Dutch ministries save time (and skip frustration) with Tangelo

Once again, the Dutch national government has embraced Tangelo’s software solutions. Our platform powerfully streamlines processes across the ministries—allowing teams to collaborate on critical documents from many different locations. Recognizing the value of Tangelo to their organization, all twelve Dutch ministries now work with us to prepare and publish parliamentary financial papers. “We hear from all contributors that it is fantastic to always work with the most recent version,” says Stephanie Kriek, Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance. “That sounds basic, but it is not when you work with so many people and so many pieces.”

Just in time before COVID-19

The implementation for all ministries was completed at the beginning of this year, just before the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Managers are delighted that we have this system because we cannot physically work together now,” says Kriek. “The user interface is modern and clear, and the process goes smoother than ever. The turnaround time is almost the same, but we take more time to improve the content’s quality. There are always last-minute changes, but we now have much more peace.”

Ministry of Finance

In 2018, the Ministry of Finance was the first to select Tangelo to produce and publish critical financial documents. The most important document, the Budget Memorandum, was first made with our software in 2019. This spring, the corrections to the budgets were done using Tangelo, followed by the Annual Financial Report of all ministries in May (among other deliverables).

A cultural change inspired the implementation. The process for producing the parliamentary papers had been the same for seventeen years: sending documents back and forth in Microsoft Word, never being sure about the latest version, scribbling hand-written corrections on preliminary documents, and—at the end of an exhaustive process—hoping you didn’t forget anything in the printed version.

While the ministries made several attempts to change their way of working, none reaped positive results. But this time was different. “I had already done quite a few software implementations,” explains Kriek. “Tangelo is simply a good product, and we are all more accustomed now to using online solutions. Working in the cloud has become normal.”

Physical presence no longer required

During the Tangelo roll-out, our project team onboarded three ministries at a time—with users evaluating the system while we fielded questions and implemented feedback in real-time.

Just over a year later, all twelve ministries were using Tangelo Software. Then, COVID-19 forced everyone in The Netherlands to work from home.

“We couldn’t have done this with the old way of working,” says Kriek. “There was this realization within our team, ‘Wow, how great this is already available! No, physical contact was a must in the way we worked. Fortunately, with Tangelo, we didn’t have that problem.”

Today, The Ministry of Finance has set up a helpdesk for the other ministries. The Tangelo system wound up being so intuitive that employees took over the support function—and when they don’t have answers, various video tutorials are easily accessible to users.

Same product, different process

About 90% of all content produced in Tangelo is legal documents. Each document has a coordinator who assigns tasks to contributors—this way, every user knows precisely what they are expected to do.

The result? No more frantic final sprints to the finish line. Instead, collaborators can work in tandem—fine-tuning their sections without waiting for others or chaotically comparing different versions. They’re also able to make last-minute corrections directly in the system, which prevents errors and potential miscommunication when transferring documents to the printer.

Insight and overview

Version management is one of the most significant changes to the process. We also tackled design: now, teams can send the ministers polished parliamentary papers instead of poorly formatted Word documents.

Collaboration between departments is more efficient than ever, since work is easily assigned and tracked through Tangelo. Departments themselves set users’ roles—determining who can access different sections, and when.

“There will undoubtedly still be circulated paper versions, but we only make changes in Tangelo,” says Kriek. “The Audit Services have much more insight, can follow discussions, and see what has happened to their comments. There is no longer a need to keep their records.”

To be continued

Due to its success, the Digital Authoring Environment has earned a permanent place at the ministries.

The next step is implementing a direct link with the financial systems. Currently, tables link to Excel spreadsheets uploaded to our platform. Soon, the ministries want to start publishing themselves using Tangelo’s existing export function. “Step-by-step, we are getting closer to an increasingly faster, more efficient, and error-free process, preventing a lot of annoyance and unnecessary work,” says Kriek.

“We look forward to rolling this out with Tangelo Software as a partner. Partners are essential in our ecosystem. Especially if, like you, they are patient and really service-oriented.”

Click here for the original Dutch version of this use case.