Business process modelling can have many applications. It can be used to: understand the flow of work in an organisation; monitor and control progress of work; measure and optimise work performance; predict the effects of changes in management and operations; plan for implementation of changes; design interaction patterns between processes running in different organisations; and specify, develop and deploy software to further organisational/business goals, etc. Formal analysis is a particularly good reason to carry out such modelling, as it can disclose problems long before the process is actually deployed in an organisation. This early detection is especially important for processes that cross organisational boundaries where errors, as in all distributed systems, are inherently hard to detect and expensive to correct. One approach to model a business process is to describe its concrete execution in an enterprise, using enterprise resources to produce tangible results like products or services. Typically, such descriptive modelling would be carried out to explore the analogy between business and computing and would concentrate on the mechanics of a process. A prescriptive model, in contrast, aims to express the intended purpose of each process. The challenge for business process modelling is, we believe, finding suitable abstractions that can be applied at both levels. By formally relating such descriptive and prescriptive models, we could verify if a process is correct (satisfies its intended purpose) and further develop an engineering approach to design such processes in a rigorous way. This chapter is set to contribute to this general goal. We consider a particular, although broadly defined, business domain: customer-driven production. Production refers to the process of creating goods – tangible products like cars, phones or shovels. Products are produced by assembly from sub-products, carried out within independent business entities called production cells. Each cell contains the resources to store, manufacture and deliver products to its customers. On a certain level, a cell represents formally what is a manufacturing enterprise with its resources like a warehouse, shop-floor and product stocks. The behaviour of a cell is driven by the orders received from the customers and how such orders are implemented. The customers include other production cells. The implementation of a customer order is described by a production process. The aim of this chapter is to define formally what it means for such a process to be feasible (possible to carry out given the resources delegated for its execution) and correct (satisfying a customer order, if feasible). We adopt the following business model, explained for sequential, concurrent and distributed production: 1. Sequential production (one process, one cell). Each process responds to a customer order which specifies the product to deliver, the number of items and possibly the latest time of delivery. The process operates within a production cell which offers the resources for its execution, in terms of product stocks, storage space, and capacity to carry out manufacturing and transportation. It describes in detail what operations should be performed on the cell and in which sequence. The process is feasible if the cell has enough resources for its execution. A feasible process is correct if its execution satisfies the order: the stocks for the products reach the required volumes within the deadline. 2. Concurrent production (many processes, one cell). A cell may contain several processes, each created in response to a particular customer order and all executed concurrently. In order to resolve conflicts for the shared resources (such as product stocks, manufacturing workstations or a transportation system), processes are assigned priorities to represent their importance. Feasibility means the cell has enough resources for all such processes, executed concurrently. Correctness means all processes satisfy their corresponding customer orders, when executed concurrently under a priority-based scheduler. 3. Distributed production (many processes, many cells). Several processes running in different cells may satisfy an order in a cooperative way. Trying to utilise the resources that one cell lacks and another has available, they form customer-supplier relations dynamically, by receiving customer orders and implementing with their own processes, perhaps sending more orders at the same time. As a result, each cell may be running several processes, each contributing part of the original order. This mechanism leads to the distribution of production activities. Feasibility means each cell has enough resources for its processes executed concurrently. Correctness means a process satisfies its customer order provided all supplier processes satisfy their own. Moreover, when several such processes run in the same cell, they must satisfy their orders concurrently. The rest of this chapter is as follows. Section 7.2 is about product modelling. Section 7.3 presents a descriptive production model, including the concepts like production cells, operations and processes, and defines what it means for a process to be feasible. Section 7.4 presents a corresponding prescriptive model. Section 7.5 defines what it means for a feasible process to be correct, by relating such descriptive and prescriptive models. It starts with sequential production, then introduces concurrency, distribution, and real-time constraints. Section 7.6 describes related work and provides some conclusions.
