| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The ambitious re-engineering programme radically transformed the way the Emirates ID Authority operated as a whole organisation – from people to processes and performance. Success was achieved through strong leadership and the adoption of four guiding principles for change: (1) Increased efficiency, (2) Cost optimisation, (3) Incremental capacity, (4) Enhanced Customer Experience. These principles unpinned the following implementation steps:
(A) RESEARCH - Pre-2009
An extensive review of literature was undertaken to understand the complexities of BPR in order to establish a tailored change methodology that would deliver the Emirates ID goals. Research involved not only reviewing BPR best practice, but also the operational infrastructure of Identity Management Systems across the globe (Al-Khouri 2007, 2010). This knowledge armed Emirates ID with information to identify strengths and shortcomings and prioritise the business areas order of focus – starting with enrolment.
(B) PLANNING – Early 2009
Persistent results focused management, and strong commitment from the Vice-Chairman, ensured the Emirates ID vision and BPR methodology was translated into a delivery plan aligned with wider whole of government objectives and outcomes. Government departments and Industry experts were drafted in, and private sector partnerships were established to provide external expertise to support the planning, design and subsequent implementation of the new processes.
(C) BUSINESS PROCESS REDESIGN – Mid 2009
By putting the customer at the heart of the organisation, and by encouraging employees to think beyond their current job roles, the EIDA BPR Team created an end-to-end visualisation of the enrolment process and highlighted a number of options to facilitate greater efficiency.
Management studied the options using the viewpoints of key customer demographics based on sex, job type and health in order to develop solutions that would work for everyone, from blue-collar workers to stay at home mothers and the disabled. Assessing risks and benefits of various design alternatives against cost and time savings generated enhanced processes including:
*Launch of a bright new interactive web portal to help all customers understand the mandatory enrolment process, get help to questions, download application forms, and find their nearest registration center. The use of engaging cultural competitions, access to senior figures and a range of eServices worked to build trust from individuals, communities and businesses in the National ID infrastructure.
* Provision of localised typing centers so illiterate customers can have their biographic application professionally typed and checked before visiting a Service Center to undergo biometric enrolment.
*Transformation of crowded and confusing Registration Centers into bright and welcoming Service Centers with modern facilities to meet the needs of every demographic.
*Linking of residency visa process to ID enrolment to make it easier for new migrants to receive a National ID.
* Deployment of innovative mobile registration services to include house-bound elderly and people with special needs in the mandatory enrolment procedures.
* Roll out of SMS services to help keep busy professionals and young people up-to-date with application status.
(D) IMPLEMENTATION – Late 2009
Solutions that reduced the enrolment process from six steps to four, through integrated back-office systems, created a seamless one-visit, one-counter experience for all customers. The new processes were implemented in existing Service Centers throughout the country.
(E) EVALUATION AND RESULTS – 2010
Technical Data and customer feedback was regularly gathered from the redesigned process to compare results and evaluate the success of the project in order to create a cycle of continuous improvement. Key results included:
*Time spent enrolling each applicant reduced by 27 minutes to take just 5 minutes per application
*Scaling of impact by deploying new Centers and new services through the 2010-2013 ID Strategy Plan
*Completion of 100% target for population registration by 2012
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The re-engineering process of the Emirates ID enrolment was made possible through a comprehensive consultation process with the full value-chain of stakeholders. Two-way dialogue between the public and private sector, Service Center staff and communities and citizens enabled a full range of user requirements to be captured and acted upon. The stakeholders were as follows:
PUBLIC SECTOR – Government actors and civil servants were engaged throughout the redesign process to offer their insights on the necessary alterations and to champion the redesigned ID centers in their own work:
* Service Center Staff
* Ministries of Interior, Health, Labor, Finance, Justice, Social Affairs and Higher Education,
* e-Government authorities
PRIVATE SECTOR –A number of delivery and implementation professionals were brought in to ensure that the transformation of the ID enrolment procedures was timely, efficient and above all centered around customer service excellence:
* Technology companies (Morpho – Safran group, Gemalto, Emaratech)
* Consultancy companies (Logica, Parsons Consultants, Oliver Wyman)
* Courier companies (Empost)
* Typing agencies
* Telecommunication and design companies
* Environmental organisations
