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Change Management for Government Digital Transformation

Human Capital Challenges of Government Digital Transformation

FreeBalance was fortunate to provide insights into government digital transformation at the recent Tech Hub Islands Summit at which three important questions were considered. Our views on each can be found in this three part blog series:

  1. Government Digital Transformation and Inclusive Growth
  2. How to Get Government Digital Transformation Right
  3. Change Management for Government Digital Transformation

Putting Civil Servants at the Forefront of Digital Transformation

There have been numerous digital technology failures in government and often the primary cause has been to assume that these projects are about technology, rather than people.

At FreeBalance we believe that the implementation of a Financial Management Information System (FMIS) is more about people than technology.

Governments succeed in transforming digitally when they recognize that digital is about process transformation. It transforms internal and external service delivery. When done correctly, digital initiatives empower public servants. That’s why organizational change management is so important, particularly in government where there are so many stakeholders.

Critical organizational change practices that should be implemented include:

  • Change agent empowerment by government leaders
  • Communication of how initiatives improve mission and empower public servants
  • Engagement of public servants, civil society, and business stakeholders
  • Feedback with potential users, and frequent workshops
  • Transparency about the process
  • Quick wins to reduce change resistance

Further reading:

Organizational Change Management and Government Digital Transformation

Change Management in Emerging Economies

Organizational Change Management in Large IT Projects

New Business Models. New Technologies. Better Service Delivery. Improved Citizen Wellbeing.

What will it take for governments to break free from old business models and accept new technologies to improve service delivery for citizens? Well, it must be remembered that like corporates, governments only improve what can be measured.

While service delivery efficiency and satisfaction can be measured, this often met with resistance because of the fear of downsizing. Therefore, a change management approach should be used. What works well is to start small, but think big. The “big bang” approach of introducing a number of technologies across government should be avoided.

Cross functional and cross departmental teams can help to break down the information silos. A citizen-centric approach is necessary to see government services in different ways. Many governments start by looking at service delivery for life events like birth, marriage, or starting businesses.

How to Leverage Digital Transformation Gains

Many governments intensified their digital transformation initiatives in response to the pandemic. However, this momentum is at risk of being lost. To overcome this, governments should quantify the value of these initiatives, which would have the added benefit of encouraging further digital adoption, particularly around areas such as:

  • Citizen and civil service satisfaction
  • Service delivery efficiency and productivity
  • Cost and error reduction
  • Revenue mobilization

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite™ provides much of this kind of data to encourage further reform.

FreeBalance Accountability Suite. Learn More

The FreeBalance A-i3+qM methodology includes numerous change management processes.