Center for Government TransformationDecember 23, 2020Don’t automate BUREAUCRACY!!

GPM Center for Government Transformation

Don’t automate BUREAUCRACY!!

Why governments insist on automating the old “unproductive” processes?

Process transformation, before automation

When an organization initiates a transformation strategy, the only way to understand the current maturity is to “ASSESS”. Moving without clear understanindg of the current processes may lead to watsed time and resoucrs across with big financial impact, that sometimes even governments can not afford.

There are some reasons behind the failure of process reengineering initiatives, and they have been listed by the Software Engineering Institute as following:

  1. The organization inadvertently adopts a flawed or incomplete reengineering strategy.
  2. The organization makes inappropriate use of outside consultants and outside contractors.
  3. The work force is tied to old technologies with inadequate training programs.
  4. The organization does not have its legacy system under control.
  5. There is too little elicitation and validation of requirements.
  6. Software architecture is not a primary reengineering consideration.
  7. There is no notion of a separate and distinct “reengineering process.”
  8. There is inadequate planning or inadequate resolve to follow the plans.
  9. Management lacks long-term commitment.
  10. Management predetermines technical decisions.

Reengineering Work:
Don’t Automate, Obliterate

In his bold insights around Process Reengineering, Micheal Hammer has mentioned, in an insight at HBR[1], that:

  • The usual methods for boosting performance—process rationalization and automation—haven’t yielded the dramatic improvements companies need. In particular, heavy investments in information technology have delivered disappointing results—largely because companies tend to use technology to mechanize old ways of doing business. They leave the existing processes intact and use computers simply to speed them up.
  • But speeding up those processes cannot address their fundamental performance deficiencies. Many of our job designs, work flows, control mechanisms, and organizational structures came of age in a different competitive environment and before the advent of the computer. They are geared toward efficiency and control. Yet the watchwords of the new decade are innovation and speed, service and quality.


What are the barriers against government transformaiton?

In a recent report published by Deloitte, they mentioned some barriers against digitally

Transforming government:

The report also mentioned that the exponential changes that drive digital transformation challenge the established models of leadership and governance. Before the ascent of digital technologies, new projects could be assessed through exhaustive analysis, investment decisions could be based on cost-benefit guidance, and the end destination of most plans was a fixed point. In the new digital era, leaders are required to make decisions more quickly in the face of a constant evolution in the art of the possible.

For public sector agencies across the globe, the hierarchies and governance structures are often more pronounced than in the private sector. More than half of the respondents say a single person or group leads their organization’s digital agenda. Nearly 80% of these leaders are heads of various departments or agencies in governments, C-suite equivalents, or executives just below the C-suite level.

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