CUSTOMERS – Citizens were consulted regularly to ensure the redesigned enrolment process was met the specific needs of citizens. Customers themselves are at the heart of all evaluations and continue to be consulted on a daily basis to ensure every aspect of the redesign continues to meet the highest levels of customer satisfaction:
* UAE citizens, with a focus on women, families, elderly and people with special needs
* Residents from overseas, with a focus on migrant workers
* GCC nationals
Stakeholder involvement in the running and improvement of the enrolment service is a continuous and iterative process which will enable Emirates ID Authority to maintain its 100% record of population registration whilst meeting the needs of customers and providing a foundation for delivering wider eGovernment services across the UAE.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The redesign of the enrolment processes fell within a larger program of BPR change being implemented by the ID Authority. As the transformation was to help drive the formation and delivery of the Emirates 2010-2013 ID Strategy, the budget and majority of resources were derived from the ID Authorities talent pool. The following specific resources were dedicated to the mobilisation of the project:
(A) HUMAN RESOURCES
• The ID Authority staff led the BPR initiative. Four categories of personnel were required to implement the redesign - full time employee numbers are listed below:
* 10 Business Process and Planning Personnel
* 7 Project Management and Implementation Personnel
* 10 Centre Staff and Support Workers
* 5 External Professionals
(B) TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
To facilitate the technical redesign of the enrolment processes, a range of staff with specialist expertise areas were deployed:
* BUSINESS PROCESS SPECIALISTS – Business Process Specialists were deployed to ensure that every phase in the redesign and implementation of the enrolment process was timely and efficient. In addition, Senior Managers were used to contextualise the redesign of the registration procedures and Service Centers within the wider business process reengineering being conducted throughout the ID organisation.
* SERVICE ANALYSTS – Service Analysts were employed to conduct a rigorous benchmarking process for each aspect of the redesigned enrolment process against state-of-the-art examples from the public and private sector. Service Analysts made recommendations on the design and deployment of each service component.
* SYSTEM ANALYSTS – System Analysts were deployed to ensure that the redesigned enrolment processes in the Emirates ID Service Centres were fully integrated into the ID process and that all relevant pressure points within the wider system were assessed and mitigated within the Service Center deployment.
(C) FINANCIAL RESOURCES
The transformation of the enrolment processes focused firstly on the Service Centres with an initial budget of AED 25 million (7 Million USD) inclusive of personnel costs, technical costs and other expenses. Center redesign fell into one of three cost categories: (1) newly constructed, custom-built buildings, (2) rented spaces for renovation, and, (3) Co-hosted centers with other Government departments. The range of Service Center types generated a multitude of individual projects which had their own budgets and scope.
The delivery of the revamped web portal and social media involved a budget of AED 1 Million (272,000 USD). Mobile registration devices cost AED 5 Million (1.35 Million USD), and the integration of the enrolment process with residency visas cost AED 1 Million (0.3 Million USD).
The professional Typing Centers were outsourced to another organisation generating significant cost savings for the program.
At the completion of the program, the final cost estimate is AED 28 Million (7.6 Million USD) inclusive of all work and additional development needs. Budget was generated from Emirates ID external revenue streams including fees from ID cards.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Throughout the BPR process backend systems were fully integrated to make biographical application and biometric enrolment a seamless technical process and ultimately set the stage for further whole of government integration. The result reduced the time it took for citizens to enrol by 46%, and transformed the process from one which often entailed multiple visits, long waits, and rushed and pushed counters to one which could be completed in minutes.
Most successful outputs included:
(1) STREAMLINED BIOMETRIC ENROLLMENT
Integrated technical and operational procedures enable a once multi-queue, multi-counter experience at the Service Centers to be condensed into a one-stop-desk visit at Service Centres. Customers now have their photo, and biometric - iris and fingerprint - data captured in one sitting which slashed the average enrolment time from 27 minutes to 5 minutes, resulting in an enhanced average daily biometric enrolment capacity from 6,000 in 2009 to 22,000 by 2011. At the peak, it was seen that Emirates ID processed nearly 45000 applications per day!
(2) NEW PRIVATE/PUBLIC SECTOR PARTNERSHIP MODEL
The old process of filling in ID application forms with customer biographic details at the Registration Centres led to many errors and confusion, which often caused long delays. By outsourcing the typing process to over 27,000 certified typing pools in towns across the UAE, the ID Authority made it easier for applicants to submit their application forms in advance of attending a Service Center for biometric enrolment. Outsourcing led to a 43% reduction in operating costs.
