Why Permanent Secretaries move to F2

Thomas Egebo, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Climate and Energy, believes F2 has helped him personally save a much welcome two-and-a-half hours a week.

Jacob Heinsen, Mr Egebo’s counterpart at the Ministry of Transport, agrees that the software has also increased departmental transparency and civil servants’ job satisfaction.

“In the past, once employees had finished their work on a document, perhaps to provide an answer to a parliamentary question, they would give it to their boss. But they did not know the status and location of that document in the overall process,” he says.

Transparency and user satisfaction

Jacob Heinsen explains: With F2, we have increased our transparency. Civil servants can follow the document’s progress in real-time, right up to the permanent secretary and minister, and back. For the employee, that means they can also track the productivity of their boss.

Central Government

Agencies & Local Government/Municipalities

Originally designed and built in close collaboration with Danish ministries, more than 50 government organizations, from ministerial departments to agencies and municipalities have now successfully implemented standard F2. This made possible, because standard F2 is very flexible and easy to configure to support individual requirements and business routines.

With F2 they can eliminate the use of paper and digitize work flow, including case processing, ministerial approvals and parliamentary correspondence, collaboration, knowledge sharing, meetings, document management, archiving and records management. And all employees as well as politicians, including the Permanent Secretary and the Minister, have instant access to all formal and as informal documents and information, with secure mobile access from iPad/tablets and smart phones.

The transparency has actually helped improve user satisfaction. It is unusual for employees to admit they are happier two months after the introduction of a new case management system.

But 62% said they were satisfied with the ability to find documents and files (up from 12%), 81% were satisfied with the knowledge sharing (compared to 7% previously), and 37% said the new system had increased their overall job satisfaction.

Before the F2 production process was introduced, you could almost follow a document’s progress by where it was being printed. This, along with multiple copies of documents being shared meant there were 25 times more documents in e-mail than in document management systems.

F2’s adoption has almost eliminated the use of internal e- mail as 50 per cent of all communication in ministries is now through chat rather than e-mail.

Measurable effects

One key reason for the F2 success is that it offers government organizations fast and measurable effects. Examples are higher productivity, higher quality of work and transparency as well as an unusual high user satisfaction, supporting all employees and management.

In 2011 the Danish Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Climate & Energy received the national digitization award due to the efficiency, speed of implementation and very high user satisfaction, they achieved with their F2 projects.

User survey from Ministry of Transportation reports measurable effects replacing traditional best- of-breed IT infrastructure with F2 meaning higher productivity, greater transparency, and happier civil servants.

Knowledge Sharing

Up from 7%, 81% of users are now satisfied or very satisfied with respect to knowledge sharing.

Transparency

96% of users are now satisfied or very satisfied with respect to transparency.

Built-in lists, like ministerial approval processes, offer online production overview.

User satisfaction

37% of employees report higher job satisfaction in general.

Built-in Chat

Both employees and management are enthusiatic. 87% are satisfied or very satisfied with Chat. Built-in social media like Chat in the context of documents supports informal communication and knowledge sharing.

 

Leaders in a Digital World

F2’s impact on productivity and ease of use has enabled senior civil servants to show leadership, and be an example to the rest of their organizations.

Danish experiences show that change is more successful if it starts at the top. Whether that’s by the Foreign Minister approving documents securely from his iPad while travelling, or Permanent Secretaries insisting that their office no longer accepts printed documents, it is the top management that makes change happen. If they walk the walk as well as talk the talk, the rest of the organization will follow.

But leading this change is made easier by adopting a production system that is already in use across other government organizations.

The F2 club

F2 started life as a joint development project between cBrain and a number governmental organizations in 2006. In 2008 the Ministry of Social Affairs went live on the first version of F2, followed by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Climate and Energy, implementing F2 in just eight weeks.

Recently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has finalized the implementation of F2 with more than 2.000 users globally at 100 locations, and today more than half of Danish central government departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office, are using F2.

Standard F2 was further developed, e.g. to support mission critical processes end-to-end and citizen self- services, and in 2011, the first agencies and municipalities went live on F2.

With more than 50 government organizations, from departments and agencies like the Agency for Digitisation and the State Administration to the State of Greenland all running standard F2 and upgrading on a regular basis, F2 represents a unique club.

The F2 club ensures that new functionality and improvements are shared rapidly by everybody. This therefore attractive for many government organizations. It ensures to keep running on new technology and continuously have still smarter functionality based on learnings from their peers.

With F2, organizations can just re-use what works, rather than having a long IT development project or trying to knit together a patch-work of different point solutions. This means more time can be spent on harvesting the benefits and less time wondering when, or if, the project will deliver.