Most governments, especially those in the developing world are moving to e-government in order to enhance better service delivery to the citizens in their respective countries. However, frequently the change to e-government ends up partially successful or failing completely. The success or failure of the change is always attributed to some various issues.
An unnamed government from southern Africa decided to come up with a single personnel information system. Currently, the office of the civil service has been given the mandate of recruiting employees for the different ministries, but it is the responsibility of the ministries to keep their own records. After the first phase of implementing the system, it was found that the Design-Reality gap totalled to 42. This was attributed to a variety of factors. In terms of information, the data was not accurate and incomplete. The setback called for some action to be taken in order to rectify the situation. The first step that I would have taken as the director of the office would have been to assess the ITPOSMO acronym because this is the only way to understand the difference or the gap.
In terms of the information perspective, I would make use of prototyping. This will be done by giving the users a chance to test the application then provide feedback on what they really want. The gap in the processes can be solved by doing things as they were done before, which in this case in manual entry. Initially, clerks were given the duty of amending records except those that were considered as confidential. The gap in objectives and values can be solved by calling a meeting of all the top management in order to compel those who are withholding any information that is worth sharing to avail it in the meeting.
On staffing and skills, the best way to deal with the situation would be the outsourcing of people with skills and have them operate the system. Some staff that were taken for the training and did not take that seriously should be fired and other skilled workers employed.
The issue of whether the project was a failure or a success can be determined after a period of about two years after the system is fully implemented. As it stands, the system cannot be referred to as a failure or a success. The overall rating of 42 is a warning that the system might fail if something appropriate is not done to reduce the gap. In addition, if nothing is done then the project will be a partial failure. The system is only having trouble in certain areas but most of the vital parts are a success. The project was completed within the allocated budget and time frame; employees were also taken for training in time.
The project was an all-inclusive one as all the major stakeholders participated to ensure that it becomes successful. Experts in various fields such as information system analysts guided the project. Even though the project did not perform well in terms of the Design-Reality gap, there is still time to work on certain issues that are contributing to the widening gap. Moving from manual to e-government is not an easy task. Many African countries are trying to switch to the new system in order to be able to offer better services to their citizens. Challenges might be present but with time, they will surely overcome them.
Beckmann, F. v. (2009). Rules of law and laws of ruling on the governance of law. London: Ashgate Pub.
Belanger, F., & Carter, L. (2008). Trust And Risk In E-government Adoption. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 17 (2), 165-176.
Design-Reality gap. (n.d.). Design-Reality gap. Retrieved November 11, 2013, from http://www.catedras.fsoc.uba.ar/rusailh/Unidad%202/Silcock%202001,%20What%20is%20E-gov.pdf
Kjær, A. M. (2004). Governance. London: Polity Press.
Ho, A. T. (2002). Reinventing Local Governments And The E-Government Initiative. Public Administration Review, 62 (4), 434-444.
Williams, C. (2008). Effective management (3rd ed.). New York: Thomson/South-Western
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