Since the Competence Center's establishment in 2004 we have realized numerous research- and practice-based projects. These projects were supported by either public research funding organizations (e.g. European Commission) or by other - usually public - sponsors.
Project's duration: 10/2015 - 10/2017
Business Process Management (BPM) has evolved into an important topic at universities in Europe and abroad, and it has become an important part of modern management education both at the bachelor and master levels. At the same time, however, many practitioners are nowadays confronted with challenges related to BPM, even though BPM has not been part of their primary and secondary education. In addition, a technology-driven field such as BPM is subject to the rapid changes and innovations in information technology; so even managers who have graduated only recently have a permanent demand to update their knowledge and skills on a continuous, life-long basis. Therefore, the goal of the BPM_Online project is to establish executive BPM education throughout Europe within a network of leading BPM research institutions. Five major BPM research institutions constitute the consortium of BPM_Online: the University of Liechtenstein, the University of Münster, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Copenhagen Business School, and the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. From October 2015 to October 2017 they will jointly develop a reference curriculum for BPM executive education that can be used by educational institutions across Europe to accelerate BPM education and to foster excellence and innovation in various sectors of economy and society, in particular, industry, banking, administration, education, government and health. Nowadays, it has become crucial when implementing BPM to consider the respective domain and its peculiarities. Therefore, the project explicitly addresses BPM from a semantic and domain-specific point of view: leading research on BPM in eGovernment.
Project's duration: 09/2015 - 05/2016
E-Government is not only something, the individual uses and has to adapt to, public administrations equally have to cope with new systems and technologies in order to keep serving their customers satisfactorily. The project E-Government competence aims at identifying the future personnel requirements in the public sector and to develop teaching methods that help employees to better adjust to the changed environment and customer needs. Therefore, in a first step, today’s and future roles incorporated by employees in the public sector are gathered on the basis of IT-supported administration processes. This should help to identify those (presumably) new competencies especially required when working in an “E-Government context”. Then, competencies that are needed now and in the near future are derived from this analysis and suitable teaching methods are developed. Together with colleagues from Munich, Berlin and Siegen, the project was initiated in September 2015 and will be completed by the End of May 2016. The validity of the project’s overall results is assured in every phase by regular expert-workshops that provide practitioner knowledge and thus fulfill a twofold goal: Next to valuable practical insights of administrations, the early integration in the process will increase the acceptance of all stakeholders.
Federal Information Management
Project's duration: 2012-2015
Nowadays, information is undoubtedly one of our society's most important resource. This makes particularly high demands on the quality of information provided by public administration. Apart from the correctness and comprehensibility of information, its topicality and accessibility are important as well.
The project 'Federal Information Management' (FIM), carried out on behalf of the German Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of the Interior of the state Saxony-Anhalt (029 211 01 Nr.5/WB2a), aims to standardize information regarding public services, forms and administrative processes on a local, state and federal level. Apart from standardizing the structural basis for the provision and retrieval of information, editorial processes need to be determined in order to ensure the quality and accessibility of relevant information. The purpose of this scientific supervision not only includes the global analysis of the project, but also the development of a classification scheme for forms and a specification for form data. Based on this approach we are creating and harmonizing master forms which will be tested and improved during their application. After the project's conclusion, its results will be transferred to the project 'FIM-federal' in 2016.
E-government Act's Potential Analysis
Project's duration: 2013-2014
On August 1st 2013, the federal act to promote electronic administration (E-Government-Act, EGovG) came into force as an essential part of the national e-government strategy. On behalf of the German Ministry of the Interior (IT1-17000/10#2), challenges concerning the act's application, its potential and the application's status quo were documented and systemized. As a result, eleven recommendations for action were worked out in order to apply the EGovG adequately and improve the act's implementation in Germany: Centralized and standardized portal solutions, digital solutions in all areas of daily life and transferring the federal EGovG's principles to the states' level contribute to a smooth use of e-governmental features. Addressing specific target groups, appropriate costs for infrastructure, a target-oriented and consistent development of services to improve usability contribute to a user-oriented e-government as well. A safe e-government is supposed to be realized through legal certainty, a clear legal framework, transparent data processing and employee training which ensures consulting capabilities of administrative staff to support citizens. An open e-government is characterized by a consistent, systematic advancement of services and the development of a centralized best-practice-database.