Electronic Government leads to technology-enabled transformation of government organizations, and consequently of their relationships with citizens, businesses and other arms of government. Developing countries can greatly benefit from Electronic Government development, in terms of increasing the capacity of government organizations to meet tremendous socio-economic needs. However, they also face common challenges: weak implementation, delivery and coordination; policy-strategy and strategy-implementation gaps; insufficient human capacity; lack of research to precede project implementations; etc. This paper proposes a rigorous Electronic Government Development Framework (EGOV.*) to address some of these challenges. The framework enables systematic construction of Electronic Government for a given Public Administration (PA) in terms of: (1) establishing the readiness of the PA for ICT-enabled transformation; (2) determining state-of-the-art in Electronic Government practices and solutions around the world, as relevant to the PA; (3) building a PA-wide vision and strategy towards the development of high-quality Electronic Government; (4) constructing a government program to implement this strategy; (5) building human capacity within the PA, covering leadership, management and technical skills, to be able to execute and benefit from this program; and (6) establishing a Resource Center for Electronic Government on the basis of existing institutions, particularly government and academia, and raising the capacity of this Center to execute the program. The framework has been applied in three countries - one completed, one ongoing, and one to start.
Information sharing (IS) is a key capability required for one-stop and networked government, responding to a variety of intra-organizational, inter-organizational, or cross-national needs like sharing service-related information between parties involved in the delivery of seamless services, sharing information on available resources to enable whole-of-government response to emergencies, etc. Despite its importance, the IS capability is not common for governments due to various technical, organizational, cultural, and other barriers which are generally difficult to address by individual agencies. However, developing such capabilities is a challenging task which requires government-wide coordination, explicit policies and strategies, and concrete implementation frameworks. At the same time, reconciling existing theoretical frameworks with the IS practice can be difficult due to the differences in conceptions and abstraction levels. In order to address such difficulties, this chapter proposes a conceptual framework to guide the development of Government Information Sharing (GIS) policies, strategies, and implementations. By integrating theoretical frameworks and the GIS practice, the framework adopts a holistic view on the GIS problem, highlights the main areas for policy intervention, and provides policy makers and government managers with conceptual clarity on the GIS problem.
Better integration of Electronic Government (EGOV) and Public Administration Reform (PAR) strategies has been identified by global EGOV benchmark reports as one of the contemporary issues to address in improving the outcomes of EGOV programs. This chapter presents a technique for aligning EGOV and PAR strategies based on the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) of Henderson and Venkatraman. By treating EGOV and PAR strategies as two different alignment domains, similar to organizational and technological domains respectively, we re-frame the original SAM to address our specific alignment needs. Our model provides a procedure and metrics for analyzing: (1) alignment between a pair of EGOV and PAR strategies and (2) the internal coherency of an EGOV strategy. We discuss our experience in applying this approach in Macao and conclude with how it may be used in aligning EGOV with other strategies such as those related to governance and development.
The success of the electronic governance (EGOV) benchmarking has been limited so far. Lacking a theory to integrate existing conceptualizations has made the acquisition and sharing of knowledge produced by different benchmarking exercises difficult. In order to address this problem, this paper: 1) explains the nature of the EGOV benchmarking activity though a well-established theoretical framework - Activity Theory, 2) applies the framework to carry out a mapping between a number of existing EGOV benchmarking conceptualizations, 3) develops an unified conceptualization based on these mappings and 4) validates the resulting model though a real-life national EGOV strategy development project. The use of the Activity Theory in the paper has enabled defining and relating initial dimensions of the EGOV benchmarking activity, and mapping the dimensions present in existing conceptualizations. This not only created a unifying theoretical basis for conceptualizing the EGOV benchmarking activity but allowed learning from and integrating existing conceptualizations. The work impacts on the EGOV benchmarking practice by enabling a logical design of the activity, and contextually correct understanding of existing EGOV benchmarking results with respect to their intended usage.
A major issue in organizations including public organizations is how to ensure that investments in Information Technology (IT) optimally deliver the expected value for stakeholders. Since most organizational transformation agenda in the government are articulated and implemented under the Public Administration Reform programs, and IT projects in government are increasingly associated with e-governance initiatives, the need to align reform and e-government programs arises. This paper shows how the Strategic Alignment Model (SAM) may be adapted for aligning public administration reform and e-government strategies. It shows how to partition strategies into domains equivalent to the four classical SAM domains and presents: (i) metrics for evaluating current level of alignment between the reform and e-government program, (ii) a process or sequence of steps to achieve desired alignments between the four domains, (iii) our experience in the application of the process in project involving the alignment of the e-government program and the reform roadmap of a city state in South-East Asia, and (iv) some features of the tool that has been developed to support the alignment process. Finally, the paper highlights our ongoing work in this area.
