ETS Implementation

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» Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Implementing an E-Gov Travel System was quite a challenge.  While there was detailed and sometimes complex work involved with configuring the E-Gov Travel System and interfacing it with our financial management system, the biggest challenge involved the change for our travelers, arrangers, and approvers.

My agency went from a very effective, simple in-house electronic authorization and vouchering system (with very few online bookings, done in a separate system) to using one of the three E-Gov Travel Systems.  In some ways I think it might have been easier to go from paper authorizations and vouchers to an E-Gov Travel System, but the shock may have been too great for end users.

The old electronic travel authorization and voucher system did its job very well, particularly in facilitating the swift payment of vouchers.  But it enforced little travel policy.  Travel policy that users of the new E-Gov Travel System may not have even known existed.

Change is rarely viewed in a favorable light by those of us down in the weeds, doing the Government’s work.  So couple this general attitude toward change – especially when the change involves moving away from a process/system/etc that works – with travel policy now being enforced by the new E-Gov Travel System.  On top of that, add in the use of an online booking engine.  Something that, unlike a travel agent, can’t really answer your questions or help you with anything that you don’t specifically ask for.  Finally, add to this a new system with a user interface that hadn’t yet gone through years of use and which had many areas that needed to be made more user friendly (something that our E-Gov Travel vendor does continue to work on).  Overall, it was a big, big challenge to get travelers, arrangers, and approvers on-board with the change to the new E-Gov Travel System.

By: Kevin Young

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