How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I’m an Enterprise Architecture (EA) architect specialising in digital service design. We are a team of business, data, application and technology architects that provides a comprehensive understanding of current (as is) and desired (to-be) capabilities, services, solutions, systems, information, applications and infrastructures. These designs are aligned with the constantly evolving needs of the organisational function and services. When the business function and services needs change, EA is aimed at enabling the agency to adapt and respond within a short time.

MAMPU is responsible for driving the government digital transformation by enhancing the public sector’s capacity for delivering services efficiently. Apart from that, digitalisation is also a crucial component of the government’s strategy to promote economic growth through lowering the cost of doing business, increased efficiency and predictability of government services.

MAMPU is also engaged in strengthening leadership and governance for planning and coordination of digital initiatives. The aim is to strengthen ICT Management and organisation functionality to be more dynamic and efficient. This dynamic governance emphasizes the citizen’s engagement in providing their views and suggestions regarding improvements to the services offered.

I’m involved in determining the government enterprise-wide reference architecture standard of public services that is in line with life-event and customer experience that is published in Malaysian Government Portal.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year?

This year I’m involved in delivering the design of frontline services such as road transport department, immigration, disaster management and relief, pandemic crisis, education and health, to name a few. The design process requires transformation at multiple levels in the way public sector organisations behave, how they view their roles, and how they share information between agencies, with businesses and with their customers. Process and organisational change are also being looked into both within individual agencies and across public sector organisations to improve both systems and processes and change the cultural and organisational behaviour.

We are also instilling a new mind-set and changes of government roles and public service. They need to accept that government no longer has a monopoly on policy advice and knowledge. Others outside of the government too have valuable information and insights that can contribute to government policy development and service design.

They need to understand, in order to be really citizen-centric, the government is moving towards making more and more public services to be delivered on an end-to-end basis. Leveraging on data-driven practices that apply advanced analytics to achieve the greatest potential for business optimisation. These include creating a more citizen-centric government premised on providing seamless services through a Whole-of-Government (WoG) approach by continuous public consultations and engagements.

In the service design process, we face challenges in determining which cross-domain or multi-sector value streams can be feasibly combined to radically improve service delivery and citizen experience. It is the key to constructing a delighted customer experience that is supported by life-events.

Of course, citizens have grown accustomed to having many of their individual wants and needs satisfied quickly in the course of everyday transactions. The high degree of service coordination and personalised response that is typical in commercial transactions is now the baseline against which the performance of government is being measured. These scenarios bring changes to the culture of service delivery from mode ’asking for help” to the ‘offer of help’. It must be nurtured and instilled as part of organisation and government employee’s value. By these, it means that concerted effort in designing government services towards the target group should be seen and felt by the nation as one service, rather than multiple sources of agencies towards one target group.

By designing the digital services, we are able to take up the end-to-end services to the next level.

What is one unexpected learning from 2021?

Seeing the leap from e-Government to Digital Government and online service in 2021 due to the pandemic and contactless demand. We are managing about 11 thousand government services provided by more than 700 agencies at three levels of government. Out of this, 87.10 per cent of services are available in digital and online. We are delighted to see the increment in percentage of 7.5 per cent of end-to-end services within six months. One area of end-to-end service that has seen remarkable progress is in e-payment for government services.

What’s your favourite memory from the past year?

Working from home (WFH), balancing life and work in the same space. Challenges in balancing life and livelihood of the community and the challenges working mothers faced during WFH.

The Movement Control Order (MCO) was an especially difficult time to WFH with managing online school and childcare closures and major disruptions to business operations. But on the bright side, I get to spend family quality time, cook new recipes, and deliver more positive impact on work with less commuting.

Faced with disruptions to work plans and work habits, I had to quickly adopt teleconferencing platforms and online tools to maintain lines of communication and build new streams of work with colleagues and external partners. My favourite experience is flexibility in being able to deftly handle a complex and changing environment, that requires fluid intelligence, the ability to reason and solve problems in unique situations, and a growth mind-set or open mind. It builds my resiliency as a mother and a leader.

What’s a tool or technique you’re excited to explore in 2022?

I believe that shared humanity will be able to entice social resilience in digital service design. I’m looking forward to Emphatic Service Design tools that can help in understanding human emotion and behaviour. Building a resilient nation is hard work but through compassion and a sense of shared humanity, we can all come together as one, forge the strongest alliance that never fades in time, face any uncertainty and ensure the survival of our great nation.

Some design thinking and innovation tools were able to build up trust between the people and government. I want them to feel that they are being heard, listened to and appreciated based on what they can give to the country.

I am also interested to collaborate together as a team that can breach the intersection between design and coding, so that we can close the gap between ideation and implementation.

What are your priorities for 2022?

With the pandemic shaking up businesses, my priority is building the digital leader competencies. Especially CIOs’ current mind-set. CIOs still play a role as a manager to oversee ICT projects, and behave and perform like managers rather than digital leaders. This encumbers the full potential of his or her role as CIO. How do we break free from the past, stuck as a manager-fastened mind-set to reach new levels of leadership and performance?

CIO should transform themselves as Chief Digital Officer (CDO). CDOs must be conversant in the value of data that connects the society, businesses and government as an intelligent government. The government that articulates the value of delivering both highly secured cyber security and conducive environment to give the best digital customer experience. A digitally-driven government with greater openness to innovative ideas and approaches.

CDO should lead beyond disruption. They should know how successful organisations manage changing economic environments and find funds to drive growth and innovation. The answer is bold and creative moves. Among others, such as delivering resilience supply chain by remodelling the core technologies in rightsizing support for remote and hybrid work; and introducing cultural change and adaptive practices in daily work that embeds data analytics in business strategy especially in involving younger generations to helm the digitalisation.

Who are the mentors and heroes that inspire you?

It would be inspirational leaders that have empathetic qualities. Inspirational leaders are able to inspire colleagues, encouraging them to eagerly embrace and cultivate technology change. The skill of strong emotional intelligence and communication skills – added with open, honest and transparent discussions – will inspire teams on digital strategies and vision. Moreover, empathetic qualities aspire team members to be their best, which is based on authentic acceptance and understanding of the employee’s motivations and individual preferences. Empathy demonstrates through leaders’ words and deeds, leaders’ respect and appreciation of their subordinates.

What gets you up in the morning?

Knowing that whatever I achieve daily will contribute to the wellbeing of the nation, our family, the government and employees to support pandemic/crisis as one unity, as Malaysian. To be able to find happiness even in the simplest littlest things in life. Believe in myself and work hard for it, no matter what and how people see and judge me.