Is there a better way of doing things : a business process reengineering through IT of the personal document application functions in the Immigration Department

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Is there a better way of doing things : a business process reengineering through IT of the personal document application functions in the Immigration Department

 

Author: Wong, Wai-man Raymond
Title: Is there a better way of doing things : a business process reengineering through IT of the personal document application functions in the Immigration Department
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1995
Subject: Hong Kong. Immigration Dept
Information technology -- Management
Reengineering (Management)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: 1 v. (various paging) : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1205684
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4202
Abstract: It is common nowadays to speak about reconstructing the business of an organisation through the aid of IT/IS in order to achieve maximum benefits. There have been significant amount of literatures covering this new topic and successful examples cited by the learned scholars on this field make this topic attractive. The theme of the present dissertation project is to conduct a BPR study on three major functional areas of the Hong Kong Immigration Department, viz. - births, deaths and marriage registration - registration of persons - issue of travel documents Detailed objectives and scope of this project, together with introduction on the problem domain were explained in Chapter one of this paper. There are several reasons for undertaking this project. The upsurge in workload, stringency of staffing resources and the inadequacy of existing computer systems provide the impetus for the Department to look for the best way of doing business. The Department has adopted an aggressive information systems strategy (ISS) and has started the preparatory work for its implementation. It is therefore opportune now to critically look at the processes of the Department to see if they could be reengineered to tie-in with the implementation of the component systems of the ISS. Paragraph 1.3 of Chapter one provides the background information. Limitations envisaged and assumptions made in conducting this project are documented in Chapter two. A 4-stage methodology was adopted in this research project. The four stages include (i) Theory building, (ii) adaptation of the theory and model formulation, (iii) case study by application of the model and, finally, (iv) the evaluation. The case study consisted of two parts. The first part was to conduct an explanatory study on past computerisation projects in the three areas under study to see, through the aid of the proposed model, if BPR had been undertaken and the reason behind. This served to evaluate the usefulness and appropriateness of the model from one perspective. The second part of the case study was the prtmary objective of this project, that is, to conduct a BPR study for the three areas. This exploratory case study would shed further light to the evaluation of the model. Interviews, on-site visits and trial runs were conducted as part of the study. This research methodology was explained in Chapter three. Rationale behind the selection of case study as the research methodology are also provided in this chapter. For the purpose of this empirical case study, a model for BPR study was formulated basing on relevant literatures and propositions on this topic. The literatures were reviewed in Chapter four and were grouped under the following headings: - definition of BPR - what should be considered before the BPR project - which process to look at for reengineering - some tips for BPR - the steps for reengineering In Chapter five, a three-stage (identification, redesign and implementation) reengineering path was propounded for the Department. A Pentagram model was recommended for the BPR study. The model highlighted the impact of five major factors that influence (viz. IT, business strategy, organisational & individual issues, environmental issues and barriers/obstacles) on processes and their interrelationship. The special features of this model and its differences with other models were explained in detail. Computerisation/improvement projects on the three areas undertaken by the Department in past years were reviewed by means of the Pentagram model. The findings, which are recorded in Chapter six are that no BPR in the modern sense had been conducted. Through this explanatory case study, it was observed that the model was instrumental to the purpose and served to explain why reengineering had not been possible in past projects. Chapter seven, eight and nine cover the three stages of the present BPR project respectively. The BPR opportunities in the three functional areas were envisioned and identified through application of the Pentagram model in Chapter seven. By careful and thorough examination of the impact of the five forces on processes, opportunities for BPR were unearthed. The intricated relationship among the forces and the processes was also critically studied. The relevant processes were examined in detail in Chapter eight and proposals for reengineering were put forth. The proposals, which were made at a rather high level in view of time limitation, call for an integration of the three functional areas through business network redesign, paperless working environment and generic systems for different kind of transactions. All these required support of sophisticated IT/IS support. It is also stressed at the end of this chapter that if certain policy and legal barriers could be removed, more radical reengineering benefits could be possible. Envisaged benefits resulting from implementation of the BPR proposals are outlined in Chapter nine. In view of the complexity of the BPR proposals, it is recommended in the chapter that follow-up studies, including a combined "feasibility study and system analysis and design study" should be undertaken immediately in order to tie-in with the development of the component systems of the Information Systems Strategy already embarked on by the Department. To monitor the progress, a steering committee to be attended by high-ranking officials of the Department and the technical team is also propounded. At the end of this dissertation, Chapter ten, an overall evaluation on the whole research project was made by addressing, in particular, the following aspects: a. conclusion of the exploratory case study An affirmative answer is made that Immigration Department would benefit significantly by reengineering the processes through IT/IS. b. evaluation of the proposed model An assessment of the completeness of the Pentagram model and its universal applicability is made. It is concluded that in general the model had served its purpose for the present study. In addition, anticipated contribution in terms of value added to the field of knowledge is also observed. c. proposed follow-up study/research It is recommended that further testings of the model in other areas should best be conducted. These should include other functional areas of the Department, other government departments, non-profit-taking organisations or even in the private sector.

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