Provincie zuid Holland delaware
26/10/2017

Combining legal and desired frameworks

The Province of South Holland invests around € 250 million annually in projects to improve and maintain its infrastructure, greenery and water. The scope and impact of the projects require a professional approach. ‘Project development and implementation’ facilitates uniform phasing and decision-making.

ARCHIVE ON TRACK

In the past, there were not enough safeguards in place to keep the provincial archives complete, accessible and up to the required standard. The aim of the Archive on Track programme is to organise and optimise the archive and information management system. Tako Heins (head of the Maintenance and Improvement Bureau at the Province of South Holland) reckons, “iDMS is the province’s digital archive system. It contains a tree structure with a huge number of branches. We use dossier flow charts for each process. There are countless processes and official ways of deviating from these. This is not what we want. It is the reason why we – together with delaware – looked for a solution that works.”

Objectives:

  • Dossiers in order in terms of quality
  • Complying with the Public Records Act
  • Making it possible to assess whether the archive is in order (using dashboards)
  • Improved information exchange with external parties (collaboration environment)
  • Relevant metadata
  • Assessment framework for deciding whether or not to archive (beyond the scope of statutory provisions)

Tako Heins (Province of South Holland) recalls that there used to be a jungle of regulations and archiving agreements that were recorded in archive procedure flow charts for each process or subprocess. “If you have to jump through too many hoops, everyone gives up sooner or later.”

INVOLVING END USERS

Based on research and analysis, delaware uncovered the underlying cause of the problem in the project development and implementation process.

After several workshops attended by a delegation of the employees involved, it emerged that the folder structure was too extensive and complex. In addition, the system did not support the prescribed work procedures. Tako: “What did we want? There were calls for something along the lines of ‘We can’t make it fun, but we can make it easier’. Jokes aside, dossiers have to meet the requirements laid down in the Public Records Act. We are used to making things SMART in project-based work. When reading over what was agreed, it frequently appears that what you were looking for often can’t easily be found, and wasn’t always clearly defined in SMART terms. The insight that the information we require is often more than the information required by law certainly took us a step further.”

OPTIMISING FOLDER STRUCTURES, THE COLLABORATION ENVIRONMENT AND DIGITAL SIGNING

The solution effectively comprises three components:

  1. The governance environment
    The folder structure in this environment has been significantly simplified and project dossiers have the relevant metadata. We have also developed a dossier dashboard. This dashboard shows project staff which documents per project phase have to be in the dossier after completing a phase or project.
  2. Collaboration environment
    In the collaboration environment, external parties can make documents – plus the required information and metadata – available to the province in a simplified way.
  3. Digital signing
    This represents a huge step forward in improving the efficiency of internal approval procedures.

“by separating documents that are mandatory under the Public Records Act and documents that are tremendously important to the management organisation, the volume of documents to be archived has become easier to navigate”.

SATISFIED STAFF NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

Tako: “Based on feedback from the staff – obviously I put our most critical colleagues forward – together we built and tested a system that has the potential to be a great success. Some areas for improvement emerged after the pilot project, which we are keen to implement. But we have laid the foundation for getting the archive to work for us instead of the other way round.”

Objectives accomplished:

  • Filing system less complex
  • Dossier structure streamlined by minimising the number of levels in folders (preferably only one level)
  • The procedure for adding documents to a dossier has been simplified
  • Metadata is added automatically

Objectives addressed:

  • Optimisation of document exchange with external parties
  • End user spends less time on archiving

PROVINCE OF SOUTH HOLLAND & delaware

Tako: “The collaboration went smoothly. All interactions were very effective and structured. We involved all our staff in the intermediate sprint phases by literally testing the system in the workplace and by including people in the project. The division of tasks was very clear and the new way of working together has been a success. We will also be using this method of intermediate sprint phases in the next stage. I believe in structures that can change.”