Discover Lugano's digital-first revolution, where process orchestration and automation have reshaped municipal operations. Join us as we explore how Lugano became a digital-first municipality, the benefits realized, successful examples of automated processes, and valuable tips. Gain insights from Enrico Gulfi, the IT director at the City of Lugano, and get a glimpse into the future of automation.
How to become a digital-first municipality?
The primary motivation to become a digital-first municipality was to be more centered around the citizens. Transparency was one of the keywords here. In the old situation, citizens had almost no knowledge about the process. "We decided we had to change because it was not centered around the citizens and their interest," says Enrico Gulfi.
In 2015, the City of Lugano embarked on its automation journey, focusing on placing the citizen at the center. Embracing a vision of transparency and efficiency, they laid the foundation for all future processes to revolve around this guiding principle.
"To improve the quality of the services, automation is almost a consequence because if you want to provide services 24/7, you have to automate activities."
Camunda: partner for automating processes
Once you decide you want transparency and automation, you look for a technology that can do that. Camunda was the partner of choice in this case! With their expertise in BPMN processes, they proved to be a competent partner.
The benefits of being a digital- and citizen-first municipality
“One of the main benefits is that we had to redefine our processes,” says Enrico. It’s a time-consuming process but very valuable. It provided an enormous advantage to the administration team as their operations became more efficient. Besides, with these transparent processes, they also gained lots of data. Not only ideal for defining goals and KPIs but also for creating transparency for the citizens.
“One of the primary challenges was the accurate definition of existing processes. Capturing a comprehensive snapshot of these processes, including all possible exceptions and scenarios, proved significant.”
The other thing is that people have started thinking in terms of processes; it kick-started a new mindset, which is fantastic! Next to these benefits, there are savings of more than 1,300 work hours per year.
"Right now, more than 65% of all certificates issued by the city on request of citizens go through the portal, and we estimate that has been saving us more than 1,300 work hours per year."
Examples of successfully automated processes
1. Job applications
Lugano automated a part of the job application process. Gone are the days of cumbersome paperwork and manual evaluations. Now, candidates can effortlessly submit their applications online, update their details, and have their qualifications automatically assessed by a sophisticated document management system. The system generates personalized notifications for successful and unsuccessful candidates, ensuring transparency and swift communication. This way, both candidates and staff are supported with automatically extracted data.
2. Registration for summer camps
They also successfully automated the registration process for summer camps, providing parents with a streamlined and intelligent system. With limited available seats, the system dynamically adjusts options based on the child's age, suggesting the most suitable camp choices. Parents can select their preferred camp, and registration is finalized only upon payment completion. This automation has replaced the process of paper forms and phone calls, eliminating overbooking issues and reducing frustration for parents.
An automation and process orchestration outlook for this year
Lugano embarks on several improvements: automating five to ten services yearly. Every year they select an area to focus on. The upcoming year, it's services around mobility and traffic (think about travel- and parking tickets). Besides, they'll integrate digital identities by third parties, which makes it easier for citizens to access the platform of the municipality.
Tips and tricks for municipalities to become more mature in automation
Know your services and processes: before you start digitizing, get to know your services and processes.
Prioritize: prioritize your services based on the benefits provided to the citizens (not your administration).
Positive experience: create positive experiences for the citizens and convince them about this new - digital - way of working.
Reusable components: create a coherent platform of reusable components. Services may be different but have lots of elements in common.
Simple and fun: create simple services and make the experience convenient and fun.
Feedback: gain feedback from the end users and measure satisfaction.
Want to know more about automating processes? Get in touch!