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Technology

The work process and product testing teams were the ones that mainly dealt with the technology. They were involved in discussions on the type of technological applications to develop. Andersen submitted possible options and HRD-NB examined them. The information systems tended to focus on a particular program or activity whereas the Department needed an integrated system with the possibility of cross-referencing information. The solution decided upon was to create software that met the needs identified by A/A and HRD-NB. NB Case today is not what was mapped out originally. The system underwent changes during development in response to discussions and frequent testing with prototypes. Andersen and its programmers were in charge of the project’s technological dimension. They expected to eliminate the Department’s entire paper burden, but this could not be done completely. Medical prescriptions and hospital forms had to be kept on file because it was too expensive to use scanners to store the information electronically. Another aspect of the project that changed was the decision to continue using the faster and more powerful Government mainframe to issue cheques. The key performance indicators built into the computer system were determined together with HRD-NB. Everything that Department personnel can and cannot do is incorporated into the system, and the system explains why. Signatures are electronic. Managers have more autonomy and responsibility, while the system limits their exposure to risks.

The technology was a positive and essential aspect of the project, the ideal tool for the proposed transformation. Project participants are unanimous in expressing satisfaction with the technology used and the electronic product, NB Case. The computer system is so clear that any version can be used by managers who do not consider themselves bilingual. The only regret about the technology was the decision to use Windows 3.11 instead of 95, which was more expensive and would have delayed introduction of the system, which was already far behind schedule. But a year later, Windows 95 was adopted.