Live from Decision CAMP 2014 – Tobias Vigmostad

on October 14, 2014
SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Management Platform

Digitalizing Business and Legislative Rules in the Norwegian Immigration Administration

Tobias visited us from Norway to share his experience with the immigration administration.

The objective was to allow business and legal to manage their own rules without any technical assistance.  Automation of immigration rules in a prudent way also means that decisions needs to stay in their jurisdiction, rather than being outsourced to external IT services.  Control had to remain in house.

Ease of automation depends on rules complexity, but they also considered how complex facts were.  Banking decisions are simple in comparison to criminal or immigration cases.  This is an interesting aspect that I have not seen being described with such clarity before.  Taxes or pension rules can be fairly complicated, but the facts are usually black and white.  You are eligible or you are not.  Calculations might be complicated but they can systematically determined based on each application.  In the case of immigration or building code, there is a lot of grey area.  This talk is getting my attention because of all the work we are currently doing with permit applications.

Although decisions in the category of “complicated facts” should be handled differently, there might be some cases that could be more easily automated, to start with.

We all had a chuckle in the room when Tobias translated for us how the press reacted to the initiative.  This is a reaction, a fear we have seen at times about automating decisions, replacing human worker.  We all know that the benefits are great for all constituents.  Though reducing the human workload could be seen as a threat, it is also an opportunity to spend their attention to more interesting work.  Oh my, I could go on and on…  Accelerating immigration decision, as well as permits or criminal investigation seems like a good thing to me.

I am digressing though…  UDI’s approach started with decision support, continued with standardizing, to achieve automation.

As I have seen in many projects, business rules elicitation combined with true collaboration within a team allows to improve the quality of the business rules.  The ideation to implementation to testing to testing cycle is enabled by business rules.  It used to take 6 months to get these ideas tested, now it takes barely a week.

As for the Tax Administration project in New Zealand, business people were thrilled with the system, and asked for more.  The system now processes 5-10k cases per month.

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