matters relating to Customer Care within that department. This role is pivotal at marshaling efforts and resources within their department & ensuring customer service stays at the top of the department’s agenda.
By maintaining regular and close contact with the Channel Leader at each department, the Relationship Management team provides support and advice to the department, helping them to meet their performance targets and, ultimately, to deliver an excellent CityGuard Customer experience.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Abu Dhabi City Guard initiative has leveraged a considerable amount of resources across financial, technology and people dimensions since 2010.
From the financial perspective, and to date, the program expenditure has been around 275,000 USD to develop the new service and 163,000 USD for operations and future enhancements of the service during 2013-2014.
From the technology perspective, the program leverages several technology platforms and solutions provided by the Abu Dhabi City Guard mobile application. The Abu Dhabi City Guard application infrastructure (Mobile backend) is hosted in the Shared Government Data Center, a 500m2 Tier IV Data Center used for hosting Shared Government Services. Underpinning the hosting environment the Abu Dhabi Shared Government Wide Secure Network (ADNet) offers high-speed Government-to-Government and Citizen-to-Government access to the Shared Government Services, including Government Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform empowering the Government Contact Centre. Additionally, the program leverages the Abu Dhabi Government. The location based services provided on Abu Dhabi City Guard leverages in return the Abu Dhabi Government Geographic Information System (SDI).
Finally, and from the people perspective, the Abu Dhabi City Guard core workforce includes 22 FTEs leveraging resources from California, USA – Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Mumbai, India. Today, and after the full operations of the new e-participation channel integrated with the Government Contact Centre, there are in excess of 540 people actively involved in the City Guard and Contact Center ecosystem. This workforce can be broadly categorized into four functions which are:
1 – Contact Center Management- approximately 14 FTEs from Abu Dhabi Systems & Information Centre and Musanada (described in the Stakeholders section). Primarily these resources provide management oversight and direction to the Abu Dhabi City Guard service.
2 – Technology Operations - approximately 11 FTEs from the outsourced systems integration partner provide technology operations and maintenance for the enterprise CRM platform (the BackOffice for City Guard service).
3 – Contact Center Operations - approximately 55 FTEs from the outsourced contact center partner provide case handling for the received City Guard incidents, contact handling for City Guard calling customers, quality control and training capabilities. These FTEs are divided along multiple roles such as Customer Service Representatives or CSR (24), Case Offices and Team Leaders (35)
4 – Entity Customer Service, 457 FTEs from government entity’s customer services divisions. This workforce is broadly divided into four roles, which are:
4.1 – Channel Leaders, 109 FTEs representing the main point of contact between the ADGCC and the entity
4.2 – Service Managers, 188 FTEs, accountable for delivery of service(s) within a government entity
4.3 – Service Owner, 131 FTEs, responsible for delivery of service(s) within a government entity
4.4 – Knowledge Champions, 6 FTEs, responsible for maintaining and distributing knowledge capital. Since the Knowledge Network is relatively new, this role is expected to be significantly expanded in the near future.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Abu Dhabi City Guard initiative main objective is to increase civic participation and social inclusiveness of the entire community population. The ultimate objective behind that is to solicit accurate feedback from the Emirate community on quality of government services offered.
To date, the Abu Dhabi City Guard has a clear list of benefits realized for each of the initiative stakeholders including the Abu Dhabi Government, the Government Departments, and the Community.
A Cross government incident analytics capability – The Abu Dhabi Government today is able to classify and analyze the incidents reported by the Public across all government service sectors. For instance, results today shows that 75% of reported incidents were related to infrastructure & environment services, while 9% of reported incidents were against social development sector.
Based on that intelligence, the Government is able to set the right plans, introduce policy changes, or avail necessary resources for government departments to enhance government service sectors based on received Customers’ feedback.
As an example, the Emirate Municipalities required additional to be able to deal promptly with incidents.
These resources included: Hiring new inspectors & service managers, Implementation of location based field inspection systems, Procurement of geo-enabled inspection devices such as iPads, Implementation of municipal incident management system, and creation of new service contracts required to improve city image for new geographical locations.
