7.1.1 Start with an Atlas
When it comes to making a journey as complex and potentially rewarding as the move to integrated eGovernment, it can be helpful to take a quick look back to make sure you understand from where you came. Within this section, we will investigate the Commonwealth's journey into eGovernment to set the stage for the implementation of programs investigated in the eStrategy.
YESTERDAY - The use of technology within the Commonwealth mimicked the organization structure. Each agency and branch had its own information technology staff. These groups operated as a federation of independent organizations that were each making technology decisions to solve business specific problems. There was little sharing of resources; only the most expensive items (e.g. mainframe processing power) would be shared. Technology was not viewed as a strategic enabler of the business. It was simply a way to perform some functions more efficiently.
TODAY - The organization has recognized some of the benefits of technology specialization and coordinated use of technology for a strategic advantage. There are now many initiatives that are taking steps towards the coordinated provision of business function via technology. Selected examples include:
- MAGNET, the Commonwealth's enterprise wide network
- The Massachusetts Information Technology Center (MITC)
- The Commonwealth Information Warehouse
- CommBridge, the Commonwealth's message based integration initiative
- Massachusetts Community Network (MCN)
- The Commonwealth Public Access Architecture for Internet access
These initiatives have allowed the Commonwealth to invest in skills and technology to more effectively provide services to citizens and to leverage technology to its advantage. Undertaking the eGovernment Strategy initiative has set the stage for tomorrow's vision for the Commonwealth.
TOMORROW - Technology is used in every interaction between the government and its citizens and businesses. Citizens turn to the Commonwealth over the phone, over the web, in person, on mobile devices and receive services that are easy to find, relevant and available. There is no need to hunt for assistance; they are intuitively available. If you are experiencing financial trouble and turn to the Commonwealth Portal, you may find not only that you are eligible for WIC assistance, but also that training is available to help find a better job and that tax credits are available to obtain clothing for your family. This citizen may not have navigated to the Commonwealth's web portal; they may have called the Customer Service Center. They may have also simply sent an email, or stopped in to one of the nearby offices of the Commonwealth. The employees are empowered to help solve problems. They have access to information and are ready to assist in the most complex of cases. And best of all, because technology is so pervasive we no longer append the 'e' in front of every noun and verb.
The Commonwealth has already started on the road to achieving this vision of tomorrow. The remainder of this section describes some of the near term steps required to move forward quickly and with efficiency.
7.1.2 Implementation Planning Process
This proposed Implementation Roadmap reflects the combined work of the Policy Workgroups and the EGovernment Strategy team. The recommendations and analysis from these groups, when taken together, make up over 40 initiatives that must be balanced against competing resources and priorities. Much of the promise of EGovernment will be minimized if the commitment to cross-jurisdiction executive support is not maintained. This potential conflict reflects the single greatest threat to EGovernment in the Commonwealth.
To develop the overall roadmap, the team developed a list of the initiatives and grouped them into three categories: Critical Path for Quick Launch, Supporting Path and Shared Services and Applications. The tables below list the initiatives and groupings.