New ID-card's Application at Universities
Project's duration: 2013-2014
In cooperation with the University of Münster's center for information processing (ZIV) and citeq Münster, the potential of the new ID-card's (nPA) online-identification function was examined. This project, which concerned the Federal Ministry of the Interior's e-government initiative 2.0, dealt with the provision of an integrated application linking the nPA and the University's services.
In preparation for this project, the ERCIS and ZIV interviewed approx. 2300 students and university staff members about their nPA-experience. Although most interviewees showed a great interest in this subject, the nPA didn't seem to be very present in the students' and staffs' daily life at the time of the interviews and its usage was seen rather skeptical.
The results of this analysis can be summarized as follows: The general idea of a linked data handling with multiple stakeholders (in our case: WWU Münster and City of Münster) constitutes an interesting topic. However, there are technical and legal problems impeding the actual implementation.
Research Map "Process-Oriented Administration"
Project's duration: 2010-2011
The research map "Process-Oriented Administration", a study carried out on behalf of the German Ministry of Interior, aimed to create an interdisciplinary guidance for research in terms of designing and implementing processes in administrations and process chains between businesses and administrations.
During the map's creation, numerous literature references, databases and project databases were scanned systematically. Scientists in Germany working in the field of process-oriented administration were asked to keep records on their current state of research by using the research portal. At the time of data evaluation, there were 115 projects, 155 research results, 143 organizations, 215 persons and 104 publications available for evaluation. As a result, 14 core research fields were identified to structure research gaps regarding process-oriented administration. These structure was used to point out the study's recommendations for action.
Project's duration: 2006-2009
The project PICTURE was sponsored by the EC’s sixth framework program (STREP - Special Targeted Research Project, IST027717). It aimed to support bureaucracy reduction and cost savings in public administrations by reorganizing existing routines and implementing modern information- and communication technologies. As a result, a tool was developed which made it possible for public administrations to calculate the potential advantage of information technologies before arranging upcoming investment decisions. In doing so, a web-based tool is used to gather all business processes belonging to a public administration in an easy and transparent way. The gathering is realized by using professionally prepared process modules. The evaluation of these business processes - the process landscape - forms a solid basis regarding investment and reorganization decisions. ERCIS was able to improve the project's conceptual results, leading to a company foundation called PICTURE GmbH.
Numerous cooperations with administrations have been realized to test and implement PICTURE in practice:
- PICTURE and the Municipality of Kassel: Regarding implementing the EU Services Directive, ten chosen processes in the field of business registration and approval processes were analyzed. On this basis, recommendations for action concerning the accordance with the Directive were given. A second project was created in order to analyze and gather process information about management processes concerning training positions (advertisement of training positions, handling applications and the applicants' recruitment).
- PICTURE and the District Governments in North Rhine-Westphalia: Five district governments in North Rhine-Westphalia took part in an information gathering regarding the most resource-intensive radiation protection processes. These processes were analyzed, leading to precise recommendations for action in order to design harmonized process standards and a centralized virtual system to assimilate these processes.
- PICTURE and the County Office of Ortenaukreis: The project aimed to analyze - in a first step - 40 business processes in order to establish a comprehensive process management.
- PICTURE and the District Governments in Baden-Württemberg: The District Governments and the state's Ministry of the Interior used this project to analyze identical processes coming from different organizations in order to establish a best-practice exchange and mutual reorganization approaches.
- PICTURE in Altenberge: In Altenberge, the project aimed to realize a complete record of the process and service landscape in order to create a global catalog of services for a commune of size category six. A total of 466 processes were documented in Altenberge.
- PICTURE in Münster: In cooperation with the local partner (City of Münster), the EU-sponsored project PICTURE was evaluated. This was realized by modeling a total of 172 processes using the subproject TRAP (Transparency).
TransReg - Transfer Project E-Government
Project's duration: 2006-2009
The international office of BMBF (BRA05/030) sponsored this project. Based on existing conceptual and technological preliminary work and an institutionalized research network including Germany and Brazil, both countries organized a transfer of knowledge and technologies concerning three main focuses in the field of administrative modernization (front-office-design, back-office-design and strategic management).
In Germany, the ERCIS developed information systems and tools for administrative modernization concerning front-office (O.S.I.R.I.S.), back-office (PICTURE) and strategic management in order to ensure an effective political and administrative leadership (BASIS). The project TRANSREG - German-Brazilian Research Network for E-Government - was used to adapt the developed tools to the Brazilian administrative structure in a model region.
