| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The System was developed following an extensive service development methodology combined with Project Management tools:
Phase 1: May 2013 – Planning – The first phase of the project was dedicated to the planning of the initiative. In addition to the consultation of all key stakeholders, planning entailed the creation of a detailed vision for the finished Complaint Management System, engagement of key personnel and resources to execute the project as well as creating an effective timeframe.
Phase 2: May to June 2013 – Process Design – The second phase of the project was dedicated to conducting a detailed design of the process from the perspective of integrating the system across the whole of government. The key actions in this phase included harvesting stakeholder needs, identifying the appropriate form and functionality for the system and preparing an in-depth project plan used to inform all development work.
Phase 3: May to August 2013 – Technical Design & Development – The third phase of the project encapsulated all development work to deliver the finished system. In addition to the technical design of both the systems back-end and front-end interfaces, the phase deployed a prototype of the solution that was subjected to numerous rounds of technical testing to ensure that functionality was correctly working.
Phase 4: September to October 2013 – Testing & Training – This phase of the project subjected the Complaint Management system to rigorous testing by both customer and government actors to ensure that all functionality was correctly working and met both user and technical requirements. Finally, the phase ensured that continuous training was implemented among staff to build their capacity to use the system effectively.
Phase5: Dec 2013 - Monitoring and Enhance – The final phase involved obtaining feedback from the initial set of entities and identified opportunities for improvement. Carefully devised plans were created to upgrade the functionalities of the system.
Throughout all the phases of implementation, a number of specific development steps were taken to ensure that the project was successfully delivered:
• Business Case: A Business Case was used to identify the key objectives of the system and also help create the scope and budget for the solution. The Business case was shared with Ministry of Finance for relevant budget allocation and payments in the later stage.
• Service Notification: Service Notifications were used internally at eGA to notify the CEO and Directors about the new service. This functionality provided a high level description about the nature of the Project, the major stakeholders of the project, the type of the services in the project (G2C, G2B, G2G) and the channel in which the project will be deployed.
• Service Description: Service descriptions were used to build a common understanding of the project among key stakeholders. It included the Project Name, primary and secondary stakeholders, the high level as-is and to-be process, the type of services within the project, the service level, the volume of transactions per year and the list of forms or documents required as well as the technical maturity of the entity with respect to the project
• Business and Functional Requirements: Business and Functional Requirements were used to provide detailed objectives, benefits, measures, names of organizations affected by the service, assumptions, constraints and risks associated with the service being implemented.
• Unit Test: Unit tests were used to evaluate every aspect of the service to ensure that they complied with the rigorous standards of the eGovernment Authority for quality and usability.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
To implement such a transformational system across the whole of government, it was necessary to consult with the full range of internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the system delivered an effective, unified process which could be used across all government departments:
(a) NATIONAL LEADERSHIP:
• Crown Prince Office: Monitoring and supporting the initiative.
• Bahrain Center of excellence: Advisor on the systematic implementation of the solution.
• Ministry of Finance: For approval of the project budget
(b) eGovernment Authority - Implementation conducted by the following teams:
• Service Delivery: Design, Develop and Deploy
• Business Process Reengineering: Define and Refine Processes
• PMO: Project Administration
• Marketing: Portal Design
• NGI Team: Upgrade NGI Infrastructure
• Quality Assurance (QA): Change Control
• National Contact Center: Complaints Channel
• Support team: Maintenance
(c) Entities part of Tawasul - Customer facing departments, PR and Customer service centers of :
• eGovernment Authority
• Ministry of Housing
• Ministry of Social Development
• Ministry of Works
• Ministry of Labor
• Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning municipalities
• Ministry of Transportation
• Central Information Organization
• Telecommunication Regulatory Authority
• National Health Regulatory Authority
• Ministry of Health
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Ministry of Finance
• Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority
• Ministry of Culture
• Institute of Public Administration
• Central Bank of Bahrain
• Information Affairs Authority
• Ministry of Education
• General Organization for Youth and Sports
• National Authority for Qualifications and Quality Assurance
• Capital Governorate
• Ministry of Industry and Commerce
• Supreme Council For Women
• Social Insurance Organization
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
All work was covered with an annual budget from the Ministry of Finance. The main costs generated by the project focused on training, marketing and shared maintenance. Key details include:
* Implementation timeframe: 6 Months
*Estimated cost of the system: 175,000 BHD ($464,000)
* Estimated annual maintenance cost: 15,000 BHD ($40,000)
Based on analysis and detailed budgeting, and taking into consideration the availability of technical and human resource at the time, the cost for the project came in at a mere 35,000 BHD ($83,000) .
(b) Human Resources:
The team consisted of the following personnel from the eGA and participating government entities:
* Project Manager responsible for resource management and business continuity
* BPR specialist provided the AS-IS and TO-BE
* Business Analyst delivered the system prototype
* Technical Analyst created suitable architecture
* Developer part of the service delivery team to develop the software systems
* QA and Testing team to ensure end to end quality assessment of the system.
(c)Technical Resources (infrastructure):
The solution was designed to be seamlessly interoperable with all the different Ministries of the Bahraini Government. Therefore, the technical design was carried out within our Websphere Infrastructure used to design different government computer systems. The following specific aspects comprised the technical design of the solution:
*Websphere Process Server: A server that provides a runtime environment produced in a business-driven development process. Technically, WebSphere Process Server is mounted on top of WebSphere Application Server and extends the WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus.
