Guiding Integrated Service Delivery: Synthesizing and Embedding Principles Using Role‑Playing Games pp83-92
Public agencies around the world are increasingly supplementing their service delivery channels with online services and continue to establish several policies and rules for improving service delivery. Such policies and rules are however based on customer oriented management paradigms without any consideration of complex customer interaction processes and staff experiences. Consequently, these policies and rules are deemed unrealistic and are often not picked up by employees. This paper reports on the synthesis of service delivery principles by employing a participative role playing game approach at a public agency. Service principles can be used to guide the design, implementation and execution of integrated service delivery. A role playing game refers to a research approach in which employees play a certain role and follow a script to simulate a range of customer interactions. Recognizing that customer experience is formed across several moments of contact with the agency through multiple channels, the game proved to be a useful instrument for both synthesizing principles and gaining bottom up commitment for embedding the principles within the public agency. We found that after the game, the employees that helped to synthesize the set of eight principles have also become active ambassadors for the principles within their respective departments.
Keywords: eGovernment, integrated service delivery, multi channel service delivery, gaming, role playing, principles
Joining‑up is high on the e‑government agenda as this is expected to improve service delivery to citizens and businesses. It requires public and private organizations to cooperate with each other within networks that are formed around public services that cross the boundaries of organizations. Cross‑organizational processes in such a network are called supply chains, aimed at delivering integrated services. The performance of each individual organization within the network influences aspects such as lead‑time and quality of services delivered. In order to effectively integrate the efforts of the various organizations involved, a strategy needs to be in place to orchestrate and manage a service delivery chain. Various types of strategies can be employed. Yet little knowledge is available about which strategies are effective under which circumstances. In this paper we identify four different strategies for managing and orchestrating cross‑organizational service chains. These supply chain management (SCM) strategies are based on literature research and case study analysis. The four strategies are identified based on two dimensions: the level of control (i.e. governance structure) and the architectural approach for systems integration. These four strategies are: merger, orchestra, relay race, and broadcasting. For three of the four strategies, illustrative cases have been found. The strategy selection depends on factors such as the institutional environment, political ambitions and organizational readiness. Furthermore, each strategy has its own merits and demerits. We recommend investigating the relationship between situational characteristics and SCM strategies in further research.
Keywords: e-government, joined-up government, Supply Chain Management, SCM, inter-organizational collaboration, governance, integration strategy