Project's duration: 2008
The concept study Prozessregister@SH, carried out on behalf of the State Ministry of Finance of Schleswig-Holstein, aimed to develop conceptual and methodical preliminary work in order to provide an inter-administrative process register for Schleswig-Holstein afterwards. The concept study's methodical approach was put into action as a part of the Service-Schleswig-Holstein-Strategy 20XX which was included in the E-Government Competence-Initiative Schleswig-Holstein. The scientific approach for Schleswig-Holstein was made to be used and transferred to other application areas. Realizing a state-wide process register implied a methodical approach for a standardized appraisal and an organized and technical approach to ensure its maintenance, including the following aspects:
- Standardized structure of administrative processes and the possibility to classify processes explicitly.
- Definition of minimum requirements concerning the amount of available information and its quality to record administrative processes (description, legal background, involved stakeholders, benefit recipients etc.).
- Definition of minimum requirements concerning the administrative processes' methodical description (unity, comparability, coherence).
- Definition of minimum requirements concerning the core organizational conditions respectively the organization model for the process register's appraisal and maintenance of Schleswig-Holstein.
- Definition of minimum requirements concerning the core technical conditions respectively the technical approach (establishment of a database, access facilities, interaction patterns).
Procedure Model Points of Single Contact (PSCs) in NRW
Project's duration: 2008
The study "Procedure Model Points of Single Contact (SPCs) in NRW" was carried out on behalf of the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, collaborating with the PICTURE GmbH and UNITY AG. The study aimed to provide a decision guidance defining the points of single contact competency of the EU Services Directive. There have been other studies in the past analyzing the implementation of the SPCs, but the issue of the SPCs competency was ignored in these projects. Besides these studies there are many additional statements and individual publications bringing up the implementation of the PSCs and being in favor of a cooperative competency solution. The study "Procedure Model Points of Single Contact (SPCs) in NRW" aimed to provide a decision guidance concerning the implementation of the EU Services Directive, clarifying the PSCs competency, based on arguments and findings. Two aspects regarding the competency's clarification were emphasized: The point of time of the decision making and clarification concerning the demands on network structures and reciprocal dependencies of involved stakeholders.
E-Inclusion - Digital Integration by E-Government
Project's duration: 2007
Citizens who enter their public administration office to register their residence usually have to deal with short opening hours and long waiting times. But most people don't know: Many administrative services are offered online. These offers are used rarely in Germany. Why is that? ERCIS tried to answer this question by carrying out the study "E-Inclusion - Digital Integration by E-Government" on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The study focused on unequally distributed chances regarding the online-accessibility and access to administrative services, depending on factors like age, sex, level of education or family background.
The results showed that especially senior citizens, handicapped people or inhabitants of rural areas have basic problems accessing the internet. These difficulties are caused by lacking experience, insufficient knowledge and infrastructure problems. Additionally, many senior citizens tend to have a negative attitude towards the internet and computers in general which is caused by insecurities and trust problems.
ERCIS created some precise recommendations for action in order to improve the participation of this less-involved group.
The Citizens' Service Office as an Integration Point: Status Quo, Prospects and Interconnection of Front Office and Back office in Citizens' Service Offices in NRW-Municipalities
Project's duration: 2007
On behalf of the d-NRW information office, processes of ten participating citizens' service offices were examined. The existing procedures in the field of citizen services were analyzed intensively by using expert interviews. The study mainly focused on identifying existing processes, already implemented changes and the handling of established IT-systems.
The study dealt with chosen processes of the citizens' service offices and analyzed their interconnection to back office systems. Based on the results, organizational and technical barriers regarding the processes' reorganization were discussed and some problems identified: The lacking of a process-oriented organizational structure, a strong interdependence of administrative units, in some cases lacking of motivation respectively lacking courage to improve existing processes and a strong commitment to the existing IT infrastructure's circumstances. The study concludes with recommendations for action proposing offensive rearrangements to improve the processes of the citizens' service offices.
Virtual Town Hall NRW 2006
Project's duration: 2006
The study "Virtual Town Hall" analyzed local authorities' websites (municipalities, counties and independent towns) in the Münsterland region during the years 2004 and 2005. Two perspectives were used to collect data. One aspect focused on a self-evaluation of the local authorities being questioned about the virtual town hall concept and e-government. An independent analysis covered the second approach, assessing the citizens' point of view concerning the virtual town hall. Based on these results, best practice and development prospects were identified. The websites' evaluation particularly focused on their quality of citizen services concerning the aspects structure, level of development, navigation features and public friendliness. A separate part of the study dealt with the websites' web accessibility.