The availability of domain frameworks to enable rapid development of Electronic Public Services (EPS) is essential to meet the increasing demand for mature EPS by various government stakeholders. This paper presents a composite domain framework comprising frameworks to build the Front-Office and Back-Office parts of an EPS. The framework supports a set of domain requirements obtained through a detailed analysis of over 30 concrete public services. After presenting these requirements, the framework is described in four stages - architecture, design, implementation and instantiation - all using UML to capture the artifacts built during development. We also illustrate the application of the framework through a case study in developing an Electronic Licensing Service by means of framework instantiation. We conclude with some comments on the complexity, flexibility and performance of the framework. This work was carried out as part of the e-Macao Project to build a foundation for e-Government in Macao, funded by the Government of Macao SAR.
Responding to the issues of complexity, relevance, cost and risk of Electronic Governance (EGOV), we witness a specialization of the roles responsible for EGOV development and operation, professionalization of the personnel playing such roles, and utilization of the EGOV services and information to fulfill citizen needs. In order to build competencies required by such (managerial, professional, technician and user) roles, education becomes a key success factor, and a growing variety of EGOV learning opportunities emerges. However, lacking conceptual underpinnings for EGOV education, the discovery, analysis and integration of such opportunities is difficult. To address this need, the paper develops a theoretical construct for EGOV education; applies six measures to this construct: who - learners, why - roles, what - competencies, how - programs, where - schools, and when - prerequisites; and validates it through a landscaping exercise focusing on EGOV university programs.
There are several well-established surveys on e-government. These surveys employ different assessment models for e-readiness, digital divide and other relevant factors, leading to varying conclusions on the global state of e-government. This paper presents a comparative study of 11 international surveys on egovernment between 2001 and 2004. It identifies a common set of ‘core indicators’ for assessing e-readiness and suggests ways to determine the weights for them. The paper also introduces the concept of a ‘target eready state’ and examines how it may provide a scale for determining the progress of individual countries.
Software Technology is increasingly gaining prominence in national Information Technology (IT) development strategies due to its huge potential for socio-economic development, particularly through income generation from digital services and products, support for the delivery of public services and engagement of citizens. In recent years we have seen developing countries like India, Chile, Philippines, Brazil, China and Indonesia as increasingly important global players in the offshore software services industry, with India and China clearly leading in this industry. There has also been a surge in South-South Cooperation in Software Technology (SSC-ST) in general since 2003, with significant increase in bilateral, regional and contributions of UN organizations (e.g. UNCTAD, UNDP and UNU-IIST) as well as donor OECD countries (particularly Japan, South Korea and a few EU countries) to both the development of software technology capacities and their applications in the areas like agriculture, e-governance, transportation and the information society in general.
This paper presents generic domain models to underpin the development of Electronic Public Services (EPS) – from conceptual models, through requirements and architecture, to implementation models. The conceptual model follows the analysis of 25 concrete business licensing and 6 social welfare services delivered by governments to businesses and citizens respectively. Based on this model, we characterize generic business licensing and social welfare services and, following the Governance Enterprise Architecture, synthesize a generic process for delivering Authorization and Certification classes of public services. From the generic process, requirements are obtained and the architecture is defined to support these requirements. The architecture comprises three categories of components – Front-Office, Mid-Office and Back-Office. We present the static and behavioral view of this architecture and show how it supports the variability in the development of concrete e-Licensing or e-Welfare EPS through: concrete process specification at the Mid-Office, binding of specialized tasks to automation support at the Back-Office, and general use of configuration files. Finally, we discuss an Enterprise Application Framework as a particular implementation of the architecture based on open standards, and describe the use of the framework for rapid development of EPS based on concrete project experience. This work was carried out in the context of the e-Macao Project, a two year project funded by the Government of Macao SAR to build a foundation for Electronic Government in Macao.
Effective Information Technology (IT) leadership is critical for achieving a good alignment between business needs and IT means of an organization. In the public sector, IT leadership is increasingly realized through the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) function, typically established by governments based on local circumstances and emerging needs. This makes peer-learning about the working of such systems and their transfer between different government contexts challenging. To address this concern, the authors introduced earlier a GCIO System - a set of inter-related activities to guide governments in gradually establishing, operating and sustaining the GCIO function. Based on a common conceptual model of the GCIO function, this paper defines a methodology for conducting the readiness assessment part of the GCIO System. The methodology comprises a set of assessment areas and a step-wise process to conduct assessment in these areas. The paper also shares the experience in applying this methodology in practice, and proposes how the assessment could inform the execution of other activities of the GCIO System.
