Public Sector Service Design: Designing the Employment Pass Service Centre for the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore
The Ministry of Manpower in Singapore is designing a new employment pass processing centre. Working with a lean-thinking approach and using previous centers as a template, the project team proceeds to plan an updated version with faster processing times and improved interiors. Unexpectedly, plans grind to a halt as the civil servant in their line of reporting raises some crucial queries that call into question the very basis of the new centre's lean and optimal design. Time is of the essence and the project head is now faced with two very tough options: proceed with minor incremental changes that may not meet expectations, or go for a complete redraft which requires time and capabilities that the team may not possess. Which will be his choice? The case stops here to allow a class discussion to evaluate the two options on how to proceed. This provides an ideal setting to discuss how to manage a new-to-the-firm design-thinking project.