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PROMETA: the organisational interoperability framework for eService design in Luxemburg

Published on: 16/11/2015
Last update: 05/10/2017
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Efficiency of eGovernment services and administrative simplification are achieved with organisational interoperability implemented by the Business Process Management Office (BPMO) of the Luxemburg State IT Center. 

Acting as coordinator at national level, the BPMO achieves interoperability thanks to its centralised approach based on defining business process standards, governance and a common framework - PROMETA. The BPMO accompanies administrations and public bodies in their business process management and optimisation of their organisation.  Its role is to provide support, training and coaching, and also to deliver and support IT projects to public administrations with a business process management deployment approach. This process-based work is achieved both internally to an administration and between administration, thanks to the common process description and workflows of the PROMETA framework.

Policy Context

The Luxemburg State IT Center (CTIE – Centre des technologies de l’information de l’Etat) was founded by the Government of Luxemburg to support the development of Information Society and enable Digital exchange of information across the public sector.  The Law of 20/04/2009 establishes the CTIE and its organisation and mandate are legally regulated in the Réglement Grand Ducal from 07/05/2009.  

The mission of the Business Process Management Office (BPMO) of the CTIE is to define and implement BPM standards and governance, and to accompany public bodies in the simplification of internal public procedures and the organisation of process management. Its mission is also to maintain a standard framework for IT/BPM projects and public administration modernisation. The Regulation of 07/05/2009 defines practical BPMO organisation aspects and provides the BPMO with the official mandate for representing the BPM approach at National levels. 

Description of target users and groups

Public administrations

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Role and organisation

The Business Process Management Office (BPMO) is the competence centre for business process management at the State IT Centre CTIE. The BPMO is a BPM and organisational issues-related service provider for all State public administrations. The BPMO implements a strategy for managing business processes in public administrations; it provides a framework with methods, standards and tools for implementing governance and animates a user community. 

The BPMO aims at providing efficient support to public administrations thanks to a dual approach. On the one hand, with the development and maintenance of the PROMETA framework and platform, it defines governance, methodologies and standards to be used and provides the necessary toolset to define and model workflows as well as all organisational dimensions. These include: strategy and objectives, organisation, processes, systems, data, document, services, product, risks, knowledge and statutory basis. On the other hand, BPMO staff advises administrations in their organisational and business process activities and provides training on the use of PROMETA. 

The use of BPMO services is not mandatory for public organisations. However, for administrations collaborating and using the framework, BPMO finances both the access to the platform, delivering licences, training and the project delivering the business and process analysis.

The core team of the BPMO includes three technical BPM profiles working on applications and technical administration of the tooling platform (framework), and two permanent staff members for the framework governance management. In addition, there is a variable number of external consultants staffed within administrations. They produce work and deliver projects for the clients (administrations) of the BPMO. All these external resources are supervised by the BPMO and trained on the framework before being sent to the client. 

Achievements

Since its creation, the BPMO has provided support to some 80 projects for 37 administrations. Luxemburg counts 120 public administrations. 

PROMETA is a framework which is tailored to the needs of the Luxemburg public sector organisations, clarifying and enacting business processes management. It provides:

  • standard modelling notations (based on project objectives) and method for business context modelling (strategy, organisation, processes, risk, knowledge, statutory basis,…),
  • a standard modelling notation for Enterprise Architecture modelling,
  • a method to formalise requirements for new IT system development (from high level to detailed): Prometa Spec., 
  • an automated production of technical annex sections in Tenders for eServices and other applications,
  • on-the-fly model-based creation of smart forms, guided generator of document, rule generator, questionnaires and e-learning deliverables (Prometa XGen),
  • workflow execution functionalities,
  • dashboarding and BI capabilities.

For example, the BPMO supports the elaboration of all the IT systems’ specifications developed by the CTIE using a business process modelling approach (Prometa Spec.). This covers activities from the modelling of the requirements, the definition of the constraints, the use cases, the mock-ups, the web services, the data models, the workflows and processes to the use of a workflow to specify the type of tender procedure and automatically produce the relevant legal/administrative/technical documentation for procuring the system. The processes and documents produced in the scope of this tendering process are generic and reusable by all public administrations in Luxemburg tendering a system. 

BPMO manages and delivers business process management and documentation projects to all administrations involved in the approach.

The Freeport project is another example of achievement by the BPMO for the Customs administrations. The project defined 59 RuleGen, guiding step by step the customs officers in applying new rules and regulations in Customs handling phases. These RuleGen are produced using PROMETA modelling and transpose the work carried out by the agents into an online questionnaire, driving the officers to the right procedures, documents or initiating forms to complete.

A third example is the deployment of all governance processes of some departments. This is achieved using modelling and execution of workflows. The department’s activities related to the workflow organisation are then monitored using the OneView environment of the PROMETA platform, providing real time monitoring of processes.

A fourth example is the use of Prometa XGen technology, to create intelligent forms for service desk ticketing. Complex and structured decision tree models generate an online questionnaire when executed in the portal (NextGen Portal) developed by the BPMO. The service desk agent is then able to manage and record incident calls, providing issue resolution extracted from a knowledge base (BPM-based) and pushing the ticket creation to a separate ticketing system. This allows the Service Desk to record clean, fully completed, homogeneous and consistent tickets which are then analysed.

A last example is the use of DocGen in administrative simplification. It allows the automated generation of the correspondence letter (legislative process) to the different ministers in the context of legislative proposals.   

All these examples of achievements are streamlining and optimizing the administrations’ internal and cross-administrations processes, making them more lean. 

