Business process re-engineering is a means of maintaining the effectiveness of public services as public needs and expectations change over time, and as innovation in process and technology provides opportunities for changing the way services are delivered.

Re-engineering involves rethinking and redesign of the processes being used to deliver a service in order to achieve the underlying objectives more effectively. At its heart, re-engineering involves stepping outside existing organisational boundaries and seeing the service process and its objectives as a whole, so that opportunity to deliver the service in ways that achieve better outcomes can be found.


To help government agencies – whether individual departments or several departments under one or more policy bureaux – undertake business process re-engineering, the EU can offer a range of support, including:

Consultancy study

Consultancy study

it helps to identify underlying issues and problems and develop practical solutions, whether through adoption of new technology or new service practices.

Change management

Change management

re-engineering often requires changes in long established ways of doing things. Change management is the discipline of managing change through engagement of the staff who will be affected, drawing on their insight and helping them to understand and adapt to the change. EU teams can help to engage staff through the entire change process to foster their understanding and involvement. Where necessary, we can arrange or provide training and support to help staff in adjusting to the new practices and help reduce anxiety and stress that can be brought by change.

Implementation

Implementation

the best recommendations are of no value unless successfully implemented. EU teams can work together with departments to implement recommendations from consultancy studies in a project management or project advisory role, in detailed planning or in system development. We can also assist in the important step of post-implementation review, to help capture learning that can be applied to further improve services.




Some examples of business process re-engineering supported by the Efficiency Unit over the last five years are:


Project: Electronic Radiation Licensing and Services System (ERLS)

We helped Department of Health (DH) re-engineer the core business processes for its Radiation Health Unit (RHU), design the “to-be” process supported by a new system, and implement the new system to ensure accomplishment of the project objectives. As the project manager for system implementation, our main duties include collecting user requirements, designing workflows, assisting in procurement and contract management, and testing the system functions.


The ERLS is now used by DH staff, licence applicants as well as service subscribers through the internet. It provides workflow and case management functions to support the licensing and related operations of DH. It is open to applicants and service subscribers for submission and tracking of the status of their applications online. The new process has brought about improvement in the transparency and efficiency of the licensing service for radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus, personal radiation monitoring services, and service on medical examination of radiation workers.



Project: Case Management Cum Tracking Facility (CMTF)

We worked with Social Welfare Department to improve the transparency and efficiency of its licensing operation for residential care homes for the elderly and people with disabilities.


The licensing process was re-engineered with the introduction of a new system, CMTF. Adopting a risk-based inspection approach, the system links and matches the inspection frequency with the risk profile of individual homes, helping to rationalise the allocation of resources for carrying out inspections.


The system provides application tracking facilities to increase operation transparency. It also supports case management work regarding licence application processing, routine inspection scheduling, complaint handling and health worker registration.



Project: Tree Management Information System (TMIS)

We helped Tree Management Office of Development Bureau rationalise processes in tree management, in particular in respect of identifying risky trees and following up of mitigation measures. The new processes involve the use of TMIS which provides a common platform for departments involved in tree maintenance. Apart from enhancing efficiency in daily operations, it also supports the annual tree risk assessment exercise and provides information to facilitate decision making at operational and management levels.


Duplicated effort in handling tree inspection data was minimised with the use of mobile devices for on-site inspections. Tree data was also aligned between departments. This marked the first step of establishing a central tree database in Hong Kong. An agile and prototyping approach was adopted to shorten the implementation time and ensure active participation from all user departments. Upon system live-run, we provided group training and individual support to help staff adapt to new practices. With its cloud architecture, TMIS is flexible, scalable and well-prepared for new needs in tree maintenance in future.



Project: Improving Communication with the Public

FULL STORY

We operate the 1823 contact centre to handle enquiries for a wide range of departments. One of the things we do is to look at the nature of the calls received, to assess whether we could help avoid the calls altogether through better design of the information put out or clearer communications from departments. Through this approach, time and effort by citizens to find information they need can be saved and the cost of handling the calls for departments can also be saved. One noticeable example is the Student Financial Office (SFO). During the payment months for the financial assistance for primary and secondary students, we helped reduce the number of calls on SFO matters by over 60%, saving 18,000 hours for the public and avoiding 110 man-months of staff effort for 1823.