Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Process-Based Knowledge Management: Towards E-Government in Slovenia

Academic journal article Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues

Process-Based Knowledge Management: Towards E-Government in Slovenia

Article excerpt

The paper's main objective is to present the characteristics of business renovation efforts, the readiness for e-government in Slovenia, and how process-based knowledge management can be used for these purposes. The paper aims to present business rules as the encoded knowledge of corporate business practices. Further, it introduces and views business rules as a subset of business knowledge, as well as a rule-based business activity meta-model functioning as a repository in which we capture, store and manage business rules. The case of a business process management project in a Slovenian ministry, where process modeling and simulation were used extensively, is also presented. The results of the process modeling provide good foundations for business process reengineering as the next step towards e-government.

1. INTRODUCTION

E-government is the carrying out of interactive, inter-organizational processes by electronic means and represents a shift in business doctrine that is changing traditional organizational models, business processes, relationships and operational models that have dominated the public sector in past decades. Electronic government is no longer just an option but a necessity for countries aiming for better governance (Gupta and Jana, 2003). The new doctrine of e-government requires organizations to integrate and synchronize the strategic vision and tactical delivery of their services to their clients with the information technology and service infrastructure needed to meet that vision and process execution. In the next few years, successful countries will restructure their public sector, process and technology infrastructure to ensure the successful realization of e-government.

The term 'e-government' focuses on the use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) by governments as applied to the full range of government functions. In particular, the networking potential offered by the Internet and related technologies allows the possibility to transform government structures and operations. E-government has been conceptualized as the intensive or generalized use of information technologies in government for the provision of public services, the improvement of managerial effectiveness, and the promotion of democratic values and mechanisms. Information technology (IT) has the potential to transform government structures and improve the quality of government services. Technology provides two main opportunities for government: (1) improved operational efficiency by reducing costs and increasing productivity; and (2) better quality services provided by government agencies (Gil-Garcý a and Pardo, 2005). Therefore, business renovation (BR) or business process renovation methods should be used within the framework of introducing e-services.

BR integrates the radical strategic method of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and more progressive methods of Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) with adequate Information Technology (IT) and e-business infrastructure strategies. Process renovation is a re-engineering strategy that critically examines current business policies, practices and procedures, rethinks them through and then redesigns mission-critical products, processes and services (Prasad, 1999). It is suggested to use the modeling and simulation of business processes in BR projects as this allows the essence of business systems to be understood, processes for change to be identified, process visions to be developed, new processes to be designed and prototyped and the impact of proposed changes on key performance indicators to be evaluated (Greasley and Barlow, 1998). Usually, public sector organizations face challenges that differ to the challenges of private firms. They have to meet multiple, often conflicting goals and they are subject to constraints of a financial, legal, contractual, personnel and institutional nature. Normally, these constraints are much more binding than they are in the private sector. …

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