Document processing can be done more efficiently and more effectively. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen in Amsterdam ordered the introduction of digital working; a digital method and digital archive at Amsterdam’s Bestuursdienst. Within the Bestuursdienst, this was sometimes expressed as ‘all paper is scrap paper’.
The aim is to digitize the Bestuursdienst. This can be brought down to five spearheads:
- Knowledge sharing: access to all documents and adequate search function;
- Knowledge storage: systematic ordening and archiving of documents;
- Uniformity: insight into status and versions;
- Completeness: systematic ordening and archiving of all files and documents;
- Efficiency; all documents together.
A three-stage approach is chosen to realize these aims: the development using a testing ground, a limited implementation in the form of a pilot and further implementation within the department. The aim of the first phase is to concretize the vision for digital working. This is done based on use cases. Because an approach is chosen that is based on a testing ground, the use cases are being further developed based on experiences from the testing ground. It became clear from the testing ground that Alfresco is a very suitable product for such an approach. After the first phase, a pilot started at one of the six departments of the Bestuursdienst. After evaluating this phase, it was decided to have a phased implementation in the other departments in phase three.
The user evaluation showed that there is no difference with working with documents. A critical success factor in this is a seamless integration of Alfresco, Window explorer and Microsoft Office. Furthermore, there is greater control over the information management and the archive. There is an improved insight into the information supply though the introduction of a control and life cycle of case files. As a result, files and documents are managed from creation. This saves time in the transition of current work to the archive. The life cycle on case files prevents them from being stored for an indefinite period of time. After all, a case (for example Processing a permit) is finite and can be archived after a while.