Ministry of National Development
MND controls the allocation of limited land mass in Singapore across public spaces, parks and public/private housing. I was part of the team that implemented digitization of drawings and approvals, added workflow to the application and rolled out across all departments of MND. The maps' digitization ensured consistency of information across the various public bodies such as Power/Water/Telecom utilities and the Roads/Public Works Departments. Also covered the process for management of the various public spaces such as parks and traffic islands. Technology partners included HP, FileNET and ESRI (ArcInfo). Total effort of over 200 man-months, and value in excess of US$ 7 million.
With privatization, Sing Power was broken up into 7 different entities, and this called for a complete re-design and reengineering of all their IT systems. The applications had to be modularized and re-installed in the various new entities. HP was our main partner. The effort was of 7 man years, contract value of US$ 2 million.
Ministry of Law
I was part of the prestigious ECDH (Electronic Court Document Handling) leading to the establishment of e-Courts in Singapore. Posting of cases in the various subordinate courts, making case histories and details available to all lawyers and paralegals and cross-referencing of precedents were highlights of the system. The objective was to make the MoL and courts completely paperless, with addition of video conferencing of trials for undertrial detenus happening later. Partnered with Singapore Network Services (SNS) for this US$ 14 million project.
National Skin Center
Setting up a National DB, and making all administrative processes "copyless" using Document Management and Workflow products from FileNET. Implemented in 5 months, a US$ 3 million project.
Land Transport Authority (LTA)
All back-office, Ticketing and Traffic Applications developed and implemented, later integrated with SAP that was rolled out all across SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transport). A long drawn project, over 5 years and US$ 20 million in value. Included a thorough IS Plan for the entire organization.
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)
This is a US$ 40 million project to make the entire Revenue House of Singapore paperless. Today, there are 1600 officers with nothing but a 21" Cornerstone monitor on their desks. The bulk of the project was to do with re-profiling the officers and re-structuring the department to be more tax-payer friendly.
Prior to the implementation of Workflow and Imaging at IRAS, the tax authority was divisionalized on the basis of the type of tax that the citizens of Singapore pay. The officers took pride in their narrow specialization that led to complete expertise in just that one kind of tax (Gift Tax or Estate Duty or Income Tax).
Working with Anderson Consulting, the task was to re-organize the Authority into 5 Customer Service Departments, such as Registration, Taxpayer Services, Processing, Payment and Enforcement. Each of these departments will handle all the tax types. With this arrangement, the Government found the flexibility to introduce new taxes without having to worry about the administration infrastructure.
This project took over 5 years and our consultant headed the team that was involved in the technology implementation of US$ 12 million worth of services.
Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore
Like all banks SCB needs to get back to the Central Bank on whether or not they can honour all the cheques that are coming inward by 11 am every morning. This is a thankless job performed by 3 — 4 officers per branch, who start work very early in the morning at 7 am and go on till the deadline, 11 am. This operation was performed in all the 20 branches across the city.
This was a ground-up business problem that needed a thorough understanding of the process, target the improvements without applying technology, then the quantum improvements that can happen with application of appropriate technologies, and to be able to visualize the entire architecture from the business perspective.
By centralizing this application and imaging both the cheques and the signatures, the entire inward clearing process got done well within the deadline, with just 13 officers working at the central facility.
By introducing workflow to route high value cheques to appropriate officers and by introducing some consistency in some officers always getting to handle cheques from the same customers, we achieved a major jump in productivity. A number of cheque related customer services such as cheque book ordering systems and direct debit authorizations could be introduced as a result of automating this inward cheque clearing process.
In a major second phase, the consultant was involved in designing a Back-Office Automation Architecture for the bank.
On a pilot basis, the process of corporate customers who fax in applications for additional telecom services was required to be taken up for improvement in cycle times, and necessary automation through technology up-gradations. The volume of applications amounted to 300 per day.
Scope of the project started with data capture at the fax server level and ended with making the necessary entry in the billing package on the mainframe for the additional service activated. The service activation physically happened through the multiple exchanges across the city of Singapore while the applications requesting for such services were received at the central head office. The implemented pilot worked on the network across the exchanges to facilitate this new work process.
The original cycle time of 10 days from receipt of request to activation of service was reduced to half a day. This also resulted in the release of 19 officers in the Corporate Services department for redeployment. It was a US$ 1 million project on services.
CISCO Police, Singapore
CISCO Police is the revenue-earning arm, with monopoly on providing armed security in Singapore. They also provide training to private security agencies, manage security alarms installed in public buildings and shopping centers, and provide armed security to banks, ATMs and Cash Vans.
With 1400 employees always out on the roads, the company wanted to re-profile their high net worth customers, and provide many more security options to existing clients. The challenge is to retain the predominance in the security market, even after the WTO conditions come into play, in 2003.
Working with HCL Infosystems in Singapore, the consultant embarked on understanding the 13 "divisions" in the organization, and drawing up a prioritized Business Activities Portfolio. Help was also provided in forming their Steering Committee and the Technology Working Groups. The list of possible applications, the priorities that will ensure sustained business transformation, and educating the end-user managers on the power of technology, were all important parts of the consultant's assignment.
The IT Architecture was presented to the Board of Directors, and the necessary budget approvals were obtained. Subsequently, the RFP was also written and released. This assignment was completed in 7 months, along with a team of 3 consultants from HCL Infosystems.
Keppel Insurance, Singapore
The cycle time to process and approve/disapprove a customer application for fire or auto insurance and then notify the agent and customer, was too long and shortening this cycle would improve customer service. Also, the number of underwriters required to process the business, in a growth stage, needed to be decreased and the high level skills of these personnel better utilized.
There were several bottlenecks in the process:
HP hardware, Links to Legacy systems on IBM mainframe, Informix Database, VB Front-ends, FloWare Software.
The cycle time for underwriting went from an average of 12.5 days to 4 days, with a large number of approvals within the same day and notification even to the final consumer within 24 hours. The staff was reduced by 60%, while at the same time processing 30% more business. All clerk positions were eliminated. The payback on the new system, was 1 year, even with implementation issues.
We started our journey in 1997 and continue to be fascinated by the iterative relationship between Training and Consulting. We have discovered the process by which they embellish each other.more>>
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