House of Commons of Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted various sectors around the world, including government institutions. The House of Commons in Canada, under the leadership of its Chief Technology Officer, Soufiane Ben Musa, has embraced digital transformation as a means to adapt and continue functioning during these unprecedented times. This essay will delve into the digital transformation journey of the House of Commons and the initiatives it has undertaken to improve its services and operations.
When the pandemic struck, the House of Commons was in the first year of its new strategic plan. The institution’s priority during this time was to focus on four main pillars: improving client experience and operational excellence, unifying and streamlining services, empowering and engaging the workforce, and modernizing physical workspaces.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital solutions that had already been included in the strategic plan but had previously faced resistance. It demonstrated the viability of new working models, changed the way people think about work, and highlighted the importance of collaboration and engagement with citizens.
One of the most significant transformations the House of Commons has undergone is in the way it serves its members. Traditionally, services were provided through a siloed approach, where each service area focused on its performance but lacked a collective understanding of how services were appreciated and consumed by members and their staff. To address this issue, the institution has invested significant effort over the past three years to anticipate and meet the needs of its members.
The House of Commons has recognized the importance of agility in service delivery, as well as the need to make services seamless and easily consumable. Several concrete initiatives have been implemented to achieve these goals, including:
Improving client experience and operational excellence: The member orientation program has been revamped to better serve newly elected members. The time it takes for members to get installed and start working has been reduced from two to three weeks to just 12 hours. Additionally, members can now work from anywhere, anytime, with the same level of service as if they were in Ottawa.
Unifying and streamlining services: The House of Commons has consolidated its various help desks into a single client care team, making it easier for members to access support. Members now only need to call one phone number to receive assistance on any subject.
Empowering and engaging the workforce: The institution has conducted surveys and analyses to better understand the needs of its employees and has developed concrete plans to ensure that the right staff are in place, motivated, and happy to serve.
These initiatives have led to several positive outcomes, such as more accessible and transparent expenditure information for citizens and a fully digitalized member office that allows members to work from anywhere. Furthermore, the House of Commons has invested in an integrated employee management service experience to assist members in managing their staff more efficiently.
In conclusion, the House of Commons in Canada has demonstrated that digital transformation can not only help institutions adapt to unforeseen circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic but also lead to lasting improvements in service delivery, operational efficiency, and overall institutional effectiveness. By focusing on its four main pillars and embracing digital solutions, the House of Commons has successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic and emerged as a more agile, connected, and responsive institution.
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