Implementation and Management Approach
To govern the development and implementation of Genvej, Gentofte Kommune uses an overall programme management method called MSP (Managing Succesfull Programmes). A programme consists of many projects and to manage each project we use PRINCE2 as project management method.Â
MSP and PRINCE2
MSPÂ´s primary target is to ensure that the projects in a programme is coherent and strives towards the same final strategic vision. The end target does not have to be clearly described in details but often has the form of a vision. MSP also ensures that the benefits of the end product of each project are getting realized and all strives towards the final strategic vision of the programme. MSP contains the overall responsibility for the change management efforts of the projects and also focuses on the areas of overlap between the different projects.
Where MSP programmesÂ´ time horizon is relatively long and undefined, the time horizon of PRINCE2 projects is relatively shorter and always has a defined end date. The projects are clearly defined regarding end products, boundaries and time schedules.Â
The MSP programme including Genvej in Gentofte Kommune is called The Citizen Centered Programme. The main part of this program consists of projects regarding further development and implementation of Genvej. Right now we are e.g. working on following projects: Digital Visitation of Daycare, Distribution of Subsidy to Unions, Continuously Communication about Genvej and Further Implementation of Day Care Tabs.
User centered development
The development of Genvej is user centered. We use experts to help us get the good and innovative ideas and then we use our users/citizens to test our service products. We use following methods:Â
- Focus group sessions
- Screen tests
On top of this we have contact with users on daily basis and therefore continuously adjust the services in Genvej to their needs.
Since its inception, the design and implementation of Genvej, has followed healthy enterprise architecture (EA) principles. The solutions is build around a multi layered architecture, in which access to data, business services and presentation of services to the citizen (on the web) is kept in separate solution components.Â
Between components, services are exposed through open and reusable web services (SOAP) interfaces. The signature and semantics (look and feel) of these services has wherever possible, been designed so called contract-first in collaboration between the Gentofte Kommune, the Genvej vendor (ASP) and the companies providing the services in question. Contract first means, that services have been designed from the perspective of what should be achieved from a business point of view, rather than how it should be implemented.
Gentofte Kommune has formally approved several of these technical contracts â€“ in order to ensure that no two parties in an interoperability scenario, should be to closely connected.Â
An important reason to select this kind of architecture has been to handle the complexity of exposing a large number (30+) of services to the citizens from multiple systems and vendors. The technological maturity of these backend system/vendors is mixed, raging from rather poor to fairly modern. Common to most of the systems, however, are that they were never designed to engage in a Genvej like scenario.
Also, some vendors were rather reluctant to deliver services solutions in the preferred services oriented way (or at all), due to business or political concerns.Â
So in fairness, Genvej also contain architecture constructs, which are less service oriented, than we want them to be. However where this is the case, the decision to favour a tactical but faster time to market solution in place of a technical more correct one, has been taken an conscious decision.
To sum up, while the different components in the Genvej complex, is for the most part build on proprietary technology from many vendors, the interface between the different components is largely accomplished using open and documented services.Â
This insures that we may replace components in the future, in response to changed/new service requirements, including components which support central government standardisation initiatives. One example of this, includes the replacement of GenvejÂ´s proprietary Single Sign On (SSO) component last year, with a public standardized version, when it became available in October 2008.
The result was access to further public services, almost without adjustments to Genvej itself.
The citizens donÂ´t have to set up or found their Genvej in any way. Every citizen already has a Genvej, they only have to provide an OCES Digital Signature to access it. Also citizens outside Gentofte Kommune have a Genvej. They just have lesser content and options. For instance they cant access the health insurance services or their childrenâ€™s day care institutions. But they can still order a new passport, access the tax-files, use the library services and access a lot more information and services that is not restricted to the municipality.