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Tips for Successful eGovernment Applications
"Do"s and "Don't"s
- Don’t assume that eGovernment will be more expensive than your current business process.
- Do consider the cost you incur when a staff person accepts a paper form or check at the counter. That paper form or check has to be recorded, entered, processed, deposited, etc. If you calculate the true cost of having a staff person handling a paper-based transaction, you may find that Web-based transactions save significant staff time. The online service may also reduce the need for printing and mailing of paper materials, saving you money.
- Don’t think that if your agency doesn’t currently accept credit cards, you can’t accept online payments.
- Do remember that the State of Maine can process electronic payments using electronic checks and credit cards very efficiently and at a rate that is lower than you might expect.
- Don’t fear handling payments and sensitive information over the Internet.
- Do feel secure in the fact that performing transactions over the Web is often more secure than handling them in paper form. The InforME/Maine.gov payment engine is very secure and CyberTrust certified. Through proper handling of sensitive information and careful system design, web transactions can be protected from unauthorized interception much more easily than manual transactions.
- Don’t forget to get your customers' input regarding your online service.
- Do offer a feedback survey connected to each application to allow your customers an opportunity to let you know their opinion of your service and its functionality. If applicable, you can also gather input from your constituents/customers during the design of your online service to ensure that it meets their needs and is user-friendly.
- Employ key members of your team to be involved in creating and implementing services
- Devote adequate time for planning, testing and implementation
- Develop and identify business rules before development starts
- Designate an agency project manager (see Building Your Project Team)
- Direct marketing through mailings to known customers
- Offer in-person training
- Make it less expensive and more timely to perform transactions online
- Provide customer service via telephone and/or email for users learning the new system
- Perform outreach/education at user association meetings
- Provide an easy to use system with varying billing and payment options
- More marketing information
How to Start
- Talk to your customers
- Decide your best avenue for development
- Think in terms of implementation phases - you don't have to do everything at once
- Revisit current policies (prices, signature issues, etc.)
- Evaluate your current business process and consider how it might be streamlined
- Create a knowledgeable internal project team