Technology solution

In order to support its initiatives, the BPMO has selected as central modelling solution, the ARIS Business Process Management Suite

This tool is complemented with additional components interfaced all together to provide the full set of BPM Platform capabilities. 

These additional solutions and components are: 

  • Actiflow : a workflow engine based on an open source engine package, interfaced and enriched to allow direct instantiation of the workflows designed in the modelling platform (BPMN 2 and UI modelling as a single xml package)
  • OneView / OneView BI: a monitoring platform composed of two tools dedicated to allow the development of a monitoring environment, from simple dashboard development (process follow-up or any KPI types) to deeper monitoring and analysis environment with a BI solution. 

In addition to these components, the BPMO has developed a solid and complete online application generator based on modelling, the XGen component (Promet’Apps). It allows administrations to develop and deploy fully guided information collection processes for document generation (e.g.: public tender generator), rule-based decision treatment or data collection forms, with all these covering a complex decision tree in one single form.

To enact all these components, the BPMO has also developed its own publication and execution portal, the Business Process Management Portal. It allows all agents within the administrations to view their organisation’s process and procedure documentation, get access to the organisation’s mission description, as well as to its workflow and monitoring environment, its Promet’Apps and service desk.

Main results, benefits and impacts

Interoperability

The European Interoperability Framework covers organisational interoperability with four elements. These are presented and analysed according to the way the BMPO implements them:

  1. Business process alignment: public administrations should document their business processes and agree on how these processes will interact to deliver a (European) public service (EIF). The business processes are documented in an agreed way, using the common framework PROMETA, with common tools and vocabulary, allowing other administrations to understand the overall business processes: the documentation produced also provides visibility on inter-administration processes and flows, and allows to identify easily common processes when they exist. The process shared between administrations can be put in common with ease thanks to the use of the common framework. 
  2. Inter-governmental coordination: does the National Interoperability Framework (NIF) encourage to agree on how these processes will interact among the different levels of public administrations? The PROMETA framework is being adopted at local level, not only public administrations are using the framework, but also different public organisations and institutions. The medium-term plan is to obtain, “if required and relevant”, an interconnected description of processes using common conventions at both national and local levels. 
  3. Organisational interoperability - organisational relationships: does the NIF encourage public administrations to clarify their organisational relationships as part of the establishment of a (European) public service? Some projects in Luxemburg are inter-administration and use the PROMETA framework to define their common processes mapping their organisational relationships. Luxemburg is also collaborating with some EU member state in a cross-border European project. Some systems’ requirements provided by the European Commission are defined using business process modelling. The BPMO provides expertise and support in this approach, providing the databases and tools for accessing the processes and supporting the collaborative work between the different actors.  
  4. Organisational interoperability - change management: does the NIF encourage public administrations to agree on change management processes to ensure continuous service delivery? PROMETA has two approaches to change management: awareness and eLearning.  The process publication portal (NextGen Portal) warns subscribers by email about every change in a procedure and related document.  PROMETA framework can generate eLearning documentation (user guide, manuals and eLearning environment), based on the formalised modelling. PROMETA references both the process description and the accompanying user guide, which is generated without additional effort. 

Rationalisation with common frameworks and process modelling 

Thanks to the re-use of common business processes, components and related web services, organisational and technical interoperability support the rationalisation of the IT landscape by preventing silos and redundant approaches and applications.  Several examples illustrate this, including the tender specification system described above, reusable by all public administrations. This common business asset rationalises the work for procuring IT.

An estimate of savings generated by the use of the PROMETA framework was provided for one small project which compared the implementation of the system using FormGen from PROMETA to generate a tool for decision making on one hand, and using only hard coding on the other. The first approach, which benefited from the modelling framework and standard-based development, allowed to reduce substantially the application development effort.

On the basis of the conceptual models representing organisational structures and key processes, various impact assessments can be carried out, for example in the case of a new regulation proposal, or in cost optimisation scenarios. An ongoing project models legal texts in PROMETA UML (Unified Modelling Language). The goal is to assess and simulate the financial impact of a change in legislation for the public administration, PROMETA has also been used for standard cost modelling, such as for cost optimisation scenarios which are being tested in the field of administrative simplification and “red tape” assessment.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

Evangelise

In some cases, PROMETA “units” are deployed within some administrations as internal staff, promoting the BPM culture and “evangelising” the departments. This fosters communication between the administrations implementing the projects, with this unit being a satellite of the BPMO.

Legitimacy

The BPMO and CTIE establishments and organisation are defined by law, which places them in a key position, acting as a central hub for the Luxemburg administrations. This also provides these institutions with a clear mandate to promote the methodologies nationally 

Focus

The BPMO prioritises efficiently its activities by focusing on administrations with a mature level of knowledge or culture in business process management and with a wish to collaborate.  The organisation disseminates a lot of information on its activities and benefits of the approach, and then cooperates with administrations reacting positively.

Holistic approach

A multi-layered tactic stimulates the efficiency of the approach. The base of the method is the business context and process modelling. It streamlines workflows and supports inter-administration cooperation with organisational interoperability. 

Once this is achieved, its implementation needs to be supported by applications, forms and decision-making rules. With the development of quick-wins thanks to the PROMETA framework and tools, the benefits of the method are visible and reminded regularly to the decision makers. 

Communication on these quick-wins is key in keeping a BPM community alive. The BPMO organises PROMETA user group meetings (PROMETA Community Meeting) four times a year, communicating on the evolution of the framework, the projects realised and the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) engaged, as well as on the benefits of organisational interoperability throughout the community and beyond.   

Information on financial aspects of this initiative can be requested at: prometa.info@ape.etat.lu

Scope: National

Categorisation

Type of document
General case study

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