Proposed Implementation Roadmap
Select Portal Software (SC/G)
April 1, 2001
Implement Base Portal (SC/C)
June 1, 2001
Design and Implement Virtual Agencies (SC/G)
June 1, 2001
Develop Brand Identity (MB)
June 1, 2001
Develop Co-Brand - Navigation (MB)
June 1, 2001
Launch Portal (G)
June 1, 2001
Confirm and Implement Governance (G)
Long-term Governance (G)
Enterprise Security Policy (PLF)
Data Classification Scheme (PLF)
Privacy Review Process (PLF)
Review Public Record Law (PLF)
Privacy Enabling Technology Review (PLF)
Enterprise Electronic Records Policy (PLF)
E-Sign Position Paper (PLF)
Egov UCC Position Paper (PLF)
Short-Term Funding Approach (F)
Long-Term Funding Approach (F)
Business Case Tracking Approach (F)
Credit-card Fees Approach (F)
Public-Private Partnership Guidelines (F)
Federal Grant Maximization (F)
Digital Divide Program Survey (DDA)
Launch Digital Divide Resource Center (DDA)
Geographic Coverage Strategy (DDA)
Literacy and Language Program (DDA)
Marketing Communication Plan (MB)
Shared Services and Online Applications
Security & Authentication
September 2001 (basic), January 2002
September 2001 (basic), January 2002
January 2001 (basic), July 2002
GIS (Geographic Information System)
January 2001 (basic), July 2002
Child Support Enforcement
December 2001, August 2002
Online Teacher Certification & Recruitment
SPORT (Online Recreational Licenses)
Drivers' Record License Lookup & Notification
Professional License Renewal & Online
March 2002, August 2002
Online Submission of Applications for
Environmental Permits & Certifications
January 2002, April 2002
CORI Automated Screening System, Phase III
Filing of Non-Profit Financial Reports
Online Auto Excise Tax & Ticket Payment
The Critical Path items were assigned Milestone Dates and the remaining items were assigned Target Dates. The Milestone designation was created to signify a very important need to hit the prescribed data based on dependencies and public perception. Target dates indicate that the program is to be delivered on the date, but additional items impact that ability, including the Critical Path items. This structure was also intended to assist the Governance organizations in determining which dates should be announced and marketed to the public (Milestones) and which are used for internal planning (Targets). Targets should be changed to Milestones (and made public) as additional detail is available regarding the opportunities.
7.1.3 E-Government Initiatives
This report culminates the first of the steps in the eGovernment Roadmap: the delivery of the eStrategy. This Roadmap facilitates the delivery of eGovernment services that are aligned with the strategic intent and support across the branches of government. The Implementation Roadmap (shown below) depicts the overall relationship and timing of activities related to EGovernment.
The Roadmap was assembled based on the following principles:
- Governance would continue under the auspices of the Task force and the Steering Committee until the end of June 2001 to allow time for the formal Governance structure to be assembled and to meet the Critical Path Milestone dates.
- The Portal Foundation would be established quickly along with a redesign of the Access Channel to create an infrastructure for development and to gain a quick, visible public victory.
- Shared Services and Portal-based applications would not start substantive development activities until the portal foundation is in place to allow for the most effective use of the portal infrastructure.
- Many initiatives would start the requirements process immediately, as the timeframe for implementing some of the programs is quite long.
- Public victories should happen quickly and often. A schedule of quarterly public announcement messages made by government executives (Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice, etc.) would solidify cross government support and would drive usage of the portal.
The Portal Development Timeline depicts the recommended implementation schedule for the initiatives investigated.
Portal Development Timeline
The Portal is the key to the delivery of eGovernment services. The Portal can best be described as an aggregation point for content, functions and features. It is not strictly a web site; a Portal provides the ability to chat, discuss, personalize, and aggregate content. It is the framework that allows your existing systems to be tied together and new technology to be added and shared by all.
It would be a disservice to view the Portal as technology. The Portal needs to represent a new way of developing online services. It can provide a new mechanism to coordinate cross-government initiatives and should be viewed in that strategic context. The Portal needs to bring structure, management processes, and technology to deliver its full value.
The overall development timeline is broken down into three segments. Each of these segments has a distinct goal and governance focus. The segments build upon each other. The capability developed in Segment I is utilized and assumed to be available in Segment II. The Shared Services that are built out in Segment II are utilized in Segment III applications. Each of the initiatives is placed within the context of these segments.
7.1.4 Segment I - Portal Foundation and Launch
Establish the technical foundation upon which the future initiatives shall rely. This includes the selection of hardware and software that will form the reliable, scalable platform for delivery of eGovernment services. This segment also includes the redesign of the Commonwealth web site to virtual agencies and launch of the new brand.
Basic Shared Security
Continuance of current Task Force and Steering Committee to allow for very quick launch of this initiative. Focus should be on laying groundwork for future application initiatives quickly and with broad application.