(3) INTEGRATED GOVERNMENT SERVICES
The use of shared systems for seamless integration and secure protocols for data exchange enables migrant workers to register for a National ID card while undertaking other mandatory residency requirements such as having a medical examination. This step means that migrants, many of whom are low paid, do not have to navigate any more government bureaucracy than is necessary.
(4) IMPROVED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
From the provision of ample parking, through to the delivery free coffee and Arab sweets, the transformed Service Centers make a mandatory registration experience stress-free for all customers. Advance appointment booking systems enable visitors to select appointment times that work for them. Queue management systems, adequate seating and café facilities make waiting times more pleasant. Complimentary Wi-Fi enables workers to stay connected with work. Childcare facilities help women. Specialised assistance helps the disabled and those with special needs. Better services and management saved over 5.5 million man hours in applicant’s time between 2010-2013, and increased customer satisfaction from 37% to 89% by 2012.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
A three pronged agile project management approach was deployed to ensure that all aspects of the Service Centre transformation program were conducted to time and budget, met ID Authority quality standards – ISO 9001:2008 - and adhered to five corporate values - (1) customer-centric services, (2) teamwork, (3) trust, (4) ownership and (5) innovation.
1) ALLOCATING OWNERSHIP
To ensure that excellence and pride were at the heart of all the changes, the ID Authority gave ownership of individual projects to specific staff members. This approach ensured all the individual program parts were safe guarded by internal champions who oversaw the implementation of their initiative, monitored development and ensured progress targets were met.
2) MEASURING PERFORMANCE
Impact of the BPR program was measured by analysing performance against set indicator targets. By 2012 the ID Authority achieved high utilisation rates of operators and equipments which, in turn, increased enrolment capacity and optimised overall enrolment time. As a result, 94% of strategic performance targets were met:
* Percentage of national citizens registered = 6.39% over the target
* Percentage of registration of residents = 12.55% over the target
* Percentage of citizens who renewed their ID cards = 3.42% over the target
During the same year, the ID Authority achieved over 73% of its targets set for operational performance.
* Percentage of complaints solved in due time = 11.46% over the target
* Percentage of customers’ satisfaction with services = 9% over the target
Impressively, savings in operations costs rose from an initially estimated 227 Million AED to 449 Million AED.
3) CONTINUOUS EVALUATION
To complement key performance indicators, the ID Authority adopted the “Excellence Star” system as a new and innovative way of evaluating the performance of the enrolment process at the Service Centers. Service Center outputs are evaluated according to ten specific criteria and the highest performing locations are identified and rewarded. The sense of competition between Centers helped to raise service delivery quality, and also ensured that poorer performing Centers could take best practice from the peak performers. Specific evaluation criteria include the percentage of customer complaints resolved within a defined time period, the efficiency of internal communications and levels of adherence to security and safety protocols. Furthermore, ‘secret shoppers’ are deployed in selected centres to test services and ensure the consistency and quality of registration delivery.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The successful BPR of any customer-facing operation such as the enrolment procedures of Emirates ID is dependent on the buy-in and cooperation of its greatest innovation asset – its staff. Whilst technical change can often be managed logically, people change is a more unpredictable process raising many obstacles and challenges. The following are key examples of human obstacles that were overcome during implementation:
(A) PYSCHOLOGICALLY SHIFTING STAFF MIND SETS TO NEW STATUS QUO
PROBLEM – Whilst many front-line line Service Center staff could see first-hand the problems with the original enrolment procedures, the ID Authority Leaders had difficulty in getting second and third line support staff to stop thinking in silos and contribute effectively to the business process re-engineering exercises.
SOLUTION – The Emirates ID Leadership Team championed a shared vision to all staff members to help them see the end goal of the exercise. In addition support staffs were brought together in one single larger facility to facilitate closer working relationships and improve cohesiveness and communication, enabling shared innovative thinking.
OUTCOME – Successful contributions from all levels of staff to the end-to-end BPR enrolment exercise, resulting in new processes that helped increase registration of the population to 100% and won the Best National ID Program accolade.
(B) REDUCING HIGH STAFF TURNOVER RATES
PROBLEM – The redesign of some aspects of the enrolment process met with internal opposition from certain staff members who were used to the established practices and unsure about how the new changes would impact them. Insecurity led some staff to leave the organisation.
SOLUTION – A comprehensive training system provided all employees with the skills to adjust to the new practices and a proactive approach to promotions helped staff feel valued.
OUTCOME – A 12% reduction in staff turnover in 2012 alone.