Proactive service intelligence – Today, after the launch and operations of Abu Dhabi CityGuard, the Departments are able to analyze the geographical distribution of incidents and intelligently plan relevant service proactive improvement activities for these geo-clusters supported by on the volumes of incidents reported using CityGuard.
Improved community engagement –Since CityGuard soft-launch in July 2011, the Emirate Community started to take advantage of CityGuard application to report incidents of high importance to them. In fact, the application was well received by the public during soft-launch period which was clearly demonstrated by ratings on the app stores and user reviews.
This was followed by a service & business readiness phase engaging departments to ensure operational readiness until application was officially launched in July 2013.
Since then, there has been an increase of 460% in the number of incident cases reported compared to the same period last year with a projected monthly volume increase of 200% based on current trends. Moreover, the number of application downloads increased by 190% after the official launch also reflecting the increasing confidence of the Community.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The Abu Dhabi City Guard application follows predefined process controls to ensure effectiveness of the service and responsiveness of Government departments working on the received Customers feedback. These controls were identified earlier as part of the initiative strategy and inherited many of these controls from the Government contact centre initiative.
• Incident Management Governance - To ensure tight monitoring & control of the case management value chain, a set of pre-defined KPIs are automatically generated & tracked for each case received via the Abu Dhabi City Guard Mobile App. These KPIs cover both government wide & Entity specific KPIs to govern service levels across the Government and ensure consistency of customer experience.
These KPIs are then tracked on both departments and government levels to provide a much clearer picture on the levels of service offered to Abu Dhabi City Guard customers. These KPIs are being tracked in real time helping to provide live-updates on progress incidents resolution by government departments.
The monitoring and analysis of departments incident handling performance is done through a set of analytical reports and live dashboards provided by a Business intelligence software component supporting Abu Dhabi City Guard application.
Through this component, both the Government and the Departments are able to monitor real-time performance measures including: Service performance per department, Incident SLA compliance rates, frequently reported incident types, Incident Types analysis by government sector, by geography, and comparing case volumes to previous year figures to gauge the effectiveness of service improvements and policy changes implemented across the Emirate.
Based on these analytics, necessary remediation steps can be taken, thus ensuring higher transparency and accountability within the government.
• Monthly Service Reviews – The ADGCC has an Entity Relationship management team tasked to conduct monthly service reviews with each department to compare incident resolution performance with previous month and identify necessary corrective measures.
• Unified Incident Management Process –Each case received through City guard Application follows a standard case management value chain covering the full lifecycle of received cases from Contact Handling, Case Creation, Case Assignment, Case Resolution, & Closure.
This value chain aims to provide a good customer experience by providing an excellent service across each segment of this experience regardless of the channel adopted by the Customer.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Since the development of City Guard Mobile Application in 2011 until now, the journey of the Mobile Application was a short journey but also challenging. Key challenges are:
Readiness of departments& resistance for change –The government departments were concerned about the expected volume of cases that may arrive in future. In fact, the project team had to work closely with each Government service sector to estimate the volumes of cases expected through City Guard. Accordingly, estimated the additional resources required in order to be ready to handle with the expected case volumes through the new City Guard during application soft-launch period (Jul 2011 – Jun 2013).
Higher level of customer service maturity – The government departments’ customer service functions are maturing as part of the Government Contact Centre initiative. However, the departments needed to adapt to higher expectation level of the community who provided exact location and image of the incident being report. Considering that, the departments needed to attend to the received cases promptly.
More proactive services required – The government departments are now keen to perform more proactive improvement’s for the offered government services in order to preserve their current service levels and Public facing image. This was resolved through a series of department’s level institutional initiatives including building capacity of field service workforce and inspectors, introducing advanced inspection systems, and allocation of necessary proactive service improvement budget.
Technology shortcoming –City Guard was developed about 2 years ago. Since then, mobile technology has evolved and matured to mainly address the nature of fragmented mobile platforms and operating systems. Furthermore, City Guard has been developed using three sets of codebase for iPhone, Blackberry & Androids and needed to be maintained. This challenge has been addressed through the use of HTML5 and “Device Agnostic Architecture”.