The ability of governments to develop and effectively manage knowledge assets is now considered a critical capability for electronic governance. Good Knowledge Management (KM) practices in government are usually driven by clear vision and objectives which are part of KM strategies. Developing such government-wide KM vision and objectives requires inputs from individual government agencies and other stakeholders on their needs and priorities (so-called demand-side). However, while there is significant literature on models and tools for measuring KM capabilities (so-called supply-side) and impact of KM practices, very few scholarly work is available on assessment of specific KM needs of individual agencies or other stakeholders. This paper presents an Integrated KM Assessment Model which measures both the demand and supply sides of KM in government. The model was used for assessing the KM needs and capabilities of government agencies in Macao SAR as part of a study for determining the readiness of government as a whole for KM. Results from our study show that innovation in government operations is considered by agencies to be the most KM demanded area, while KM capability for task-specific activities was found to be the weakest KM capability area. In addition, document-intensive and high-volume transaction agencies, such as educational, financial, electronic data interchange agencies have relatively higher KM awareness and capability.
The central role of ICT in development has kept the longstanding discussion on digital divide active in the international development and research community with new perspectives into how to measure and interpret this inequality. In this paper we examine the nature of the digital divide in Maldives. We investigate the digital divide across the nation, between the nation's capital and the rest of the country, the evolution of these divides with time. Finally, we attempt to identify clusters within the country that share similar digital divide concerns to inform more effective policy interventions and the basis for cultivating community of interests for Atolls. Results show significant disparity in penetrations of digital technologies; narrowing of the digital divide with time, but with significant divides remaining between the capital and the rest of the nation. Cluster analysis of Atoll ICT profiles revealed six clusters with membership independent of geographical location. The implications of these results on the ICT development policy of Maldives are finally discussed.
A distributed business process organizes activities by several enterprises to fulfill a given business goal. The purpose of this paper is to formalise what it means for such a process to be feasible (possible to carry out given the resources delegated for its execution) and for a feasible process to be correct (satisfying a given business goal), using customer-driven manufacturing as a particular, although broadly defined business area. Possible applications are: formal analysis of business processes, providing formal semantics to process modelling languages, and specification and rigorous development of business-support software.
Recognized as a critical factor for the whole-of-government capability, many governments have initiated Enterprise Architectures (EA) programs. However, while there is no shortage of EA frameworks, the understanding of what makes EA practice effective in a government enterprise is limited. This paper presents the results of empirical research aimed at determining the key factors for raising the maturity of the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) practice, part of an effort to guide policy-makers of a particular government on how to develop GEA capabilities in its agencies. By analyzing data from a survey involving 33 agencies, the relative importance of factors like top management commitment, participation of business units and effectiveness of project governance structures on the maturity of the GEA practice was determined. The results confirm that management commitment and participation of business units are critical factors, which in turn are influenced by the perceived usefulness of the GEA efforts.
Citizens increasingly demand high-quality public services, available from a one-stop government portal, and delivered through a choice of electronic and traditional channels. In order to fulfill this demand, the implementation involves collaboration between agencies at different levels of government, driven by complex administrative and business processes. In addition, the delivery of public services increasingly involves private sector organizations serving as intermediaries or suppliers, able to flexibly join or leave dynamic service networks. Such networks have to be managed to address the expected stability of the services delivered through them.
e-Government Readiness Assessment is a vital step in developing effective e-Government strategies which provides important knowledge for policy- and decision-makers. Particularly for developing countries, it is imperative to analyse the conditions, opportunities and challenges of an existing environment to ensure that the resulting e-Government strategy is realistic and workable, whilst enabling public administration reform in support of a sustainable development agenda. While there are different approaches to e-Government Readiness Assessment, the review of existing literature reveals a general lack of focus on methodology and survey design for e-Government Readiness Assessment applicable to developing countries. In this paper, we present the key elements of a holistic e-Government Readiness Assessment methodology, considering national- and agency-level survey model and instrument design. In addition, we discuss implementation issues and present recommendations for future research including the validation of the proposed methodology.