*Websphere Integration Developer: An integrated development environment for building applications based on service-oriented architecture (SOA). It is the authoring tool for WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere ESB V6.0.
*Websphere Business Monitor: Used to monitor the business matrix like rune time reports, dashboards and score cards.
*Websphere Business Modeler: Provides a powerful business process modeling, simulation, analysis, and reporting features to help optimize the performance of our business processes
*Websphere Service Registry and Repository: Provides service registry and repository functions for service-oriented architecture (SOA) enterprise applications. This software enables service lifecycle governance to help optimize productivity and resources in an SOA environment.
The front-end services were provisioned as a virtual portal on the websphere portal of the Kingdom of Bahrain - Bahrain.bh.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Complaint Management Solution ensures that no citizen, business or visitor is excluded from making a simple yet meaningful contribution to the improvement of the Bahraini Government. The anytime, anywhere approach and smart, responsive management system allows a unified, accessible complaint management system to be shared and deployed by all government departments:
Collaborative Improvement: The system with its capabilities has helped government departments concentrate on improving their customer relationship management and provision of services. Ministries now feel that “complaints should be perceived as means to improve services”. Further, the shared system promotes collaboration across departmental boundaries by identifying best practices, facilitating shared approaches and making it easier to understand the results in a visual way.
Integrated, Cross-Departmental System: The production of a unified system that can be simply and inexpensively deployed for all government departments has been a major success factor for the initiative. Through a scalable, harmonized system Bahrain will be able to achieve significant savings in time, cost and effort across the whole of government. Maintenance and upgrades also become simple and controllable. The implementation of this project allowed the development of a standardized and refined process for handling complaints, enquires and suggestions within individual entities and ultimately across the whole government of Bahrain.
Improved Customer Satisfaction: A simple, accessible portal has made it easier for all citizens, businesses and visitors to access consistent, effective complaint management. The improved notification and feedback mechanism for the closure has increased customer interaction and satisfaction.
Improvement of Government Services: The Complaint Management System has made ‘smart’ tracking of customer suggestions and identification of the most repeated complaints a reality. This functionality enables Government entities to review their services and apply feedback in order to improve their provision in direct response to customer experiences. A key example of this improvement is the Service Management Group (SMG) in eGovernment who have taken the most frequent complaints and customer feedback to review and improve the services provided by the eGovernment program of Bahrain.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Defining Service Levels:
Each entity planning to utilize the capabilities of the system has to define the Service Levels they are planning to maintain in their interaction with the customers based on priority of the case. These service levels are reviewed based on the business of the Ministry and the type of service they provide.
The Complaint Management Portal is designed with a highly visual dashboard that provides real-time updates about the performance of different organizations across the whole of government. In addition to giving government leadership an overview of the performance of different departments and Ministries, the dashboard also provides an idea of how the system is optimally utilized to give value to customer queries.
Dedicated Monitoring Team:
The system has a dedicated monitoring team which manages the dashboard and ensures the consistent delivery of high quality service. The group has been designed to take an overview of cases and ensure high quality delivery. The team is staffed by the eGovernment authority with the support of professionals from across the government ministries.
The team ensures the Complaint Management Solution is monitored from a 360 degree view. All the identified issues and improvement opportunities cycles through relevant teams to implement and refine the solution.
The Statistics the national leadership look into are (with latest values):
• Total Complaints & Enquiries: 2259
• Total number of Complaints Open: 166
• Total number of Complaints Closed: 2093
Closed Complaints & Enquiries Based on SLA :
• Exceeding SLA: 799
• Within SLA: 1294
Open Complaints & Enquiries Based on SLA
• Exceeding SLA: 94
• Within SLA: 72
Case Analysis report and System upgrades:
The entities undertake internal analysis of their performance against the defined SLA and also review how each department within the entity is performing. They also provide suggestions for the improvement of the system. The technical team conduct periodical surveys to understand any new and refined requirements needed to upgrade the system and hence the quality of delivery. The solution, with the help of close monitoring techniques, has traveled a long way across the maturity scale comparing its initial state with its current behavior.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
• Stakeholders initially unwilling to provide required inputs to collaborate in the configuration of the system
• Delay in approvals for the User Acceptance Testing and for the process flow
• Unavailability of critical resources in different entities during implementation
Solution: Creation of a Service Management Group to directly interact with top officials of different government entities and provide daily status updates.
• ‘Contact Us’ form within the portal gave customers the wrong impression about where to submit complaint
• Initial form design was incompatible with some Ministries
• Technical costs of adding new Ministries was high
• The auto-generated Complaint Management Application screens were not sufficiently user-friendly or customizable
• Initial Dashboard and KPIs Templates did not serve management requirements
Solution: A process study was conducted to create a common workflow satisfying the majority of scenarios. A separate virtual portal with branding was designed to help customers identify the solution more easily.
• Too many numbers/channels for the customers to choose from. They are different for each Ministry.
• Customers found it difficult to track the status of their requests
• Limited service window and service availability
• Few communication channels
Solution: A common portal was designed and implemented for the whole of government to be the single interface for all the Ministries in Bahrain.
• No unified system for government complaints, suggestions, and enquiries
• No standardized processes and lack of automation
• Different departments handle common complaints, suggestions, and enquiries independently
• No proper documentation for the request handling cycle
Solution: Customizable dashboards were delivered to every department and Central Government to facilitate a joined-up overview of system performance across the whole of government.