The PICTURE Project – Introduction and Approach
In this blog we publish – in loose sequence – information about the PICTURE project which is a research project funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program. The project has started in February 2006 and will run for three years until January 2009. The PICTURE consortium comprises 12 partners from 6 European countries and is led by SAP:
seven research and technology partners (SAP (Germany), IBM/FileNet (UK), Planet (Greece), CSI-Piemonte (Italy), ERCIS/University of Münster, (Germany) IWI/University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), University of Lodz (Poland)) and
five user partners (City of Amaroussion (Greece), City of Lodz (Poland), City of Münster (Germany), City of Turin (Italy), City of Winterthur(Switzerland)).
PICTURE aims at exploiting the large potential for modernizing European Public Administrations (PAs) that lies in process reorganization with Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Municipal administrations often find it difficult to exploit this innovation potential because decision makers hesitate to invest in process reorganization projects and ICT infrastructure. This is largely due to the fact that the potential impact is usually unclear and hence large investments cannot be justified to the political leadership and the public. The result is that PAs focus on the optimization of single processes without leveraging the impact an investment can have on other processes in the PA.
PICTURE‘s vision is to enable high quality service delivery for European citizens and businesses by strengthening the ICT diffusion in European Public Administrations. To achieve this PICTURE will develop a web based instrument to support ICT investment decisions in Public Administrations.
The PICTURE tool consists of two core modules:
The Process Landscaping Module will be used by process owners and executors to capture the administrative processes of a Public Administration.
The ICT Impact Measurement Module will identify and measure the ICT impact on administrative processes of a Public Administration in a qualitative, quantitative and monetary dimension.
The underlying conceptual approach of PICTURE comprises the following steps and is illustrated in the figure below.
- Model the as-is situation of processes and ICT infrastructure. This is done collaboratively by the administrational staff using pre-defined process building blocks. This ensures that a common terminology is used by all involved participants.
- Measure the impact of ICT components on the process landscape in a quantitative, qualitative, and monetary dimension. This includes finding possible sources for inefficiencies and error-prone process parts and identifying appropriate ICT functionalities to resolve them. It also includes identifying possible process changes through ICT.
- Visualize the results of impact measurement including process changes.
- Analyze the measurement results and derive appropriate ICT investments. This is done by decision makers in public administrations. In contrast to the first three steps this last step is done manually and not supported by the PICTURE tool.
An example for applying the PICTURE approach is illustrated in the following figure (Please note that this is an artificial example and does not represent any real process. Any similarities are by coincidence):
First a process is modeled using the process building blocks.
In the second step the impact of an ICT providing a publishing service on this process is measured.
The results are then presented to the decision makers which then make the final decision on which investments to make.
For sake of simplicity only the measurement results for 1 new ICT component on 1 process are shown. In a real use case, the measurement and also the visualization of the results would be more complex and take into account several processes and several ICTs. The measurement results here also indicate a possible reorganization of the process by removing the step “Print”.
The PICTURE consortium is continuously disseminating the results of the project on scientific conferences as well as in events targeted at public administrations. For the latter audience PICTURE has been presented at the following major events (for a complete list see the PICTURE website at http://www.picture-eu.org/):
CebIT: PICTURE has been presented at the CEBIT in March 2006 and 2007 in Hanover (Germany) as part of the exhibition.
MEMO: A dedicated PICTURE workshop has been held at the MEMO 2007 after a presentation about PICTURE has been given at the MEMO2006 in Münster (Germany).
KomCom: PICTURE has been presented as part of the exhibition at the KomCom North in Hannover (Germany).
Eurocities conference: A PICTURE session was held at the Eurocities conference 2007 (http://www.eurocities.org) in March in Barcelona
UPCOMING: PICTURE booth at eChallenges 2007 in The Hague (24.-26. October 2007)
Also a dedicated PICTURE workshop was organized in March 2007 in five locations in the partner countries. The locations were connected via videoconference for a common part in which the project was presented. Then each location discussed PICTURE specific topics in their local break-out session.
This event will be repeated in a similar setup during November and December 2007. If you are interested to participate in one of the local sessions, please contact us and we will send you an invitation.