Streamlining communication and collaboration

Working with Sitecore partner, Addition Consulting, The Danish Parliament chose Sitecore as the platform for their next generation website, which has two major goals: First, streamlining governmental communication and collaboration at all levels of Parliament, and second, creating an intuitive, user-friendly and maintainable web site. These innovative changes have facilitated unprecedented access to all of the content created by the house and parliamentary in the governance of Denmark.

Challenge

Since 1849 the Parliament has been a functioning body with responsibility for passing laws, controling the government, adopting the state budget and participating in international cooperation. There are 5.5 million Danish citizens, and more than 80,000 people visit every year to meet politicians and see democracy in action. On each of the 100 session days, the Danish Parliament is a busy workplace for about 1,200 staff, civil servants, journalists and others who are involved in the political process.

In 2008 the Danish Parliament decided to update their ten-year old website for the following reasons:

  • This website had been difficult to maintain and decentralizing the content editing process was a problem. 
  • Their outdated system did not support integration with key back office systems or other governmental agency sites.
  • Their Electronic Case and Document Handling system alone contains in excess of one million documents that needed to be shared for collaboration.

The Parliament also wanted to improve communications with its citizens, to enable them to become better informed, more active participants.

Because of the enormous quantity of documents that need to be accessible on this new site, along with the multiple content search requirements, The Parliament knew that both speed and accuracy would be a key challenge.

Solution

As one of Denmark's most visible and important public institutions, the Parliament has, since 1996, established the highest standards for Internet-based communication.  With that in mind, they selected Addition Consulting, a Sitecore partner, to design, develop and implement their next generation website.

At the outset of the project Addition joined the Parliament’s IT Staff in a series of workshops to define the features and functions that would be delivered.  These workshops focused on modularity and a framework on which to deploy the modules. After careful evaluation, Addition Consulting developed and implemented the new website on Sitecore CMS.

Sitecore CMS, coupled with Addition's Website Component Container Framework (WCCF), provides an ideal continuous improvement web platform.

The new site contains a series of specially-designed modules which have optimized workflow for the Parliament.  These include:

  • Document Basket: Addition developed the document basket, which appears on every page, to aid visitors to the web site in finding and keeping track of documents of interest. The Document Basket is similar to the Shopping Cart on Amazon.com – the only difference is that no money is required at check out.  When the user has finished adding documents to the basket, they can print, email or download them.Using this module a visitor can also subscribe to documents on selected topics.
  • The Meeting Booking and Reservation module: This provides an advanced meeting booking and reservation system that makes it quick and easy for the parliamentarian to request meetings and view the schedules of other colleagues working in Parliament.

Addition also included blogs and quizzes, FAQs and Glossary, a sophisticated search engine interface and subscription service, and more. Addition integrated these modules so they can be reused and repurposed within any section of the site as other sites come online.

By using the Sitecore APIs and Addition's WCCF, the integration to the back office system was seamless.

Result

Today, the Danish Parliament’s electronic documents are now being published and updated faster than ever before. The website supports democracy through an unprecedented parliamentary openness – achieved through the publication of all documents, e.g. legislative works in progress, final bills, etc.

Overall communications have been immensely improved. Employees and citizens are now better informed which will improve their level of participation in decision-making. For example, they can now, via Document Baskets, ‘shop' websites and make collections of documents that can be read, downloaded, printed or sent via email. This allows the citizen to follow and monitor all politicians and their activities.  Users can also follow politician’s absenteeism rate, and see how they are voting.

The combination of Sitecore and Addition have allowed the Parliament to streamline communication and disseminate information that was previously difficult or impossible to access.

Technical Description

  • Ankiro for search