7.1.5 Segment II - Portal Establishment and Build-Out
During this segment the initial round of applications and flanking programs are incrementally delivered based on the portal and the shared services. The shared services are also extended to allow for greater function. Special efforts are required to announce portal innovations. To capture benefits, citizens, employees and businesses must be continually reminded that the portal can make their lives easier.
126.96.36.199.2 Municipal Portal
188.8.131.52.3 Teachers Certification
DEP Permits (web access to pilot for dry cleaners, photo-processors, printers)
184.108.40.206.4 Drivers License Lookup
220.127.116.11.5 Criminal Background Checks
eFiling for non-profits
MassCares (Central Information Store, Resource Locator)
Child Support (payment status, change of address, case information)
OCA Professional License (License lookup and renewal)
Comm-PASS (enhanced search features, online bid receipt)
CRM (web management)
Governance structure is established to house the on-going operation of the portal and the management of portal virtual agency integration. The governance organization should also track business case metrics and provides a sounding board for policy decisions.
7.1.6 Segment III - Portal Continuous Transformation
This segment marks the establishment of eGovernment as "business as usual." Infrastructure is fully established, refreshed, and provides a cost effective central point for intake of new technologies and applications. More resource intensive initiatives are being continually added and delivered to the portal on a regular basis. Citizens and businesses are using the multiple different access channels regularly without large advertising efforts.
DEP Permits (more permit types, payment, status checking)
OCA Professional License (additional licenses and complaint submission)
Child Support (automatic deductions, new child additions, apply for services, link to courts)
MassCares (referrals, case management, data sharing)
Comm-PASS (interactive bidding, integration to EMall, document management)
CRM (call center, knowledge management)
The governance function continues to concentrate on program management and tracking of business cases. Additionally new initiatives are added to the mix driven from agency desires and public demand. The governance organization is now a source for transformational ideas and development of new services. This group is assisting executive policy makers in new opportunities and directions.
7.2 Next Steps
The proposed initiative is not a stand-alone project; rather, it serves as the impetus for the future of creating value to the Commonwealth. This final section is a guide for next steps with implementation and moving forward with E-Government. The following objectives should be addressed:
- Move quickly on the portal foundation development
- Encourage continuance of agency drive to deliver value to the Commonwealth
- Develop requests for funding the E-Government Initiative, and plans to track where benefits accrue
- Create an E-governance structure to guide program implementation and formulate E-Government policy
7.2.1 Portal Foundation Development
The immediate development of the portal foundation will do the following:
- Attract attention of users on ease of navigation with an intentions-based site
- Generate increased satisfaction and use of website to create demand for ensuing agency services
- Provide structure for the development of the proposed shared services and flanking programs
- Support the implementation of the proposed applications
Navigational Ease, New Homepage
The portal foundation is important for the new navigational system and common look and feel. In the end, agencies will need to begin their migration to the Commonwealth's new portal navigational system and look and feel. In the meantime, however, the agencies have been busy improving and upgrading their sites. The Commonwealth must move quickly to develop this template so that the agencies are not installing new pages that will need to be changed radically in six to twelve months. The sooner they receive guidance and standards, the better they will be able to move forward, confident that they are now integrated with the portal.
Agencies that want to adopt the new standards can do so quickly. The Commonwealth site could be transformed relatively rapidly, providing a whole new user experience.
The creation of the new homepage, customer homepages (resident, business, state employee, visitor, Towns & Cities) with the attendant virtual agencies will also generate the perception - and reality - of activity and accomplishment. Shared services and eApplications take longer to implement. While it is true that the eApplications attract visitors and generate efficiencies for the Commonwealth, the new look and navigational attracts the immediate attention of all users. Not everyone will use the Teacher Certification. But everyone will see a new website. Everyone will experience the new and improved navigational system. Redoing the homepage and creating the virtual agencies, and thereby radically improving the user experience, will garner significant attention in the short run. This is crucial in building traffic that will then support the new applications as they are launched. The new applications will be best met with success and result in long-term cost-savings if their user groups are already positioned to take advantage of the applications.
