CASE. PROJECT MANAGEMENT.
In the wake of a series of major acquisitions around the world and the resulting reorganisation, a global player in the petrochemicals industry took a strategic decision to make programme and project-based working one of their primary business processes. In the area of Information Technology the decision was to set up a world-wide programme management organisation and to develop an in-house programme and project management system
CASE. INFORMATION MANAGEMENT MUNICIPALITY.
How can we, as a municipality, improve the quality of our operational management? How do we increase the trust of citizens and companies in the public administration? How can we create cost savings? A medium-sized municipality in the middle of the country was confronted with these complex questions. It was not possible to provide answers at once. However, a factor that may make a significant contribution to answering these questions is the information service of the organisation.
Together with the municipality in question Aranea has drawn up a business case and organisation blueprint in order to show the contribution of an improved organisation and management of the information service, as well as a way organising this.
The steps that have been followed can be outlined as follows:
- Assessing the current situation regarding the use and organisation of information services within the municipality;
- Developing ideas about the information service within the municipality;
- Establishing municipal objectives to which an improved information service may make a contribution;
- Proposing measures/projects in order to realise the objectives and draw up a business case for these measures/projects;
- Proposing an organisational blueprint for the information service.
In the current situation the organisation was controlled by the phenomenon of integral management! It was expected of each manager that he/she would have control over the PIOF spectrum (Personnel, Information, Organisation and Personnel) in order to implement the tasks of his/her department. Separate departments were organised For Finance and Personnel in order to offer advice, whereby Finance in particular was used as a strategic means to manage the organisation.
There are none such departments for Information and Organisation. They are not used as strategic instruments. They do not play a significant role in the organisation and its objectives. Many aspects of PIOF can be found in the organisation and were insufficiently related to each other on management levels.
However, in order to realise the mutual relationship between the PIOF domains, it was proposed to embed the information service on a strategic and tactical management level and manage them on this basis in a central way. The role of Information Management is essential in this respect. On the basis of this an information policy and information architecture was drawn up on a broad municipal level, on the basis of which the further proposed improvement measures were tested, coordinated and organised within the I-domain.
The proposed improvement measures can make a substantial contribution to the objectives of the municipality: a greater and better integral and interactive cooperation, avoiding a lack of engagement and structural savings on the operational management costs.
The proposed improvement measures mean that:
- The annual operational management costs can be reduced substantially in the next four years by organising a good information service.
- The service to citizens is increased through shorter lead times of requests/questions, broader “opening hours”, a more extensive service through the internet and less mistakes in the service because data are more reliable.
- Furthermore, a good information service means a better transparency and controllability of the operational management, because (executive) operational processes can be understood from beginning to end and can be adjusted quickly and specifically in the event of any bottlenecks.
- The current “islands” of automation are linked to municipality-wide information systems, whereby there are no duplications anymore in applications, data and documents. Furthermore, the data and documents are available digitally on a broad municipal level in this situation. This means that less time has to be spent on retrieving, processing and transferring data and documents, and that the total processing time and lead time of the operational processes is reduced.
The management of the Municipality has recognised the (strategic) importance and possible contribution of the information service and decided to regard the I-domain as a strategic and tactical control instrument. For this purpose the function of information management was set up. The task of the Information Manager is to further organise and elaborate the I-domain and manage the proposed improvement measures in the field of the information service.
CASE: ICT MAAKT DE ZORG BETER
Een ziekenhuis in het Westland dat een gebied met zo’n 300.000 inwoners bedient, verdeeld over vier locaties, wil net als alle andere zorginstellingen zoveel mogelijk daadwerkelijke zorg besteden aan haar patiënten. Daarbij wordt ICT nadrukkelijk gezien als middel om hier een bijdrage aan te leveren. Aranea is gevraagd om een drietal concepten wensen uit te werken en in te voeren – om zo de zorg met de toepassing van ICT beter te maken.
CASE. MANAGEN eBUSINESS PLATFORMS.
As a result of a number of strategic choices for applying e-platforms, a process had to be set up at a major telecom operator that would monitor an efficient and effective release and implementation management for corporate websites. This process management role was incorporated at a Functional Management department within the IT organisation. The websites became an important communication channel as well as an important distribution channel for (potential) clients, both for the Consumer Market and the Business Market. Aranea was able to shape and realise this process.
CASE. FUTURE READY WORKSPACE.
During the search for new premises, the government of a particular Dutch province incorporated the Future Ready Workspace (flexitime, mobile working, working from home) as a key criterion. The relocation will take place in 2012, and the new premises will accommodate 30% fewer workstations. By doing this, the government of this province hopes to cut costs whilst raising efficiency and effectiveness. In order to achieve this goal, it was clear that the IT infrastructure required significant modernisation: no investment had been made in workplace technology for years.
The time had come to put this right. Furthermore, the new premises did not include space for a data centre: the computer equipment was to be relocated to a commercial data centre. All in all, it was a complex operation that directly affected all employees. There was also a fixed deadline, as the old premises had to be vacated by a set date.
Aranea was assigned the task of planning and executing a smooth transition based on meticulous analysis of the existing situation and the needs that would arise as a result of the Future Ready Workspace. As a consequence, the terms ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ lost all meaning as it was essential that every employee retained access to the servers and the services of the data centre, whether at the office, in transit or at home. Obviously, the equipment also had to support communication between these workstations.
Large-scale IT restructuring such as this requires solid architecture to guarantee that the organisation has access to a reliable system that meets all wishes and requirements and is compatible with an external data centre. In addition to this, stringent cost-cutting objectives also had to be met.
Arenea analysed the existing infrastructure and determined the risks and consequences involved. Based on its knowledge, Aranea was able to give the provincial government insight into the available solutions. In order to provide a sound financial basis for the projects, we also created a comprehensive business case which included all relevant aspects. We demonstrated a number of scenarios, including explanation of all consequences and advice with regard to outsourcing.
Aranea’s consultants provided clear and well-founded advice regarding the combination of technology that the provincial government could apply in order to realise an effective IT infrastructure that was not only capable of fulfilling all business objectives, but also greatly facilitated management, flexibility and cost-cutting. The advice was based on a solid business case that included all consequences affecting both OPEX and CAPEX.
CASE. ARCHITECTURE IN MOTION.
The establishment of architectural principles is currently a preoccupation among many organisations. This can be and is done at many different levels, and we know of work going on at this moment on enterprise architectures, information architectures, infrastructure architectures, application architectures, security architectures. And no doubt there are many other varieties! The introduction of the concept of architectures has been one response to the widely felt need for greater clarity and control (grip) in relation to developments within organisations. And that was the need expressed by a large college in the western Netherlands, where a rapid expansion in student numbers and a new vision in relation to education and teaching had led to an urgent need to address the ICT infrastructure.