August 30, 2021
Say goodbye to ineffective forms
The process from start to finish is central when creating citizen- and customer-oriented solutions. Public authorities and companies are in dialogue with citizens and customers in many different ways. Traditionally, this has been done through letters, and later by sending emails back and forth.
Today, it is expected to be able to initiate a dialogue on borger.dk or the company’s website and fill in a form. The form is the first step in a longer business process, which is supported by a case process so that the inquiry is processed correctly and the citizens or customers receive an answer to their inquiry.
At DCR, we have helped a large number of municipalities as well as private companies with forms and case processes that reuse existing IT systems. For example, Aarhus Municipality collects information on state and inter-municipal reimbursement by using DCR Forms as a service stored in their ESDH system from KMD.
The National Association of Local Authorities, KL,; has defined a collection of forms consisting of the inquiries a citizen can make to the municipality. The form is the first step in a subsequent workflow where the inquiry is processed and answered.
Municipalities have in the OS2 community developed OS2 forms where you can design a form that can subsequently be integrated with internal systems. Another example is Google Forms where you can easily define forms and collect data that can subsequently be processed.
Common to the various form solutions is that the focus is primarily on the design of the form rather than the process in which the form is included.! How is the subsequent case process handled correctly and is all relevant data available? And how do you handle the situation if you need further information from the citizen in the middle of the case?
Instead of focusing on the form or form, you we should focus on the whole process from start to finish. Sometimes the process can be realized as a self-service process, other times an internal process is involved behind it, and sometimes the process can even end with the citizen being contacted for further information.
Start with the course – from start to finish
A municipality or organization handles many different processes where citizens and customers are involved. Sometimes the citizen starts the process, other times it starts internally. Wherever it starts, one should use the same tools and techniques to describe and configure the courses to give everyone the necessary flexibility to adjust courses when identifying new needs.
A current example of a process that starts internally is corona infection detection. After a citizen has tested positive, the authorities start identifying people the infected person has been in close contact with to stop the chain of infection. It is also an example of a process for which we do not know the optimal process today. There is therefore a need to adjust the course when we become wiser along the way. The example is complex as each contact in itself is a new process that can end with new contacts if they test positive.
An example of a course that starts externally is the application for a fund. Funds are intended to distribute money to eligible applicants. A form to be filled in by the applicant is often placed on the foundation’s website. The form collects data from the applicant and the subsequent case process ensures that the application is assessed and perhaps approved, after which a payment process is started. An example of this is Exformatics, which offers funds a solution that supports the entire course of the funds which can be easily configured to the fund’s unique needs. Examples of the citizen-oriented form can be found, for example in Heinrich and Laurine Jessen’s Foundation.
We have outlined such a process, including the drawing in PowerPoint. “Submit application” is a form where the applicant fills in various information.
By focusing on the entire course, you ensure that the form presents the citizen with all relevant questions that are needed during the course.
The form can, for example, have a type field which, depending on the citizen’s or customer’s choice, adjusts the course of the case. A building application for a carport thus has a simpler process than a building application for a new house.
If you have different forms, forms, the citizens must have knowledge when they are going to start to choosinge the right form. If the form can instead adjust itself along the way and adapt to the citizens‘s needs, you they avoid having to change the form along the way. By focusing on the case process rather than the individual form, better citizen service and a more efficient case process are ensured.
Another example is, for example, the need to adjust the course of the case if the citizen or customer has chosen. Today, therefore, one often ends up defining many largely identical case processes that must handle each unique form. There are several issues with this approach.
On the one hand, it often happens that the citizen or customer chooses the wrong form from the start. Either the citizen must choose another form and fill in all the fields again, alternatively internal problems arise as the form and the case do not fit together. In KL’s form collection and construction, there are more than 30 different forms, see here. And how the forms are included in the case process for a construction application is not obvious.
The form is also a case study
Everyone who has worked with a form often ends up having to divide the form into several different forms which must be chosen depending on the situation. The reason is that it is difficult to describe and design a form with variations.
If you start by acknowledging that a form is in itself a case that the citizen or customer goes through, it becomes simpler. The variations that unfold continuously depend on the choices and re-elections the citizen makes.
This is of great importance for the quality of the self-service solutions offered. Instead of letting the customer choose between one of KL’s more than 100 different forms, the citizen is guided in a case process that is continuously adjusted based on the citizen’s choices and wishes. Concretely, this means that we as citizens do not have to refill a form and eliminate frustrations about having filled in the wrong form or not being able to figure out where to start in a jungle of choices. A self-service solution presupposes that you can support different processes and continuously adjust based on the citizen’s choices.
DCR Design – cloud service so you can get started now
Describing a course and a form often takes place in Word and Excel documents, perhaps supplemented with drawings in PowerPoint or Visio. The challenge is to get it from thought to operational solution.
With DCR.Design you can describe your entire course with relevant forms. You can test the course online before it is in production. And you can put it into production when you are ready with a single click. It does not require you to set up your own servers as the form is a service in the cloud that can easily be integrated in the website or on borger.dk.
An overall case sequence can be described as a series of activities performed by different people in a sequence. The diagram below is created in the DCR portal and illustrates the process previously outlined in Powerpoint above.
DCR Forms – a case in a case
DCR Forms is a way of exhibiting a case to a citizen or customer. A DCR Form can be part of a case, andt can both start a case, but also be used in the middle of it to obtain more information from the citizen. `
DCR Forms is tailored to implement advanced self-service solutions in. Since a form is basically also a process, you can easily add rules that turn on new fields on the form depending on the citizen’s choice. This avoids having to program rules after the form is designed, which costs time and money.
The starting point for both the form and the subsequent case process is that you define it all in a DCR process model. Since one DCR process model can be included in another DCR process model, one can thus make both the citizen’s dialogue and the internal case process in DCR. And you can even in the middle of the case start a new dialogue with the citizen to obtain new information, so the activity above “Send documentation” can advantageously be a form sent to the applicant in an email.
One can even use DCR to offer the citizen insight into the internal case process, by exhibiting the case process as a track-n-trace we know from package deliveries. Finally, you can interact with the citizen who along the way can provide input and ask questions in the middle of the case. This can save costs by keeping the citizen updated on the progress of the case and ensure that the citizen is ready to answer further questions. In the same way, you can involve a third party, as a doctor who has to assess a citizen’s state of health.
DCR Forms – forms as a service in the cloud
DCR Forms is offered as a service in the cloud. Thus, you can quickly get new solution in the air without thinking about installation, service and operation. The integration with own internal IT systems can take place in various ways, e.g. sending the form as secure mail with a PDF of the completed form and an xml file with all the data in. Thus the integration is simple. If you have an IT system with DCR inside such as KMD WorkZone or SBSYS, the integration can be even simpler as the case process can be configured to receive a DCR form without further programming.
The form is designed in the DCR Portal and is outlined below.
Enter your email address and you will receive a secure email with form, attachments and data.
Get started today
DCR offers a one-day course that is sufficient for you to get started designing and integrating forms into an overall case process.
Courses can take place online, or at a location of your choice. As a follow-up to the course, a 2 x 1 hour question-and-answer session has been set aside, an online session on Teams where you can ask questions to experts who can help.