On behalf of the d-NRW information office, an expanded study was carried out, dealing with all local authorities of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2006. As the method of analysis hadn't been changed, it was possible to observe the development in the Münsterland area over a longer period of time. These investigations showed that a consistent comparative evaluation has a motivational effect on improving the local authorities' websites. The results also demonstrate that the local administrations in the Münsterland area have a tendency to provide very good services compared to other administrations in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Forms Management in Public Administrations
Project's duration: 2006
On behalf of the MATERNA GmbH, the "status quo and development prospects of forms management" were analyzed. Thirty-seven of the 100 nationwide largest municipalities participated in this online survey. The survey aimed to analyze the current situation and the development prospects of service-oriented online forms.
Twenty-two percent of the participants indicated that this topic will be "very important" for them during the next year, further 68 percent considered it as "quite important". Twenty-seven percent stated to discuss the topic occasionally while eight percent discussed it intensively. Twenty-two percent had already carried out pilot projects and 43 percent of the participants already use forms management solutions. All participants of the survey already provide online forms. Eighty-four percent of these online forms are still only file-based (simple download) which indicates the need for a further development of the transaction capacity. Only so-called "intelligent" e-forms are able to pass the information without media discontinuity to subsequent systems (specialized procedures, ERP systems, task-processing systems) in order to make a contribution to process optimization. The municipalities consider expansion potential regarding the target groups business (27 percent) and public service (30 percent). The participants agreed that there is still much room for development in terms of specialized procedures' integration, especially in relation to residents' registration (70 percent), marital-status information (60 percent), waste disposal (49 percent), commercial matters (76 percent) and infrastructure planning (68 percent).
The participants saw benefits in an enhanced citizen-oriented service, improved business processes and savings of time. There was less of a focus on potential cost reductions and bureaucracy reduction. The implementation of electronic signatures faces problems in the area of citizen acceptance, launch costs and running expenses. Dealing with the acceptance of businesses, the needed know-how, choosing solutions and safety problems seems to be less problematic.
Project's duration: 2004-2005
Balanced Scorecards (BSC) were established as an effective tool to deal with problems regarding central management in businesses and public administrations. For the latter, constant law-driven changes in public administration accounting systems require the establishment of a challenging management/ information and controlling system. In many public administrations, the industry-oriented BSC approach still has to be adjusted and therefore needs to be developed further. The BSC project aimed to develop special BSCs to deal with problems in public administrations concerning political and democratic issues.
The BASIS system is a strategic management information system that is based on an administrative oriented BSC approach. It aims to combine BSC functionalities with project management. BASIS was developed and implemented in cooperation with the Municipality of Emsdetten within six months.
Using a management information system helps to provide the executive board and political committees with relevant information. That is how these systems are important tools to improve the administrative management control. This also includes the possibility for elected representatives to communicate in a more transparent way.
Project's duration: 2004
By now, many administrations use content management systems to provide information and communication offers online. In order to take this to the next step and make administration processes executable online, further architecture components are necessary to connect the presentation layer and special procedures. The portal server technology is a promising possibility to realize this aim.
To evaluate the practical usability of this technology for the demands of public administrations, the project Portal@KomM was initiated. It is the logical consequence of the results of Regio@KomM and continues its work.
In Hamm and Münster, a total of nine business processes, based on previous reference processes, were modeled and implemented as a transaction service on the T-com's/ T-system's portal servers. At the same time, the implementation process was analyzed and documented. As a result, it was possible to evaluate not only the reasonability of the portal server technology, but also observe the suitability of the implemented project.
Project's duration: 2003-2004
The project Regio@KomM - "Realization of Electronic Government in Organizations of the Local Governments in the Münsterland Region" aimed to provide electronic based citizen services to benefit the administrations, businesses and citizens. In the long term, these services are supposed to be integrated into a Münsterland-portal.
Keeping the principle of “organization before technology” the following questions were formulated:
- Which business processes should be considered for realization of electronic citizen services?
- How are the processes currently handled in the different administrations?
- How could an ideal or reference process as orientation for all Münsterland administrations look like?
A total of nine reference e-government processes were developed to benefit nine counties/ cities (City of Beckum, City of Bocholt, City of Isselburg, City of Rheine, City of Sassenberg, Borken County and Warendorf County). These counties/ cities also received introduction strategies and recommendation regarding the processes' implementation.