‘We think about the design before building starts’
Servicepunt71 was founded in 2012 as an executive organization in the field of operational management of the municipalities Leiden, Leiderdorp, Oegstgeest and Zoeterwoude. Combining forces and knowledge ensures better service for citizens and successful operational management of the four municipalities. The collaboration between the local governments also results in less vulnerability and lower costs, thanks to the exploitation of scaleability.Over the past years Servicepunt71 has improved its basic services and has, in practice, proven added value. The general services for the participating municipalities have been designed in cooperation, taking in consideration the goals of every individual municipality. Operational management processes are now more efficient, reliable and integral. In the time to come, Servicepunt71 will continuously work on the optimization and digitalization of operational processes. Here the supply of information plays an important role.
Servicepunt71 was looking for insights into its application and IT environment. Several systems were used to map this environment, such as tooling for service management, architecture and several separate overviews. But there was no central, coherent and clear view of the entire environment. This created a distance between the executive organization of Servicepunt71 and the individual municipalities. Due to the use of different and separate systems, there was hardly any communication between different user groups, such as Information Managers, Application Managers, System Managers and Architects. This led to the following issues:
- Valuable working time was wasted on updating the tools that were used to map the four environments;
- The impact of changes were uncertain, so risks were high;
- Due to a lack of insight into the functionality and the overlap between the environments of Leiden, Leiderdorp, Zoeterwoude and Oegstgeest potential advantage of cooperation was not achieved.
This caused the tooling at the time to become an Achilles’ heel of an organization that would have preferred to aim for opportunities and quality with as little costs and risks as possible.
In 2016, Servicepunt71 introduced BlueDolphin: the cooperative platform that made the IT environments of the four municipalities functional, financially and technically comprehensible. BlueDolphin’s insights are dynamic and accurate. The views created by users are interpreted and used throughout the entire organization. Working together in one system results in optimal communication between the four municipalities. Additionally, the communication between all the different target groups within Servicepunt71 has improved, partially thanks to the unlimited number of users that the BlueDolphin licensing model allows.
Architecture is now visible and tangible. Instead of talking in a vacuum, people now discuss topics based on a reliable source of information. One of the results is the decrease of the number of applications used. Also, the insight into the data streams and the way in which applications exchange data, ensures that significant possibilities for improvement are exposed. Furthermore the link with TOPdesk (service management tool) ensures close monitoring: users see whether new databases, servers or software packages were installed. Like this, users of BlueDolphin have greater control over what changes and what is installed, even when small changes in places where architecture is not actively involved are made. Improvement opportunities are now translated into a detailed description of the desired ‘Soll’ situation. As a result, the improvement of the way in which IT supports the operational management is carried out in a controlled environment.
The specific benefits of BlueDolphin for a Shared Service Centre
Marten Alberts, Information Architect, Municipality of Leiden:
“With any other tool it would have been a challenge to make architecture visible. Employees want to have access to drawings that they can change themselves if necessary. That requires an innovative collaboration tool, instead of having to deal with a flat image from a PowerPoint presentation to which you need to add your own notes. An architect is not going to read those notes. In BlueDolphin, everyone has their own account. There are now more than one hundred employees within Servicepunt71 that completed the basic training in order to start working with BlueDolphin. Colleagues take a look at views created and create their own visualizations as well. Administrators exactly grant the required rights to a specific user. The administrators decide which object definitions and relation definitions are permitted. This basically forces BlueDolphin users to work with the same standards. Our requirements in BlueDolphin ensure that every user automatically follows the architectural plans of Servicepunt71. Thanks to BlueDolphin, we think about the design before we start building.”
Jasper van Enk, Information Analyst, ValueBlue:
“Thanks to BlueDolphin, architecture is widely supported within Servicepunt71. Everyone can rely and consults on BlueDolphin as the single point of truth. Thereby templates ensure consistency: every design is based on rules and guidelines that Servicepunt71 wants to maintain. An application integration design now looks the same, no matter who creates it. This makes BlueDolphin coherent and recognizable for Information Managers, Project Managers, Application Managers and Change Managers. Furthermore, the joint use of templates prevents the objects in the repository from snowballing. Thanks to BlueDolphin our repository is consistent.”