Management tools for the federal state

Only a few organisations systematically use today’s possibilities of information and communication technologies (ICT) to support management processes. Politics and administration also find it difficult to do so. Developers at the BFH Centre “Digital Society” want to change this. From the student project .. The Institute for ICT-Based Management ICTM is one of the institutes of the Department of Technology and Computer Science involved in the BFH Centre “Digital Society”. Prof. Dr. Urs Sauter’s research group has been developing management tools for the federal state for more than a decade in close cooperation with partners from business and administration. In 2006, the first web-based prototype of the cockpit for the municipality of Wohlen near Bern was created as part of a student project. Since then, a research group at the ICTM has focused on the development of management tools and management processes. Thanks to the support of the CTI (Commission for Technology and Innovation) and partners from business and administration, the group has been able to build up considerable know-how in the fields of business intelligence, public management as well as GIS (Geographical Information Systems). … to the vision .. Data often follow strange, complicated paths associated with media discontinuities until they appear in the management report of a governing body. This often leads to errors and unfruitful discussions. With the ICT tools available today, this can be avoided. In its projects, the research group pursues the vision of providing management bodies at the respective place of work with the relevant information from the best maintained data sources at the right time and to support the entire management cycle (plan, do, check, act). The implementation of the strategy is at the centre of this. This can only be realised with a leadership platform that consists of various components. Even more important than the technical platform is the adaptation of the leadership processes. Only these can ensure that leadership cycles also become learning cycles. The realisation of this vision poses a number of technical and especially organisational challenges that need to be overcome together with the respective partners. … and for the continuous development of instruments and processes The community cockpit available today can hardly be compared to the first prototype. It is a management platform that comprehensively supports small and medium-sized municipalities in the development and implementation of their strategy. Data from various data sources (inhabitants, finances, taxes, infrastructures, GIS) are provided in a data warehouse. Dashboards and centrally managed action planning provide an overview of the achievement of objectives and the status of measures commissioned by the executive. Multidimensional databases (cubes) facilitate data analysis by different dimensions (location, time, area of responsibility, accounts, demographics, etc.).

What are the next steps? Experience so far has shown that in most cases it is more difficult to make the necessary organisational adjustments than to solve the technical problems. On the one hand, the management processes from the development of the strategy to the control of the operational implementation and the conclusions drawn from it have to be aligned. On the other hand, leaders in politics and administration are often not used to formulating goals so precisely that their implementation can be checked as easily as possible. The larger an organisation, the more demanding this process is. The publication of a well-formulated strategy alone does not achieve anything. The goals and measures, which are quite abstract at the top management level, must be broken down over several hierarchical levels and communicated to the employees in such a way that they understand what their contribution to implementation is. The next project is to develop a lean software solution that flexibly supports this process depending on the requirements of the organisation and the existing IT environment. In particular, the new software should be easily interfaced with existing intranet and collaboration systems. Further information www.gemeindecockpit.ch

AUTOR/AUTORIN: Urs Sauter

Lecturer in Business Administration,
Head of Institute for ICT-Based Management

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