Naturally, the user will determine whether the changes are simply cosmetic and will quickly determine whether there are new services available. Fortunately, after the first six months, new services should be rolled out which will attract positive comment and use.
Roll-out of Shared Services, Flanking Programs
The proposed initiative is a complicated one with many interdependent programs. Many of the eApplications cannot be fully implemented until the application components, termed "Shared Services" are up and running and available. Delays in the development of security or payments will send a cascading delay through the rest of the programs.
Concurrently, there are many flanking programs underway which are considering the use of these shared services. Some agencies have already begun the development of such application components as ePayments. To delay in the implementation of the shared services then puts these agencies in a dilemma. They can continue on with the implementation of their eApplications, and simply pay to develop the components they need right now, or they can delay their own program roll-out, thereby frustrating their own customers, as they wait for the Commonwealth's set of shared services.
Planning for Implementation of Applications
Even before issues of funding have been resolved, the agencies should begin planning for the implementation of these programs. Several programs require "scoping studies" which can provide much more detail about the particulars of the eApplications which will be implemented, the number of services, transactions and offices to which they apply and the like. All of this planning does not require the actual implementation of the shared services and can be done concurrently with the Portal Foundation Development.
7.2.2 Agencies carry forward the direction of E-Government
While consolidation and cross-agency coordination are essential to fulfilling the goals of E-Government, agencies must continue to evaluate their own existing operations and strive to best serve their customer groups. Agencies should continue to think creatively in terms of delivering value to the Commonwealth. The implementation and operation of the proposed programs does not conclude the E-Government initiative, but rather commences it. Agencies must then look at this initiative as an impetus to offer more value-added services through the use of the Internet and therefore continuously plan and propose E-Government opportunities.
7.2.3 The Steering Committee Guides Funding Requests
The new fiscal year is barely three months away. A top priority must be to determine exactly how (and if) the recommended programs are to be funded. The programs must also be prioritized for funding, so that those programs, which can be implemented quickly, will receive the funding they need to make this happen. It is important the E-Government Initiative not lose the momentum it has developed since the first Task Force meeting in September 2000.
Concurrently, a funding structure needs to be in place for maintaining agency-specific programs and supporting enterprise-wide transaction costs. Lacking a clear funding plan could hinder agencies from developing valuable on-line services if they currently are working under tight budget constraints or are apprehensive about incurring additional operating costs. Specifically, concern over the costs associated with credit card transactions could inhibit agencies from offering their transactional services on-line.
It is important to put a system in place that will determine in dollars where the benefits are accruing when services are spread across agencies. Cross-agency coordination can act as a disincentive when the benefits are not realized by the spending agency. The measurement system needs to be implemented from the beginning, in order to motivate the agencies to continue offering intentions-based services that require cross-agency coordination.
7.2.4 The Structure and Role of Governance
Steering Committee as the Short-term Solution
The Governance structure must be implemented from the beginning in order to guide the agency implementation of the programs, oversee program development, and coordinate inter-agency efforts.
The Steering Committee can serve as the ad hoc Governance structure until new ones are developed. The Steering Committee has served admirably over the course of the eStrategy to guide the effort. It can continue to do so for the next several months until it is seen exactly how the program is running and how it might best be governed. Of course, new staff people will need to be hired for the E-Government Director and his or her office.
The Need for eGovernance
The E-Government initiative cannot move forward without a permanent structure focused on advancing the principles of E-Government. This structure will encourage and manage the continual intake of new initiatives. It will also create and implement policy as needed. The most pressing issues of security and privacy demand immediate attention and policy formulation. Security and privacy are highly sensitive issues for the public and the success of the portal is dependent on accepted principles guiding these issues and their role in E-Government.
This is the beginning of redefining how Government serves the citizens. The eStrategy must become reality if Massachusetts is to capture the full benefits of eGovernment. Much remains to be done.