Agile methods as an answer to the challenges of register modernisation

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While the implementation of the Online Access Act (OZG) is still in full swing, the register modernisation is already the next major project that is essential for the digitisation of the administration. The aim of the Register Modernisation Act (RegMoG) is to strengthen the interoperability of authorities and organisations within Germany and to focus on convergence with European technologies. In addition to a uniform technical architecture, the registers themselves are to be further developed to ensure minimum requirements for connectivity and data storage. Of the total of more than 375 registers, 56 registers were identified in the IDNrG as playing a priority role for the OZG. From these 56 registers, 18 "top registers" were initially selected on the basis of important use cases, whose data stocks are to be modernised as a matter of priority.

The IT Planning Council's definition of the goal is:"The new automated data exchange between the authorities enables a maximum of efficiency and economy for all administrative services". This project presents the administration with greater technological, professional and organisational challenges than the OZG. The IT Planning Council has therefore defined a nationwide and cross-administration architecture that meets the high requirements of data protection. The real challenge now is to implement this architecture at the register-keeping agencies. The heart of the registers is the data storage, where a very heterogeneous state of digitisation can currently be observed. Some registers are already fully digitised, while others still keep a large part of their entries in paper form.

The technical complexity as well as the requirements for data harmonisation and quality pose enormous challenges for classic project management. The involvement of a large number of stakeholders from different authorities and organisations as well as rapidly changing requirements, e.g. due to the digitisation of specialised procedures, can hardly be successfully managed with classic planning and project management methods. However, this complex project profile offers a promising range of applications for agile methods and procedures. In a comparable constellation, an adaptation of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) has already been successfully used in the implementation of the OZG.

The advantages of agile methods and processes are:

  • Transparency for the large number of groups and stakeholders involved
  • Direct involvement of the necessary committees
  • Continuous adaptation to changing requirements through an iterative approach
  • Short learning cycles to quickly build up the necessary know-how
  • Possibility to quickly scale up the programme

By using agile methods, a more flexible and effective approach to register modernisation can be established that meets the complex requirements and enables successful implementation.